When shopping for a new shirt, a few things might cross a man’s mind. Some of these may be: does it match with the trousers? Is the material good quality? Is it suitable for the dress code? Something that men should also be asking is: what does this colour say about me?
What a man might not realise is, whatever colour they choose to wear, there is often a perception that comes with it. For example, if they’re looking to come across as powerful they should choose red. If they want to demonstrate their confidence, they should wear black. We have teamed up with Charles Tyrwhitt, experts in gentlemen’s fashion and retailers of Oxford shirts, to investigate further and find out which colours women prefer on men.
Interpreting the colours
From a woman’s perspective, some colours make a man more attractive than others.
Red — a confidence booster
When seeing a man dressed in red, research showed that women thought of him as powerful and of a high social status. It also found that wearing red can actually boost the wearer’s confidence, which will be a good thing during a first date for women who are looking for a man with some self-assurance. A red shirt can indicate good health and financial stability, two more things a woman may have on their checklists when looking for a new partner.
Traditionally, red reminds people of love. It is thought that the attraction to red comes from our biological roots — many animals such as baboons are attracted to the opposite sex if they display bright colours. To wear this on a first date might be slightly overpowering, however, it does give off some vibes that a woman might be interested in.
Compared to other clothing colours, red scored quite well. It was found to be more attractive than blue or green. This perception was global — wherever a man goes in a red shirt, they should expect to get a similar reception.
Unfortunately for some, kindness and sociability were not associated with those dressed in red.
One of the favourite colours for women to see a man in was white. It was perceived to be the least arrogant colour and instead gave off the impression that the wearer was full of optimism! A white shirt is a classic look for men when they are choosing an outfit for a formal event. However, during research, it was the definitive white t-shirt and jeans combo that caught women’s eyes and was perceived to be the more attractive look for a man.
A confident man in black
Many years ago, black was only worn for mourning and was not considered a colour to wear for just any occasion. But now, it’s had a new lease of life and is worn by many fashionable individuals. Similar to red, black can be perceived as the colour of self-assurance — 56% of women said that it inspired confidence. Other comments included that the colour black made the wearer appear more intelligent and sexy — perfect for a first date!
Black now has the connotations of elegance and class, hence a black-tie event. Too much black can be overpowering, though. So, if you’re shopping with your other half, encourage them not to pair a black shirt with a black jacket, pants and shoes.
If you spot a man in one of these colours, you may find them less attractive. In many surveys revolving around the attractiveness of colour, orange and brown consistently performed poorly. They are often perceived as quite boring, drab colours although an orange shirt could brighten up an outfit nicely on a summer’s day.
Pink was not a favourite either — only 5% of people thought that intelligent people would wear this colour!
When shopping for a man, consider the following advice:
• Many men look great in a colour that matches their eyes, if you have green eyes perhaps opt for a moss green shirt — a popular colour this season.
• Avoid wearing dark colours if you have a light complexion, this can really draw your skin tone out and make you appear paler.
• If you have dark hair, opt for bright colours as these are likely to complement you more.