Can a red coat really make you more attractive? We put the theory to the test

The lifestyle team's Olivia and Rachel became ladies in red to see if it would win them the hearts of passers-by

Last month, a dating expert made the bold claim that wearing a red coat could be the key to kick-starting your love life.

According to Hayley Quinn, wearing a long red coat should get a woman a flurry of attention from admirers and see her approached on the street by strangers.

She says that when she wore a red coat, a few men asked for her numbers and one stranger even gave her a kiss on the cheek (which sounds like harassment to us but that’s another issue).

But could the colour red really make that much of a difference? We weren’t convinced so decided to put Quinn’s theory to the test.

Assistant Lifestyle Editor Rachel Hosie and Lifestyle Writer Olivia Petter both wore new red coats for a fortnight to see whether it would suddenly make them irresistible.

Rachel wore this ASOS Coat with Extreme Collar, and Olivia wore this ASOS Trench Coat in Vinyl.


Rachel rocks the red coat

I never wear red. Never ever. Despite everyone telling me it’s the colour of confidence, I’m a pink kinda gal.

I’d always thought red would clash with my frequently rosy cheeks, and considering 95 per cent of my wardrobe is pink, I thought a red coat might be a bit much. But nevertheless, I was intrigued to see if wearing red might help me get lucky in love.

My first thought upon putting on the coat? Wow, it’s huge. Huge and incredibly bright. Now I’m partial to a bold, bright ensemble, but this coat was something else.

It’s a festive red which is perfect for this time of year, but as I catch my reflection in the tube window on my way home, I can’t help but think I look a bit strange. It’s just so overwhelmingly RED.

On my second day in the coat, I am convinced I have a bit of a moment with a guy on the street. He definitely gave me the eye (no, not that eye) and a smile.

Could the coat be working its magic? I’m keen to believe it, but then I remember that it’s not entirely unheard of for me to receive a smile from a male stranger.

By day four in the coat, I’m starting to relish its brightness. It makes me feel pretty sassy as I walk through a sea of commuters in black, grey, brown and navy.

I’ve definitely been catching people’s eyes and drawing attention to myself, but I’m not sure it’s because everyone suddenly finds me irresistible.

As the fortnight draws on, I fail to have any further interactions with men as I go about my daily life in the red coat.

I do, however, receive more compliments on it than any other coat I’ve ever worn. It seems people love a bright red coat.

Well, perhaps apart from my mother, who told me I look like a “crazy Father Christmas.” Charming.


Olivia is a lady in red 

I already knew that red was associated with attractiveness – it’s the colour of love for a reason.

But when I read that something as simple as wearing a red coat could be the key to kickstarting my dating life – something that was considerably pallid at the time – I leapt at the opportunity to elevate my dating prospects with a simple hack.

However, as with all things that seem too good to be true, it wasn’t long until my naïve optimism that one item of clothing would revolutionise my entire romantic life was crushed by the harsh barriers of, well, reality.

As I donned my vinyl (yes, vinyl) scarlet coat, I noticed two things. Firstly, I looked a bit like Chris de Burgh’s Patricia the Stripper - this would surely attract the male gaze, no?

Secondly, it was not particularly warm. But beauty is pain, am I right?

Wrong, not one man approached me on the street and the only person to do a double take while in my Pretty Woman-esque get-up was in fact a woman.

Contrastingly, Quinn’s YouTube clip showed a number of male passers-by approaching her while clad in her vivid scarlet garment.

Why was my red coat not bringing all the boys to the yard?

The tricky thing is, in a world where women are subjected to street harassment on a shockingly regular basis, does Quinn’s video say more about the power of the colour red, or the audacity of strangers, who deem it appropriate to accost a woman on the street?

Unlike Quinn, other than the odd sympathetic gaze as I trundled the streets in sub-zero temperatures in my very un-cosy coat, I didn’t notice any difference in attention I received during our little experiment.

In fact, if anything, I attracted fewer uncomfortable looks and gazes than I do on a normal day-to-day basis.

In recent months, I have had men approach me on the street while in the most unlikely of get-ups – none of which include the vivacious vinyl number.

No, no, the three times I have been accosted by strangers have been far less purposeful affairs and my attire has been equally budget: think gym kit, wooly jumpers and tracksuit bottoms, not that it matters.

Does this prove that red coats make you attractive? No.

What this little experiment did show me, however, was that it doesn’t matter what a woman wears, street harassment (which is essentially what Quinn’s video demonstrates) is rife in London and it doesn’t discriminate, particularly not to a sartorial degree.

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