Why Clothes Matter: Good First Impression (Part I)

Waarom kleding belangrijk is- goede eerste indruk (Part I).jpeg

Whether your outfit can define your career? 80% admit that the right outfit is crucial to making a good first impression, and 98% believe that clothing helps them achieve their career goals. So a good first impression does affect your career. The phenomenon responsible for this is called thin-slicing. Moreover, making a good first impression is especially challenging for women.

The thin-slicing phenomenon

Your outfit and general appearance is the first thing people notice when they see you. The principle of thin-slicing underlies this. That alone makes clothing play an important role in how others approach you.

The principle means that with minimal and limited information, we very quickly make judgments about a condition, characteristics or details of a situation or person. Especially as we live increasingly fleeting lives, we do not take the time to obtain more information from someone. Indeed, the longer the time, the more accurate the judgment.

The problem is that once judgments are formed, they are virtually immutable. Once people have formed an opinion, it is difficult to let it go. It is possible, but it will require more effort. Moreover, we also lack the time to do so.

A good first impression is also important online

Thin-slicing is also a phenomenon that can occur virtually. Just think about social media. Therefore, it is important to pay adequate attention to how you present yourself online. After all, your online profile consists of sections that reflect different aspects of your life and interests. With a single click and scroll, someone is already forming an opinion about you, determining, among other things, whether to submit a connection request or follow you. Moreover, we are more online than we were a few years ago, so social media channels are also looked at within professional contexts. For example, prior to a job interview or meeting.

The extra challenge for women in making a good first impression

Moreover,  studies have shown that women’s appearance is constantly and more severely judged than a man’s appearance. 

Two out of three businesswomen admit that they have received unsolicited inappropriate comments about their outfit on occasion.

This makes making a good first impression extra challenging for women.

Not only in the husband-wife relationship, but women are also strict with each other.  During a study of business women, 74% admitted to judging someone’s executive ability based on her outfit, even resulting in exclusion from important meetings or opportunities. 

Moreover, a woman can do more “wrong” with her outfit because she has more options, especially with the implementation of the dress code business casual and dress codes that are supposedly fading but unwritten still apply.


Your outfit can help define your career. Therefore, it is important to find a style that works for both you and your career – an authentic professional style. In The Acquired Club you will find master classes around various style topics that will help you discover and/or optimize your style. Or you can book the personal brand style as a masterclass or 1-on-1 session.

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