So – given a choice in a situation where you should make a best possible impression, would you dress on something that you yourself find as an attractive piece of clothing (e.g. your old Ramones t-shirt) or something that – according to the conventional dress-code – is supposed to impress others? According to a recent Swedish study, the Ramones the t-shirt might be the right choice.
By allowing 25 female volunteers to dress on three types of clothes (attractive, unattractive and comfortable – according to subjects own opinion), and letting 49 randomly chosen heterosexual males to rank the three pictures according to their attractiveness, the study finds that when dressed up in clothing that girls themselves find attractive, also their facial expressions are attractive to men. In other words, the results suggest that feeling attractive or unattractive shows on your face.
So the old saying – ‘clothes make a man’ – seems to get support from the results of this study. An amusing but perhaps not so surprising byline in this study is the observation that old men appear to give higher attractiveness scores than younger men. In other words, to old men, females look attractive whether confident or not.
Lõhmus M., Sundström L. F. & Björklund M. (2009) Dress for success: human facial expressions are important signals of emotions. Ann. Zool. Fennici 46: 75–80.