WE ALL know the old saying: first impressions always count.
And for those who want to make a new start to the new year - whether applying for a new job, going out on a first date, or meeting the future in-laws - it pays to be intentional in considering personal appearance.
Fashion blogger and stylist Nikki Parkinson believes that in today's society, a person's appearance can often spell out the success or failure of a first impression.
Ms Parkinson agreed that in some circles, it can take as little as the first few seconds for a person to judge someone by their appearance upon meeting them.
"Most people are visual people," Ms Parkinson said.
"Even before you've opened your mouth to say something profound or important, most people have already summed you up by how you're looking.
"Whether that's a good thing or a bad thing, they're going to get an impression of you by what they see first."
As a personal stylist, Ms Parkinson believes that good grooming and dressing appropriately are key factors in helping create a better first impression when meeting people at work or going out.
"Before you even think about what you're wearing, if you're let down by dirty hair, or yucky nails, or if your clothes are not ironed and look messy, it's inevitable that you're going to turn people off," she said.
Ms Parkinson also recommends choosing clothes that best suit the person, and not the model in the magazine.
"Too many people see something in a magazine or try to adopt a particular trend that's not right for their body shape or personality," she said.
"You can tell when the clothes are having more of an impact than the person. You need your personality to come through the clothes you have on."
While Ms Parkinson's line of work requires an attentive eye to a client's fashion and styling, she tries to avoid passing judgment on people's personal appearances.
"When people meet me, they're often very conscious of me evaluating what they're wearing. I don't want to do that," Ms Parkinson said.
"But for people, it's often a conscious thing.
"You can walk down Hastings St or the Mooloolaba Esplanade dressed casually, and you wouldn't be able to tell what job they have, how much money they've got.
"You can't really judge a person by how someone is dressed in a public situation.
"But if you're in a situation where first impressions are crucial, like in business and networking, you need to play the part and you need to dress according to meet those expectations."
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