The Clothing Color Men Find Most Attractive

Dressing for a special date and wondering what color you should wear? Could be you've got your own favorite go-to shade, or you already know that your man goes crazy over chartreuse or bonkers over beige. Basically, your best bet, as far as dressing for a date goes, is to wear whatever makes you most comfortable, whether you prefer to be pretty in pink or mysterious in black.

If you'd like to know, though (purely for science's sake, of course), what research has to say on the subject, an experiment conducted at the University of Rochester has finally provided a definitive answer to the question of what color clothing men like best: Red. All men, in fact, all male primates, go for a lady in red.

The experiment that proved men's preference

Maybe those results won't come as such a shock. After all, red is the color of Valentine hearts, of sexy lipsticks and lingerie, and even of notorious "red light" districts of days gone by. Still, this is the first time researchers have actually tried to come up with empirical evidence for this color preference seemingly embedded in every, ahem, red-blooded male.

The experiment was conducted by two psychologists who measured men's responses to photographs of women in different-colored shirts and also in photos framed with different-colored borders. In most instances, men rated photographs of the exact same woman as being significantly more attractive and desirable if she were wearing red or her face appeared in a red-bordered frame. The "red bump" only applied to physical appearance, however — the women in red were not rated as being any more likable, intelligent, or kind than women in other colors.

The biology behind the preference

In compiling their findings, the psychologists behind the color experiment stated that they didn't feel this preference for red was merely one of social conditioning. Instead, they drew parallels between the color preferences of human males and those of male chimpanzees and baboons. In both of these species, the females' visible skin reddens as they grow closer to ovulation, so red color signals that the female is "ready." 

In fact, the researchers concluded their study by stating, well, the obvious: "[O]ur findings confirm what many women have long suspected and claimed — that men act like animals in the sexual realm," they wrote. "As much as men might like to think that they respond to women in a thoughtful, sophisticated manner, it appears that at least to some degree, their preferences and predilections are, in a word, primitive."

So there you go. In order to ensure a successful date, according to best scientific practice, wear something red.