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Celebrities at the Emmys 2014 Turned Out in Red. Study Says Red Makes Women More Attractive to Men

NEW YORK, Sept. 4, 2014 /PRNewswire-iReach/ -- Celebrities by the dozen turned out at the 2014 Emmys flaunting red dresses. What secret about sex appeal are they privy to? It is well known that people stereotype others based on their skin color, but did you know that people also stereotype colors themselves? The best example of this is the long-held association that black is bad and white is good. Just watch an old Western movie and you can immediately tell who the good guys and bad guys are by the color of their cowboy hats. This example shows that colors contribute more than just aesthetics. Dr. Ngozi Etufugh is the creator of the fashion blog She states that, "Colors also carry specific meanings, such as good or bad that likely have important influences on psychological  functioning. 

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A quick look around will tell you that this association between red and power seems to have continued into the present day. Dr. Etufugh points out that, "The "red carpet" is only rolled out during special events (e.g., Oscars), and only the most prestigious individuals are allowed to walk on it. We use the term "red letter day" to indicate a day of special significance. The "power tie" worn by modern businessmen is traditionally red in color. And the stereotypic image of a successful, powerful man is one who drives a red sports car."

Recently psychologists, Andrew Elliot and Daniela Niesta extended this idea of color stereotypes to the study of sexual attraction (Elliot & Niesta, 2008). Specifically, they were interested if certain colors were more likely to be associated with sex appeal, and if so, would wearing them make people more attractive to the opposite sex.

So when you think about sexiness, what color first comes to mind?

If you are like most Americans, you thought of the color red. Red means different things to different cultures-in Chinese culture it represents good luck and prosperity, which is why people often paint their front doors red-but in American culture, red often means sex. If you think about it, most of the images that represent passionate love are red: Red roses, red lipstick, red lingerie, red heart boxes of candy on Valentine's, even the "red light district."

Clearly Hollywood thinks red makes women sexy, but does the empirical research support this assumption?

To test this idea, Elliot and Niesta showed men a photograph of a moderately attractive woman and asked them to rate her attractiveness. For some, the woman in the photo was wearing a red shirt. For others, the same woman was wearing a blue shirt. The results showed that men rated the woman in red as more attractive and more sexually desirable than the same woman in blue. They were also more interested in dating the woman and indicated they would be willing to spend more money on her when she was dressed in red. Source: Psychology Today.  Melissa Burkley, Ph.D.


The following are tips on how to wear red according to Dr. Ngozi Etufugh.

The most important step in looking great in red is to find your shade of red. It should add some warmth to your look and should be in complete harmony with your skin tone, eye color and hair. It's wise to experiment with various shades of red and stick to the one, which makes you feel and look powerful and sexy.

• If you have light blonde hair and pale blue, green or gray eyes, go for pale red tones with a blue undertone. You should avoid any orangey shades.

• Women with black or dark brown hair, dark eyes and olive or dark complexion are advised to choose dark and strong shades of red with a blue undertone. They should avoid orangey tones.

• Redhead ladies with golden skin tone and eyes of any color will look amazing in orangey reds. They should stay away from blue-based reds though.

• Ash blond and grey-haired women should opt for purple-reds and blue-based red tones. Orangey reds aren't for them though.

• If you have dark brown or black hair and blue, green or gray eyes, you will look terrific in the brightest red tone.

• Those with dark blonde or brown hair and soft-colored eyes are advised to pick soft and muted reds. Once you have picked the best shade of red for you, you should know how to pull it off. 

• Red and white, as well as red and black are some of the most classic color combinations, which always look great. However, you can never surprise anybody opting for these combinations. A better idea is to mix all the three and look chic and unique.

• To get an interesting result, play with various shades of red. For instance, match tomato red with hot fuchsia, pale red with deep violet, coral with light rosy, etc.

• Step out of boxes and go for bolder combinations, such as red and blue, red and beige, or red with green shadows.

• Red printed pieces also look fantastic. Moreover, they aren't that attention-grabbing and aggressive. Think a red polka-dotted or striped blouse or a sexy red floral-printed skirt to play it safe.

Media Contact: ngozi etufugh,, 917-470-8537, [email protected]

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