THE DETAILS: Researchers conducted seven experiments in the U.S., England, Germany, and China that included 288 women and 25 male undergraduate students. In six of the seven experiments, women looked at photos of men and evaluated their status, attractiveness, and sexual desirability. The women also rated what they perceived to be a man's likability, kindness, and sociability. The photos were manipulated so the man in the photos wore different color shirts. In other experiments, researchers used black and white photos but used different color photo frames. The effect was consistent across cultures: Women in all four countries found men more attractive when the men were wearing red shirts or they appeared in black-and-white photographs in red frames.
Interestingly, the same didn't hold true for the men in the study. The researchers asked men to look at photos of other men and rank them according to the characteristics listed above, but in their responses, color didn't seem to have an effect. The study authors also found that women were unaware that they were drawn to men associated with the color red. (Sorry, guys, your secret is out of the bag now.)
But wearing red doesn't automatically mean an end to lonely Friday nights. In the latest study, women found men wearing red to be more attractive, but they did not find them any more likable, kind, or sociable than men in other colors. So just being your good old self may be a better way to score a date. You can throw on a red shirt for good measure.
Here are some other rules of attraction to consider:
• Love is personal.
Immediate chemistry is real, but it differs vastly for everyone. While some people are immediately drawn to Amazons, another might prefer a guy with a big head or a woman with a gap in her teeth. If you get rejected by your next instant crush, don't take it personally.
• Look for your reflection.
You probably know a few couples who look alike, literally. Relationships experts say we're attracted to things that are familiar to us, physically and emotionally. So you might be drawn to someone that looks like you or your family members.
• Smile. It improves your profile.
Someone smiling back at you provides instant positive feedback, and that's something many of us cannot resist. So whether you're hunting for a mate at the local coffee shop or picking a photo for your online dating profile, make sure you're wearing a smile, along with your favorite red shirt.