Dressing to impress: which colour shirts do women prefer on a man?

When deciding on a shirt to wear, a few considerations might cross a man’s mind: will it match with my jeans? Does the material feel of high quality? Is it appropriate for the dress code? One question that men should also be asking is — what does this colour say about me?

Researchers have conducted studies which have explored the effects of colour on how the wearer is perceived. For example, if you’re looking to come across as powerful; choose red. If you want to show confidence, always opt for black. We have teamed up with Charles Tyrwhitt, experts in gentlemen’s fashion and retailers of men’s formal shirts, to investigate further and find out which colours women prefer on men.

Dressing to impress

Deciding the colour

If you’re looking to dress to impress, consider purchasing one of the following coloured shirts on your next shopping trip…


Black is a go-to colour when you are looking to dress smart and classy. Although originally kept for mourning, black is now worn for various occasions by many fashion followers. Similar to red, black can be perceived as the colour of self-assurance — 56% of women said that it inspired confidence. Other comments included that the colour black made the wearer appear more intelligent and sexy — perfect for a first date!

When opting to dress in black, be careful as too much can be overpowering. For example, if you opt for a black shirt you should avoid pairing it with a black jacket, pants and shoes, too. It is a versatile colour, so don’t be afraid to mix and match. For example, denim jeans and a black shirt is a good casual outfit for many events.


Similar to when the colour is used in advertising and branding, red clothing is associated with romance and passion. It is thought that the attraction to red comes from our biological roots — many animals such as baboons are attracted to the opposite sex if they display bright colours. To wear this on a first date might be slightly overpowering, however, it does give off some vibes that your date might be interested in.

Some men dress to display their confidence, and red is a good choice if you’re looking to do this as it is associated with power and social status. Research found that wearing red can actually boost the wearer’s self-esteem, which will be a good thing during a first date for women who are looking for an assured man. A red shirt can indicate that you have good health and are financially stable, two more things a woman may have on her checklist when looking for a new partner.

Research has been carried out which looked at how attractive women found men who were dressed in different colours. Red was found to be more attractive than blue or green. This perception was a global consensus — so wherever in the world you go wearing a red shirt, expect to get a similar reception.

Despite the colour red ticking all the boxes for confidence, it was not associated with kindness or sociability — these traits might have to be expressed in other ways!


White scored highly when it came to likeability. It was perceived to be the least arrogant colour and instead gave off the impression that the wearer was full of optimism!

A white shirt is a nice and classic look for when you are trying to impress at a formal event. However, during research, it was the definitive white t-shirt and jeans combo that caught women’s eyes and was perceived to be the more attractive look for a man.

Colours to avoid

Although all colours can be dressed up or down for different occasions, there are a few colours that didn’t rate very highly on the attractiveness scale. In many surveys revolving around the attractiveness of colour, orange and brown consistently performed poorly. They often are perceived as quite boring, drab shades, although a bright orange shirt could brighten up an outfit nicely on a summer’s day.

Pink didn’t go down very well either. Only 5% of people thought that intelligent people would wear this colour!

More top tips

When shopping for a new shirt, consider the following tips:

  • Many men look great in a colour that matches their eyes, if you have green eyes perhaps opt for a moss-green shirt — a popular colour this season.
  • Avoid wearing dark colours if you have a light complexion, this can really draw your skin tone out and make you appear paler.
  • If you have dark hair, opt for bright colours as these are likely to complement you more.









  1. October 25, 2017 / 9:20 pm

    This is so true. Orange and brown are a no-no for me, def don’t like those color. I will stick to white t-shirts, def are the best one for any occasion.

    • October 26, 2017 / 6:41 am

      You know I am of the same opinion, I am yet to met someone who knows how to rock orange and brown lol

  2. Ana Ojha
    October 25, 2017 / 6:45 pm

    I totally agree with you that black color looks classy and white color looks sophisticated on men. And strict no no to Orange and brown as it dulls their entire personality!

  3. Jana Iankova
    October 22, 2017 / 7:01 pm

    This is so helpful! I’ve always know that colors meant more than you would think so thanks for elaborating on this very important subject. We have a meeting today and your article will definitely provide us with better decision making when choosing a shirt.

  4. October 21, 2017 / 7:45 pm

    I love a man in anything button down. When my husband wears button down collared shirts, I go weak in the knees, FOR SURE!

  5. Nadalie Bardowell
    October 21, 2017 / 5:26 pm

    Sometimes it can take a while to put complex textures and colours together. Usually blacks and white and shades in between are safe colours to wear year round.

  6. Mel B
    October 21, 2017 / 4:09 pm

    It really depends for me but I prefer my husband to be in black or white but if we have a wedding maybe a stripe shirt. I don’t mind pink or blue for office shirts though

  7. Cynthia Marie
    October 21, 2017 / 3:20 pm

    It depends on the look. I like all colors as long as the outfit calls for it. Sometimes you don’t even realize what can look so nice on a man.

  8. October 21, 2017 / 9:43 am

    I think my boyfriend looks best in black and grey shirts, but I’m also partial to neutral tones.

  9. Rose Mont
    October 21, 2017 / 4:21 am

    Well that was interesting. I didn’t know that about black shirts. I don’t really care about pink shirts and white is just plain neutral. What about blue?

  10. Amila Wickramarachchi
    October 21, 2017 / 2:51 am

    These tips are really helpful.I didn’t know tips such as matching the dress colour with eyes.That sounds interesting.I usually like to see men in black or in white shirts.

  11. Tasheena N. Womack
    October 20, 2017 / 8:15 pm

    Very informative post! I have to share it with the Mister. I really love crisp white shirts on men.

  12. Deimarys Colon
    October 20, 2017 / 4:12 pm

    I tried to give this tips to my son. He’s 18 and that kid sometimes looks like he just fell on the closet and walkout wearing the first thing he grabbed on his way up.

  13. Dada KS
    October 20, 2017 / 12:53 pm

    My husband basically ignore the fashion! But he is aware of tje color that he is wearing and yes as you mention…he wear the color that match his eyes color which are green browish! So he has been wearing a lot of military colors to the point that someone asked him once of he just return from the army!😂

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