You love me in red, Fred?

October 28, 2008

“Honey, should I wear my red dress tonight, or my…”


There you have it. An actual conversation that proves men like red stuff on women. And yet, Reuters reports on a new study that spent $40 million to see if red was more of a turn-on for men than, say, dark brown.

That figure is just a rough guess, you understand, since I have no idea what it really cost.

But if somebody IS still funding studies to prove the bleeding obvious, I want a piece of that.

I’d like to find out if guys prefer…

  • stiletto heels and ankle straps, or rubber flip-flops
  • blondes, or chicks with brown hair and flecks of dandruff falling out
  • creamy smooth skin, or a lot of big ripe zits
  • women who want expensive jewelry, or women who think gems are “icky”

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Top: REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

Below left: REUTERS/Eirc Gaillard

Below right: REUTERS/Alexander Natruski

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Red or not, those two outfits are just awful. The corpse in the drapey red thing with the pubic puff on the front is bad enough, but the one with the hat makes me think of my grandmother’s best friend, Zaydee Harris, who always dressed a little over the top.

Posted by Diane | Report as abusive

Yeah, but the one on top, with the strapless is HOT!

Posted by albert | Report as abusive

I am the owner of and odd enough, in a stretch of the imagination way we are “funding” to study red wedding dresses on a bride. I like to know your opinion on brides in red wedding dress in the western culture.

-Tuan Le

Posted by Tuan Le | Report as abusive

I’ve always been partial to the “little black dress” on women.

Posted by dayshiftbob | Report as abusive

What’s next, a study on whether water is wet? Oh puh-leeeeeeze….

Posted by Dee T | Report as abusive

Putting brides in red wedding dresses here would be unpopular, first because it violates western (U.S.) traditions, and secondly because it would be considered ‘gaudy’ or ‘loud’ (for a serious event) or too “in your face” about its symbolic references. By that last I mean that brides here dress in white as a symbol of purity and decorum, whereas ‘party girls’ dress in red to signal “I’m hot & ripe and ready to be taken” — which is not a sentiment that a respectable girl wants to portray at her wedding…

Posted by Brainstorms | Report as abusive

I actually saw a few red wedding dresses when I was looking for one a couple years ago, they were actually quite beautiful. I ended up picking a white one because I thought it would be the only way people would know I was the one that was the bride… But anyone who knows the *real* history of wedding dresses would probably not mind a red one. In the old days the bride just wore her best dress, and would wear it for special occasions later in her life as well. White dresses were merely a symbol of wealth- white fabric was expensive and impossible to get clean after wearing it, so you were basically telling the world you were so rich you could afford a dress to only wear once. All the ‘purity’ symbolism got tacked on later

Posted by itgoesboom | Report as abusive

When I see a woman in a red dress, I always remember what Patricia, a former colleague of mine, once told me: “Women who wear red can be made.” Patricia often wore red. Behind her back, we called “Pat Allota,” which was not her last name.

Whether Pat Allota was right or not, wearing red is a STATEMENT, even more so than driving a red car. (I would refer readers to Louise Erdrich’s Chapter “The Red Convertible” in her novel Love Medicine.)

Different people associate different connotations with red, but one connotation red does not mean in Western society is purity and chastity. A red bridal dress is so bold and daring — who is kidding who, sinful! — that women who would wear one would be few and far between.

As for which is more attractive to men, red or brown, that is a no brainer. Go to Victoria’s Secret and count the brown lingerie. Then count the red. Ask the experts; they know!

Posted by Dr. Doll | Report as abusive

I married a ‘pure & chaste’ Vietnamese woman (who I then of course turned into a ‘bold & daring’ naughty girl :^) The traditional Vietnamese wedding dress in her country is a RED ‘ao yai’ (literally “long blouse”) dress — so we had one custom-made for her. She was stunning in it (still is), but I may be biased…

Of course, the other popular acronym for red ‘club’ attire is “CFM”, a direct acknowledgment of the biological basis behind all of the red lipstick, red rouge, red fingernail & toenail polish, red dresses, red stilettos, etc. Red is the color of blood, and puffy, blood-engorged body parts signal ESTRUS to the male, driving him wild with ‘the urge to merge’. Simple “applied biology”. It works, of course. (Try to imagine getting turned on by a black-appointed ‘Goth’… Necrophilia, anyone?)

Posted by Brainstorms | Report as abusive

It used to be that red petticoats (like a yellow toga of Roman times) signaled a woman of low morals, to put it nicely a “courtesan” or “woman of the world”.
Therefore, it’s probably not a good idea to have red wedding dresses, especially if history buffs are attending you wedding. Everyone looks at a bride anyway; she doesn’t have to draw your eye like a stop sign.
I’m all for other colors, though. White dresses or pants are a pain.

Posted by shouldbeworking | Report as abusive

Brainstorms: TMI.

