The Psychology Behind Wearing a Red Dress

Research shows that women in red clothes are more attractive to men. The colour red is link to desire, and evidence shows that women wear red garments more often when they are fertile during their menstrual cycle. One online survey showed that women are more likely to wear a red outfit when preparing for a date as opposed to an encounter that is non-romantic.

How can we know for certain that women prefer to don red when they date? The science around red may be different in reality (few of us keep tabs on our clothes).

Even in laboratory studies, women usually only get a choice between fire-engine red and another garish hue.

To feel good about yourself, choose a red maxi dress for instant flair. A red maxi dress may attract male attention.

More about the red dress effect can be found here:

The German Psychology Experiment

Daniela Niesta Kayser at Germany’s University of Potsdam asked women to take part in a psychology experiment. They received directions to the lab, along with a photo of the male researcher running the experiment.

In fact, the ‘researcher’ was one out of two students whose photographs had been rated previously by 20 women for attractiveness. One got an average score of 6.6 out of 9, while the other got a lesser score of 3.9.

Fifty per cent of female volunteers got a photo of the more attractive man, while the other half received a picture of the less handsome student. When the volunteers turned up, a different researcher took a full-body photograph of them.

Later, research assistants – who did not know about the study – looked at the photos and noted the volunteers’ clothing. They classed volunteers as wearing red if any item of their clothing or accessories was pink, scarlet or red.

The Psychology Behind Wearing a Red Dress


Participants were more likely to arrive wearing red if they expect to be greet by the handsome man. 57% of these women wore red, but only 16% of those who were anticipating the less attractive man did this.

The study’s authors concluded that women often boost their attractiveness in order to compete with other women to attract men who are desirable. This may extend to colour displays, since red seems to bolster a woman’s attractiveness.