The Red Dress Effect

The Red Dress Effect

Red is back! Fashion, make-up, nail art, even our hair we are dyeing red. And not only the bright red 'samba' colour, but also warmer shades like 'lava falls' and softer shades like 'burnt coral' have made a comeback. But what does this powerful colour actually stand for? 

Red has a different meaning in different cultures and countries. It’s mainly known for love and passion, but also danger at the same time. In addition, it stands for power and leadership, think of kings and queens of the past, who often dressed in red. 

Then there is something called the "Red Dress Effect”. During our research on the colour, this was one of the first terms that came up. The "Red Dress Effect" means that supposedly when a woman is dressed in red, she is more attractive to men than in other colours. One study even says that men assume, with the emphasis on ‘assume’, that women dressed in red are more open to being "seduced”. After reading this, rather old-fashioned, assumption, we thought it was indicating that a woman gets to decide what she puts on regardless of where the thoughts of a man, whom she probably doesn't even know, go to. But no, it went the other way. You see, as a woman, you still have to be careful not to send the "wrong signals" to a man. Even in 2022, with movements like "Free the Nipple," you are told as a woman that you can't put on certain items on your own body, as it may bring wrong thoughts to a man. Well, for the ones who are reading this, we would like to point out that this is not your responsibility! Wear clothes you feel good in and don't concern yourself with strangers who "might" have an opinion about your outfit.

Now back to how to style these powerful colours. Obviously, there are no rules for this, but if you are a little overwhelmed and you don’t know where to start, these are some tips you could try. What you could pay attention to is whether you have a cool skin tone, or a warm skin tone. Cooler reds suit cool skin types and warmer reds suit warm skin tones. There are also certain "rules" you could look at. As we mentioned in the beginning, there are no rules, but rather guidelines that many people assume and follow anyway.

For example: 

  • Someone who dresses all in red, a bright red suit for example, often comes across as confident. 
  • Are you feeling a little nervous for a school or work presentation? Try dressing monochromatically 
  • If you find an all red outfit a bit too much you could combine this colour in multiple ways. If all red is a bit too much for you, you could still achieve this powerful effect by combining red with contrasting colours!
  • If this is too busy for you, you could add a calmer touch with neutral colours like beige, white or black, this way the colour red will really stand out in your outfit. 
  • If you want go for that confident effect but you’re not really feeling that extra, you could also wear a dress that is entirely red for the monochromatic look. 

This way you will still look and feel confident without wearing something you’re uncomfortable in. Of course, these are tips you could use when you want to wear more red, but above all, listen to what you like and feel comfortable in and start experimenting!

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