Your Outfit and You

They say the outfit makes the man.

Is it true?

In a study that was conducted by John M. Townsend and Gary D. Levy (1990)-

Men and women were asked to rate the attractiveness of two opposite-sex targets that wore one of three different outfits that varies in social status:
Low, medium, and high.

They were also asked to provide the likelihood of agreeing to engage in one of six types of relationships (as listed in Tables 1-3 in the article):

(1) Coffee & conversation;
(2) Date;
(3) Sex only;
(4) Serious involvement, marriage potential;
(5) Sexual and serious, marriage potential; and
(6) Marriage.

The purpose was to explore whether the status of the attire would affect the responses of the two sexes.


Here are the key findings:

Attire status had an effect on women’s attractiveness ratings but not on men’s!

The likelihood of women engaging in any of the six types of relationships was highly correlated with the status in which the men’s attire gives off.

As for the men? They were also influenced by the attire however, the effect was weaker than women’s.

What does this study tell us?

To women, a man’s attractiveness level (in terms of his outward appearance) ARE affected by 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!

Let’s look at this scenario below-

Marty is going to hit on Jennifer for the first time, he approaches her in:
1. McDonald’s uniform
2. Expensive Three Piece Suit


Jennifer’s impression and respond towards Marty is likely going to be very different!

Naturally, Body Language and other social skills + factors (Like this one) are going to play a role here but we’re now talking about appearances and it’s effect so let’s not stray off topic 😉

Though it sounds like I’m making women seem really superficial, this finding however, does not imply that women are truly like this!

Rather, these results demonstrate that men and women beautify themselves on the mating market in ways that are desired by the opposite sex. What does that mean?

In terms of mating, men would tend to dress smartly to impress while women, perhaps dress a little more revealing, not necessarily with more exposure of skin but perhaps clothing that enhances and pulls attention towards their figure.

Ultimately, if you noticed, these are the things we men and women do to catch the interest of the opposite sex for the purpose of mating! Why? Because we wanna continue the survival of our genes and species.

Ain’t life a fascinating thing? 😉

What do you think?

Do you feel yourself being influenced by the outfits of potential mates?
Or it does not matter to you? Perhaps it does but not so much?

Feel free to share your thoughts and discuss them in the comments section!

Talk to you again soon 🙂

Your pal,

[Today’s featured images are by: Andrea Cirillo, mattspinner, Peter Morgan.]

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