Little black dress and strappy sandals
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Red or black? What to wear on a first date

Your favourite little black dress or that red halter neck top? Red is sexy, but black is cool and sexy. Can't decide? Don’t worry, science is here to help you.

Is red sexy?

Your best friend has set you up on a blind date and now the two of you are in your bedroom, surrounded by clothes, trying to choose your outfit. She’s convinced you should go with a black dress, while you’re leaning towards a red top with your favourite jeans.

There are, of course, all sorts of things to consider when deciding what to wear on a date – not the least of which is how comfortable you feel in your clothes.

And then there’s the colour of your clothes. Research studies have shown that women wear more red when they’re going to meet a hot guy. You may ask why? Supposedly because they think they’ll come across as more attractive.

What about other colours?

But does this actually happen in real life? And what about other colours? To answer these questions a team of researchers analyzed about 550 men and women who went on a first date on a popular UK television show.

Each participant was filmed during a pre-date interview and then on the actual date. This allowed the researchers to check out the participants’ clothes and record whether they wore more of certain colours when they were trying to attract a partner.

Men and women wore more red colour on their dates than during their interviews, the researchers discovered. But black was even more popular than red. Blue, on the other hand, wasn’t common on a date. These findings were true for both heterosexual and homosexual participants.

Black takes the cake

Why are black and red so common on a first date? The colour red is said to be suggestive of sex and is attractive for evolutionary reasons, whereas black clothes are considered fashionable and are thus attractive for cultural or societal reasons, explain the researchers.

So what does this mean when you’re trying to choose what to wear on that date? Both the black dress and red t-shirt will boost your attractiveness, so wear what you feel sexy, comfortable and ready to roll in!


Reference: Kramer, R.S.S. & Mulgrew, J. (2018) Displaying Red and Black on a First Date: A Field Study Using the 'First Dates' Television Series. Evolutionary Psychology.


What’s your favourite first date outfit? Share what you wear with Love Matters on our Facebook pages, Love Matters Africa and Love Matters Naija.

 

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