Judged at First Sight – How Important is Fashion & First Impressions Part I

by Marsha Alejandro

Face it, we live in a world where we are constantly being critiqued from the very grain of our hairs all the way to the soles of our feet. As much as we are constantly told and taught to “never judge a book by its cover”, that’s exactly what we do as humans. Do we judge deliberately? Probably not. Do we unconsciously and indirectly judge at first sight? Perhaps. The fact of the matter is, there’s just no way of getting around that there will be someone, or some entity, judging you the first time they see you. Thus, it is extremely important to present our best physical selves each and every time we walk outside.

Before we utter a word, our clothing, hair style and accessories are already having a conversation. Our fashion speaks volumes! Therefore, we must strive to look like the important person that we are in every facet of our lives.

The first part of this blog post will concentrate on looking the part for a job interview. The job interview is a nerve-wracking experience for even the most seasoned interviewee. And the last thing that you need to have, is extra stress about your outfit. You already have 99 problems and your outfit shouldn’t be one. I live by my simple fashion rule “when it doubt, keep it simple!” For your convenience, I have compiled the job interview starter pack for both female and male below.

ForFemalesThe above set are classic pieces which represents a fashion combination that is professional, simple, yet stylish. I always suggest hair be pulled back for a no fuss, neat professional look, minimal make-up and neutral colored nails. Notice the length of nail in the hand example and try not to have lengths longer than this. If you choose to wear a skirt, I suggest a knee length pencil skirt with a sheer panty hose. I never suggest a bare leg for a job interview.

Example Outfit Combination A:


Example Outfit Combination B:

These pieces are timeless, effortless and will always work in a professional setting.


The above set represents the classic man’s go-to outfit. The above pieces are classic pieces with a dash of style. A black blazer with a with a crisp white button down shirt, black trouser, dark color shoe with a watch for an accessory always works and presents the man in a professional and clean light. I always suggest a clean neat haircut and grooming before an interview.

It is important that our fashion matches who we are as professionals. Don’t make it easy for someone to say no. Never do anything that distracts anyone from learning the real you. Lastly, never give anyone an excuse why they don’t want to hire you.

Stay tuned for part II – “Judged at First Sight…Why Not?” where we take a look at certain clothing and accessories that has no place in the workplace.


Marsha Alejandro, NYC, MBA ’13, is a current online Online Education and Innovation graduate student at Webster University.