At this year’s Oscars there were plenty of red dresses on the red carpet. Oscar host Anne Hathaway wore a red Valentino, while other actresses such as Penelope Cruz, Jennifer Lawrence, and Sandra Bullock also wore stunning red dresses.
Sure these dresses are fashionable, but they also make the women who wear them more attractive. Across five experimental studies, researchers at the University of Rochester found that although they don’t realize it, men find women who wear red more sexually desirable than women dressed in other colors.1 Interestingly, wearing red doesn’t make the women seem more kind or more intelligent, just more attractive. On a night when the stars are trying to look attractive, fellow actresses Nicole Kidman, Halle Berry, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Scarlett Johansson might want to considering wearing more red next year. Maybe they’ll hire us as Hollywood fashion consultants!
1Elliot, A. J., & Niesta, D. (2008). Romantic red: Red enhances men’s attraction to women. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 95(5), 1150-116.
Dr. Gary Lewandowski – Science of Relationships articles | Website
Dr. Lewandowski’s research explores the self’s role in romantic relationships focusing on attraction, relationship initiation, love, infidelity, relationship maintenance, and break-up. Recognized as one of the Princeton Review’s Top 300 Professors, he has also authored dozens of publications for both academic and non-academic audiences.