Posted by Dr. Doll | Report as abusive

I was trying to think of something funny to post, but all the sociocultural jibberjabber reminded me that I have my own research study to attend to……

I do have some more information for you, however.

What Reuters failed to report is that phase II of the “study” involves sending red-uniformed soldiers to Pakistan as part of Operation: Seduce & Dismantle.

If you go pick up those top-secret documents left on the train from Paddington, you can read all about it.

Posted by Mel | Report as abusive

The blonde looks like a poorly crafted, Greek statue……….in a bad way

Posted by Mick | Report as abusive

I read Reuter’s article on this study. You have to wonder if women would find men wearing red more attractive than men wearing other colors. (So I know whether to start wearing my red socks with my suits to work.)

You also have to wonder if the color red does not stimulate a hormonal response, which is only tangentially related to sex drive. There have been studies, for example, tending to prove that people find members of the opposite sex more sexually attractive when the encounter occurs in a perceived dangerous environment (e.g., when crossing a high, open bridge, rather than meeting at street level.)

Posted by Dr. Doll | Report as abusive

I think this is just a bunch of blah. What’s most important is how the dress is filled out rather than the color. Any normal man will tell you that.

When I look at a picture of actress Kat Dennings, the very last thing I notice about her is what color her dress is! Hubba! Hubba!

Posted by dayshiftbob | Report as abusive

dayshiftbob, I bet you’re one of those people who think that wee little kids are attracted to Barney just because he is big, purple, and fuzzy . . .

Posted by Dr. Doll | Report as abusive


That model on the bottom is all bone!

Posted by Carib | Report as abusive

Carib, who, the one on the left? The one with the “I shan’t make it through the night!” pose? Or the one on the right, with the LOL hat?

Posted by Dr. Doll | Report as abusive

Dr. Doll what’s your point?

If you’re trying to say that you’d like to see Barney the dinosaur in a red dress… each their own. I’d rather see Kat Dennings in one!

Posted by dayshiftbob | Report as abusive

The point is, dayshiftbob, that of course little kids love Barney because he is big, purple and fuzzy. There’s nothing more to it. (As in, of course, men are attracted to women who have the big bamboo. There’s nothing more to it than that.)

Now do you get it? Or do I have to draw size Ds on it and drap it in a red dress. Of course, according to your earlier post, you wouldn’t care if she wore burlap underwear. So imagine that my post is top heavy and is wearing red burlap nickers, and maybe, just maybe, you’ll get the tone.

Posted by Dr. Doll | Report as abusive

Dr. Doll, Obviously you’re a woman who doesn’t look like Kat Dennings and you hate men because of that. This would be my guess because of your “Tone”.

Look, I am not and will not apologize for being a man and knowing what I like. Is there more to Kat than her beauty, I’m sure that there is. I’m sure that she is very intelligent, creative and sucessful at what she does.

Why is it that when a woman who is voluptous she is hated by other women. A friend of mine once told me that women secretly hate each other. I guess… I find it amusing.

So back to the original point of this blog.

Do men find women more attractive wearing red than any other color? I say no. If she looks like the beautiful Kat Dennings and wears burlap undies….who cares about red?

Posted by dayshiftbob | Report as abusive

I’ll have to agree with dayshiftbob. It doesn’t matter what color a woman wears. What a woman wears and how she wears it matters more. But above I have to say (in my personal opinion) a woman’s face is what matters most. After all, unless you have absolutely no respect for women, her face is what you’ll look at most. If you’re not attracted her face, why bother?

Posted by Chris EdWard | Report as abusive

dayshiftbob, you still don’t get it, do you? You must be tone deaf (and perhaps color blind, too.) I was agreeing with you, for crying out loud!

I must be a woman . . . . That only makes it better!

Posted by Dr. Doll | Report as abusive

Chris, I think you missed the point. You seem to see things in terms of black and white. You suggest that a man is either attracted to a woman’s face or he is not. You imply that a woman is either beautiful (to the man), or she is not.

What about the gray areas? Most people fall into the middleground, where woman could be considered attractive or not. The point is, would a typical man consider her attractive in red, when he would not in another color. Or would he consider her more attractive in red, than in another color.

Posted by Dr. Doll | Report as abusive

I would suggest that everyone — woman, man, or dayshiftbob — should consider the woman-in-red study in a broader sense. Everyone is influenced by nuances, of which color is just one. And it doesn’t have to be red. Blue, for example, is often associated with trustworthiness, black with mystery and sophistication. Nuances are numerous. For example, how many of us equate good looks with intelligence?

People need to be aware of the nuances which affect them. Those who are not introspective are manipulated. Put differently: “You can’t fight what you can’t see.”

PS: Don’t hate me because I’m beautiful!

Posted by Dr. Doll | Report as abusive

Dr. Doll, Yep! You’re a woman alright! You write in suggestive code. Men don’t understand that stuff. Its either yes or no, black or white (or red to some) or boxers or briefs.

Thanks for backing me up!

Posted by Dayshiftbob | Report as abusive