Is there a relation between red clothes and peak of fertility?

Updated: Sep 26, 2020

The fertility cycle in women is associated with some doubts among researchers. Experts have doubts about whether cyclic fertility in women exhibits overt ovulatory cues or the ovulation has come to be concealed over evolutionary time.

Until the past few decades, it was thought that humans lacked ovulatory cues completely. However, recently, it is believed that humans manifest subtle cues to ovulation. Moreover, it is suggested that women during periods of high conception risk might advertise their ovulatory status by wearing red- and pink-coloured clothing. The researchers support this hypothesis because men are sexually attracted to red colour and women are motivated to enhance their attractiveness during ovulation.

Red has the ability to attract attention, is the colour of love, passion, romance, and sex, and indicates sexual arousal. Moreover, it is proven that other species are attracted to red.

Beall and Tracy in 2013, collected self-report data regarding women’s ovulatory cycles and current shirt colours on a relatively cold day from 124 women in order to test the hypothesis that women wear red and pink at peak fertility. The results showed that women at high conception risk were 3.5 times more likely to be wearing red or pink than women at low conception risk. However, the study was based on women’s own judgments of the colours of their clothing, a practice that departs from the standard practices of biologists who study colouration in non-humans.


In two other studies, the relationship between women’s fertility and their clothing choices was examined using four methods for measuring clothing colour. The methods consisted of self-reports, trained raters’ judgments, automated colour-coding of the mannequins; and trained raters’ judgments of garment colouration as evinced in photographs that women took of themselves. Participants were 440 women younger than 40 years old who participated in the experiment between September 2012 and May 2013.

Study 1, as well as Study 2, did not yield evidence that women are significantly more likely to wear red or pink when they are likely fertile than when are likely, not fertile. Therefore, it is not robustly supported the conjecture that women reveal their ovulatory status by wearing red or pink. Ideally, it is suggested that new studies investigating the ovulatory status and garment colour should use hormonal markers of ovulation to appropriately assess conception risk.

Are women more likely to wear red and pink at peak fertility? What about on cold days? Conceptual, close, and extended replications with novel clothing color measures
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