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Should You Put on That Red Dress?


Wearing red garments makes ladies more appealing to men. Be that as it may, do ladies exploit this by wearing red when they need to pull in a man’s consideration?

Red Dress - Nelson L./Flickr
Source: Nelson L./Flickr

The shading red is unequivocally connected to yearning and fascination. Men are more pulled in to ladies who wear red (1,2), and it appears that ladies who need to draw in men do as such by wearing red.

For instance, there is proof that ladies report wearing red garments all the more frequently amid the ripe period of their menstrual cycle (3), and ladies reviewed online report that they would will probably wear a red outfit when dressing for a date as opposed to a non-sentimental experience (4).

Be that as it may, researchers are perpetually discontent until they have handled an issue from each edge. How would we know for beyond any doubt that ladies want to wear red when they go on dates?

Can we trust respondents to a web review? They may believe that they would dress in red for a sentimental experience, yet the truth could be entirely different (not very many of us keep an exact journal of which garments we wear to each social event). Likewise, even in research facility concentrates on where ladies express an inclination for one dress shading over another, the decision is more often than not between flame motor red and some other similarly pompous shade. A ton of ladies will like red, however would prefer not to stroll around resembling a column box.

Is this person without a doubt?

Daniela Niesta Kayser of the College of Potsdam in Germany, alongside her examination associates in Munich and the US, welcomed ladies to visit the lab to take an interest in a brain science test (5). Intrigued ladies were messaged headings to the lab, alongside a photo of a male undergrad specialist who might be running the examination. The photo was incorporated into the email so that the ladies would have the capacity to perceive the scientist when they arrived.

Or possibly, that is the thing that the ladies were told. Actually, the “analyst” was one of two understudies from another college whose photos had already been appraised for engaging quality by 20 ladies. One man got a normal score of 6.6 out of 9: he was an attractive chap. Another got a score of 3.9: not all that hot.

Half of Niesta Kayser’s volunteers got a photograph of the nice looking man, and the other half got a photograph of the less appealing man. At the point when the volunteers appeared at the lab they were informed that the scientist they should meet was distracted, thus another specialist would be running the test. That scientist took a full-body photograph of the volunteer.

Later, other exploration aides, who had no clue what the study was about, pored over the photographs and made a note of what every volunteer was wearing. Volunteers were delegated wearing red if any piece of their attire, including their frill, was red, pink, or red. Hues less like red (e.g. orange, maroon, purple) were excluded.


Ladies will probably appear to the lab wearing red in the event that they anticipated that would be welcomed by a good looking man. 57% of the ladies who anticipated that would meet the appealing man wore red, yet just 16% of the ladies wore red when they anticipated that would meet the ugly man.

Be that as it may, are ladies wearing more red to draw in the hot person, or wearing less red to put off the ugly man?

Niesta Kayser checked what number of ladies in the same college regularly wore red by watching 200 clients at a grounds cafeteria. 32% of these ladies wore red, generally somewhere between the quantity of ladies who wore red to meet a man who was hot and a man who was definitely not.

Accepting that cafeteria clients speak to a standard populace, this recommends volunteers in the principle study were wearing more red to meet the alluring analyst, and picking not to wear red to meet the ugly specialist.

The creators of the study say:

Women often enhance their attractiveness as a way of competing with other women to gain the attention of desirable men. This phenomenon may extend to color displays, as the color red appears to be one feature that enhances perceptions of a woman’s attractiveness.

They likewise propose that future examination could test the impacts of female-female intensity on ladies’ yearning to wear red attire.



(1) Elliot, A. J., Tracy, J. L., Pazda, A. D., & Beall, A. T. (in press). Red enhances women’s attractiveness to men: First evidence suggesting universality. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology. Read summary.

(2) Schwarz, S., & Singer, M. (in press). Romantic red revisited: Red enhances men’s attraction to young, but not menopausal women. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology. Read summary.

(3) Beall, A. T., & Tracy, J. L. (in press). Women more likely to wear red or pink at peak fertility. Psychological Science. Read summary.

(4) Prokop, P., & Hromada, M. (in press). Women use red in order to attract mates. Ethology. Read summary.

(5) Niesta Kayser, D., Agthe, M., & Maner, J. K. (2016). Strategic sexual signals: Women’s display versus avoidance of the color red depends on the attractiveness of an anticipated interaction partner. PLoS One, 11(3), e0148501. Read paper.

For an audio version of this story, see the 5 April 2016 episode of The Psychology of Attractiveness Podcast.
You can also keep up with Rob’s podcasts and blogs by downloading The Psychology of Attractiveness app.

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