March 1, 2012


I wrote in a previous post about a woman’s response to men in red shirts titled Why He’s So Hot where I noted that “Red is a very expressive colour, ” adding that it represents passion, love and sex. Plus, wearing this sensual hue can add a subtle flush to skin tone.”

Today, in the Huffington Post there is an article about women in red titled Red Dress Effect where they share a study out of the University of Rochester in New York state that says “Red dresses muddle men’s minds….” Color studies always fascinate me and this one got me thinking about a question I was asked many years ago, “What colors will make me look sexy?”

Below is my response from The Color Answer Book.

What one person finds appealing, another may not. However, the color that shows up most frequently on color word association tests as the sexiest shade is a vibrant Lipstick Red. It’s a sexual signal that many animals and birds use to attract the opposite sex and, interestingly, humans do as well. They flush and blush, turning red with embarrassment or sexual energy. They use cosmetic enhancements like reddish lips, nails (fingers and toes), and cheeks.

It is the color that most represents sensuality in many cultures as it is often used symbolically to broadcast availability or preparation for marriage and mating rites. The use of red as a sexual signal by primitive tribes for body painting and dyes ultimately translated to a more sophisticated use of sensuous red in modern day makeup and clothing.

Do you wear red to entice the opposite sex? Does wearing red make you feel empowered?

For more on the psychology of color you might be interested in Color: Messages and Meanings.

Red Dress Effect: Women In Red Deemed Open To Sexual Advances, Study Of Men Shows.