I discussed a study showing that women who wore makeup were more likely to be approached by men at a bar, and more rapidly so, than on alternate days when they wore no makeup. On a related note, you may wish to check out one of my earlier posts on the allure of high heels. As promised at the end of my last post, I shall now report on the appeal of a specific male accoutrement. Take the same male, dress him up in separate attires of varying social status (e.g., Dunkin’ Donuts uniform versus an expensive three-piece suit), and ask women to judge the attractiveness of the man in question across attires. . Townsend and Gary D. Levy. Men and women rated the attractiveness of two opposite-sex targets that wore one of three costumes varying in social status (low, medium, and high). (3) sex only; (4) serious involvement, marriage potential; (5) sexual and serious, marriage potential; and (6) marriage. To reiterate, the purpose was to explore whether the status of the attire would affect the responses of the two sexes.
Bottom line: Women judge the same man as differentially attractive (in terms of his looks) as a function of the status of his clothes. Furthermore, the status of a man’s clothes is a much stronger determinant of a woman’s likelihood of engaging in any one of six types of relationships (than it is for men). Conclusion: The clothes do indeed make the man!
Ultimately, these beautification preferences correspond to sex-specific mating concerns that the two sexes have faced in our evolutionary history.
(About the Author)
Gad Saad, Ph.D., is a professor of marketing at Concordia University and the author of The Evolutionary Bases of Consumption and The Consuming Instinct.