How do clothing choices affect your attractiveness?

Many psychological studies have showed that fashion sense shown through clothing choices has the potential to affect the wearer's attractiveness.

Why is choosing clothes important?

Primordial dresses were unlikely to affect the personal appearance like clothes of people like today. Thanks to the advances in perception and science and technology over the centuries, fashion choices with the ability to beautify human have become increasingly important.

In early civilizations, the main purpose of clothing was to keep people warm and dry. Today, science takes on this responsibility, reducing the dependence of people on clothing to sustain existence. Clothes have evolved from an essential asset to a social sign: they affect how people perceive themselves. Apparel helps people express themselves in the image they want, while highlighting the personality of each person.


In many societies, clothing choice helps to show wealth and personal preference. Economist Georgie Taylor has demonstrated this fact in a lively manner with the Hemline Index. According to Taylor, when a country enters its recession, society begins to adapt to the harsh spending habits, women often show preference for long dresses. In contrast, in its prosperous period, the length of their clothes usually tends to be shorter.

The ability to create and choose outfits also helps people in separating themselves from the crowd and expressing their style. In contrast, people can also use uniforms as a means of integrating and concealing their personality.


Choosing clothes helps impress people?

In one experiment, researchers photographed people in different colored outfits and then asked participants to rate their attractiveness. The results show that the outfit colors affect the way men value the appeal of both genders. Women also rely on these colors to gauge the attractiveness of men. Interestingly, the colors of clothing do not affect the way women judge women (Roberts et al., 2000).

Studies have also shown that colors can give more advantages to the wearer. Roberts and his colleagues found out that the participants tended to more appreciate the attractiveness of people wearing red attire than those with other colors.


Research by Guéguen and Jacob in 2010 has also provided a similar finding. When female employees in different color tones work in a restaurant, men tend to leave higher bonuses for those in red. However, the color of the costume does not affect female guests.

Color is not the only factor used in evaluating a person based on clothing. In 1986, Timothy Brown and researchers at the Department of Psychology at Old Dominion University examined the effect of clothing on college student's judgment about attraction and masculinity or femininity of both genders.


Brown has realized that, besides fashion sense, gestures, posture and movement all influence their masculinity or femininity in the perception of others. In essence, they all relate to human judgment about the attractiveness or attraction of those around them. Tight clothes, in particular, create a stronger sense of masculinity than baggy clothes.

Psychological studies have also shown that clothing choices must follow cultural values of the society of each subject. For example, depending on the country, each color will have different interpretations and different responses. Choosing clothing is rarely the only determinant of how people perceive. For example, body language can affect other people's perceptions, according to the research by Timothy Brown.


By: Olivia Mendoza

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