Wearing the Color Red Makes You SexierLike wearing the color red? A benefit might be that the opposite sex may see you as sexier and more attractive. You may or may not want that, depending on the situation. While trying to professionally negotiate a settlement or argue a case before a jury, you may not want your audience’s minds wandering into more earthy subjects.

One study showed that waitresses earned more tips (from 14.6% to 26.1% more) from men (but not women) when they wore red, reports Science Daily. The study involved 272 restaurant customers and eleven waitresses in five restaurants. Waitresses wore the same tee shirt in black, white, red, blue, green and yellow over a six week period. They were to work as they normally would and record their tips from each customer.

Red color increased the perceived status and romance.

Researchers theorize that the male customers found the waitresses more attractive and tipped them more as a result.  A study reported in the London Telegraph showed that men perceive women wearing red as more attractive because they would me more receptive romantic advances (and the men feel there was a lower chance of rejection) compared to women wearing other colors.

Adam Pazda, a social psychologist at the University of Rochester, performed the research with colleagues at the University of Innsbruck in Austria, testing 96 men with identical photographs of women wearing red, green and white. Pazda theorized this may be part of our evolutionary past, as primates display patches of bright red skin to show they are ready to mate.

This red effect also applies to men, according to an article on Discover’s website. Another study, by another University of Rochester researcher, was of 288 females and 25 males who looked at identical photos of men whose clothing color was digitally changed in images. Participants ranked the man on his perceived status and attractiveness, and reported on their willingness to date, kiss and engage in sexual activity with the person as well as general likability, kindness and extroversion.

Red color increased the perceived status and romance. He seemed more powerful, attractive and sexually desirable, but the color had no impact on ratings for being likable, kind, or sociable. The effect was consistent across cultures with participants in the United States, England, Germany and China all finding men wearing (or bordered by) red more attractive.

Men wearing red have also been perceived as angry and aggressive by both sexes, with males perceiving another red wearing male as being dominant, according to another study reported in Science Daily.

By wearing red, people with you may perceive you as more attractive (whether you’re male or female) and more powerful and aggressive (for men). How this can play out in the particular situation you’re in varies. Sexy and aggressive may not be the look you want in a negotiations. Perhaps you want to go with clothing other than red at work then go with the red look after hours.