From petrol station flowers to poorly timed period jokes, the attempts of straight men to woo the fairer sex are often fraught with disaster. And nowhere is this more apparent than when it comes to getting dressed.
Wouldn’t things be much easier if there was some failsafe formula or at least some guidelines to follow? Well, according to menswear etailer Reem, there is. The firm, which stocks the likes of Calvin Klein, Scotch & Soda and Tommy Hilfiger Denim, surveyed 1,000 women to find out what they really want to see on a man’s back (and legs, and feet).
Here are the stats that’ll keep you in good stead with the opposite sex.
Officer Of The Bore
Despite what every softcore porno would have you believe, women aren’t all that fond of a man in uniform.
Fewer than one in 10 respondents to the survey listed dressing up as a police officer, fireman or otherwise as a turn-on, so leave the YMCA in 1978 and out of the bedroom.
If we haven’t already convinced you of the importance of classic wardrobe staples, allow the numbers to.
Close to 40 per cent of women said they are more attracted to a man in a casual outfit such as jeans and a T-shirt. In fact, 17 per cent chose this as their favourite look of all. Time to go back to basics.
Peek & Cloppenburg
Clothing fits should always be dictated by your frame and size. However, it’s worth knowing that 40 per cent of women say they prefer a slim fit on a guy.
If blessed with a rugby player stature, that doesn’t mean it’s game over. Swap the skinnies for straight cuts that skim the body without choking muscles, resulting in a fit that’s just as flattering.
It’s long been a suspicion, but now it’s confirmed: women really do judge a man by his shoes. Around 25 per cent of respondents picked out a brogue or Oxford as their lace-up of choice for the ideal man.
The evidence keeps stacking, too – a study by The Observer found that most women rate smarter leather shoes as more masculine and as giving the impression of both intellectual and sexual maturity. Well, if the shoe fits.
The big mankle debate has long divided our kind, though it seems women are far more united in their stance.
Only 6 per cent of women said they find a bare ankle more appealing than its covered-up counterpart. Time to stock up on those multipacks.
Great Wall Of Chino
Despite being a solid warm-weather alternative to heavier trousers, apparently women see chinos as nothing more than a stand-in for when your denim is in the wash.
While a staggering 92 per cent stated their preference for a man in jeans over chinos, we wouldn’t throw them out just yet. Chinos are a foolproof anchor in any blazer-trouser combo, which will come in handy later.
Give ‘Em The Vs
V-neck T-shirts gained a bad rep early in the decade as a result of navel-plunging necklines favoured by reality TV stars. Classic versions may have clawed their way back to acceptability, but the connotations clearly stuck with women.
A mere 11 per cent listed the crew neck sibling as desirable, meaning it’s still got some way to go. Stick to crew neck tees and sweatshirts for now.
scotch & soda
Suits You, Sir
Men are slightly limited in their formalwear choices, which means a smaller margin for error and, luckily, a resounding thumbs up from the opposite sex.
A massive 78 per cent of women said they find a man in a suit to be the most appealing, with just under half preferring the look without a tie.
From canary to lemon, yellow is a perennially difficult shade for men to wear. And women have noticed. A minuscule half a per cent of respondents placed yellow as their favourite on a man.
That hasn’t stopped citrus brights from making a splash this season, though, so go for accessories rather than a full Big Bird suit to show you’re in the know without looking fancy dress.