Clothing and color choices are strongly connected together, and it is a striking correlation between red garments and power.
Like women, men do also follow the cultural codes that come with the situation and certain patterns and colors as well. A book written by a Swedish professor distinguishes between; money power, physical power and beauty of power.
At the beginning of the 2000s we saw clearly how men would belong to the cultural elite which are knowledge power, dressed in full black and often with a polo shirt to focus on the face and so used the 1600s professors, and many other scholars to do. They dressed because they were men without body, just brains. So why is it so important for men to show that they have power? Maybe because it is linked to masculinity and that power is defined as male.
The red tie
The Norwegian PM chooses often to wear a red tie. Probably not only because he is socio democrat as even the Swedish PM who is conservative often wears a red tie. George W. Bush had very often a red tie, and he was definitely not a socialist. Some studies shows and indicates that today’s top politicians often wear a red tie, and especially when they want to show that they have the power by a political meeting or when they will emerge with particular gravity, for example on TV. They express power to act with his red tie.
So why does red signal rank? The authors see both culture and biology at work. In human societies across the globe, red traditionally has been part of the regalia of the rich and powerful. Along with this learned association between red and status, the authors point to biological roots of human behavior. In non-human primates, like mandrills and gelada baboons, red is an indicator of male dominance and is expressed most intensely in alpha males. Females of these species mate more often with alpha males, who in turn provide protection and resources.
“When women see red it triggers something deep and probably biologically engrained,” said Elliot. “We say in our culture that men act like animals in the sexual realm. It looks like women may be acting like animals as well in the same sort of way.”
Historical view of the color red
If we travel back in time, we can see that in the Middle Ages and renaissance, it was very common and important to demonstrate masculinity through the color and clothing. And as for the nobles and royals there was only one color; RED.
The Duke of Urbino – one of Machiavelli’s favorite princes would wear red from head to toe when he was pictured. Red was also an obvious choice in the Catholic Church’s powerful cardinals and Napoleon used red when he was on the top of his career as emperor. Ancient China, Japan and sub-Saharan Africa all used the vibrant tint to convey prosperity and status. Ancient Rome’s elite were literally called “the ones who wear red.” Even today, the authors note, businessmen wear a red tie to denote confidence, while celebrities and dignitaries are feted by “rolling out the red carpet.”
Women that time preferred brown, beige, pale pink, pale green and other pastel colors. But the 1800s marked the end of the color party and men went from being peacocks to gray and black sparrows and red became the color for women and children.
Studies in University of Rochester
Studies made by researchers at the University of Rochester found out that men wearing the color red become more attractive to the woman who is unaware of this color effect. “We found that women view men in red as higher in status, more likely to make money and more likely to climb the social ladder. And it’s this high-status judgment that leads to the attraction,” Professor Elliot said.
The researchers found that the red effect was limited to status and romance as red made the man seem more powerful, attractive, and sexually desirable, but did not make the man seem more likable, kind, or sociable. The effect was consistent across cultures: undergraduates in the United States, England, Germany, and China all found men more attractive when wearing or bordered by red and the effect was limited to women. When males were asked to rate the attractiveness of a pictured male, color made no difference in their responses. In earlier work, Elliot documented that men are more attracted to women in red but the red effect depends on the context.
The same effect goes for the red neckties. As red is a very powerful color and when it is matched properly it will create a more powerful image allowing you to look like you are in authority and power. Most guys wearing red ties are those guys that are oozing with self-confidence and self-esteem. Red represents powerful sensations such as influence, confidence and even strong secrets even adventurous personalities rarely use red for their neckties.
If you want to match red neckties with shirt, go for the safest which is white. When it is worn on a white background, it will create an enigmatic look and irresistible attractiveness. Some men tend to avoid using neckties that are colored red especially when it simply does not represent the kind of personality that they want to project. Subtle personalities will shy away from red because it is not their color. But, if you want to create a more powerful look for your next corporate event and you are dressed to impress then red ties, black suit and white shirt would be the best outfit for you.
Research done by Daniela Niesta Kayer, University of Rochester; Tobias Greitemeyer, University of Innsbruck; Stephanie Lichtenfeld, University of Munich; Richard H. Gramzow, University of Southampton; Markus A. Maier, University of Munich; and Huijun Liu, Tainjin Medical University.
The research was funded by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation and an Excellence Guest Professorship at the University of Munich.
University of Rochester