Why Wearing a Plain White T-Shirt Can Make Men 12% More Attractive

It's no secret that men look good in white shirts. But did you know that wearing a plain white t-shirt can make a man twelve percent more attractive to women? According to a study conducted at the University of Nottingham Trent, researchers found that men who wear plain white t-shirts are 12% hotter than other men. The study showed that a plain white t-shirt can create an illusion that widens the shoulders and slims the waist, producing a more V-shaped body, which is a main sign of masculinity. The biggest increase in good looks was for men who were more out of shape, according to the researchers.

30 students, psychologists showed them images of different male body shapes, and asked them to classify the images according to perceived attractiveness and health. Researchers found that white t-shirts help shift the focus of a man's stomach to his shoulders. They also found that exercising is much more effective than wearing only a white t-shirt. But while once color alone was enough to separate you from the masses, the ubiquity of the white shirt today means you need to up the ante when it comes to standing out in this classic piece.

In the early 1980s, for a brief period, an innovative romantic style of dressing with white loose and ruffled dress shirts was the height of fashion, influenced by popular new romantic bands, such as the British band Spandau Ballet. And yet, adding a white shirt to the mix can make a big difference, taking an otherwise workday outfit and turning it into something special. All those people in white shoes are so anal with their white shoes getting dirty, it's like, hey, idiot, don't buy white shoes if you don't want to get them dirty. But the white dress shirt was still considered a very “suitable” garment, as a wide variety of printed and colorful casual shirts popularized the market.

The next significant change for the white dress shirt was the introduction of synthetic fabrics, with a questionable capacity for comfort, in the late fifties and early sixties. Practically the oldest trick in the book, jeans with a white shirt stretch both sides of that fine line between sophistication and freshness like nothing else. Alternatively, the simplicity of a white shirt offers unlimited opportunities in terms of trouser styles and patterns. A staple for the hottest moments of the year, this version of the white shirt will be a garment that you will turn to time and time again and worth the investment. In fact, the unadorned white dress shirt was intrinsically correlated with appropriate male moral behavior and this austerity of dress indicated that a man could be trusted and he was soberly professional.

The pure white color of the fabric met masculine ideals of determined austerity and only a person with substantial prosperity could afford to have the shirt washed frequently and have enough to wear it. However, in the early 1920s, the white dress shirt was still associated with moral respectability. By the end of the 19th century, the use of the white dress shirt as a badge to define status had declined.

Claudia Gribben
Claudia Gribben

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