Men wondering what to wear for afirst date can just opt for the good-old white T-shirt! Women find a man in a plain white T-shirt up to 10 percent more attractive, according to new research.
Researchers at Nottingham Trent University in UK found that wearing a plain white t-shirt with a black letter 'T' on the front significantly improves the appearance of the wearer's waist: chest ratio (WCR) a major signal of masculinity and attractiveness to females.
The study showed 30 female participants images of different male body shapes, wearing a plain white T-shirt, and asking them to mark their perceived attractiveness, health and intelligence.
They were then asked to do the same when shown the bodies again but with upright and inverted T-illusions of varying shapes and sizes on the t-shirts.
The results showed that upright T-illusions increased attractiveness and health by about 10 per cent, while inverted T-illusions resulted in a drop of attractiveness by the same amount.
The upright and inverted 'T' with wider horizontal bars showed a bigger average effect, both positive and negative.
The size of the effect depended on how close the individual body was to the ideal WCR - bodies closer to the optimal ratio received less benefit than those further away.
"The wider barred 'T' seems to emphasise the upper chest when upright, which accentuates men's optimum shape. The opposite happens when inverted," psychologist Dr Andrew Dunn from the University said.
"WCR is one of just a number of body measures that humans use to judge attractiveness and health. Our ability to detect, process and use this information appears to be implicit.
"The brain and sensory mechanism underpinning this are probably evolved and are almost certainly managing what we look for and how we respond," Dunn said.