At First Sight: How To Influence How Others See Us

It takes a small fraction of a second to create a first impression. We all would like to leave a good first impression on others. Whether it is a potential employer, a date or new business partner. Our choice in clothing not only expresses our personalities but also helps others determine who we are. We have the ability to control how people depict us, simply by changing the style and colours we wear.

The clothing we wear on a day-to-day basis influences everyone around us. Our future depends on the impression we make and how we visually portray ourselves in social situations. Various studies show that people make their first impression about strangers within ten seconds. A study led by psychologists Janine Willis and Alexander Tedorov[1] at Princeton University revealed that it takes only a tenth of a second to create an impression about a stranger. In only a split of a second, we are able to decide whether on not we like someone.

Leading fashion psychologists Karen Pine and Ben Fletcher[2] carried out an experiment to demonstrate how people create impressions based on other people’s attire. The participants of the experiment, which included over 300 men and women between the age group of 14-67, were required to look at the images of a man wearing an off the peg suit and a man wearing a made to measure suit. The participants were given only three seconds to look at the image and were asked to rate the two men. Surprisingly enough within that three second period, people determined that a man wearing made to measure suit is more confident, successful and even predicted that he may have a higher income in comparison to the man who was wearing the off the peg suit. In order to make snap judgements on the clothing, the faces of a man in both pictures were hidden, that way, participants were able to provide more accurate judgements based only on the clothing they saw each man wearing in the images.


1. Retrieved 1st August 2015