According to a University of Michigan study published in the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, men who opt for flashy designer clothing are considered less trustworthy. These kind of clothes include luxury logos and designer brands; think shirts like Ralph Lauren polos with larger emblems, as opposed to the classic small logos. As the study suggests, those who wear the former “rated higher on mating effort, lower on parental investment” and had a higher interest in brief, sexual affairs, with less interest in long-term romantic commitment.
To conduct the study, researchers analysed 376 university students who were shown two polo shirts - one with the small Ralph Lauren logo, the other with the exaggerated logo. They were asked to imagine the wearer and rank him on a scale of 1-100 for various factors, like how often he flirts or knowingly hitting on someone else’s partner.
Study author and evolutionary psychologist at the University of Michigan, Daniel Kruger, told the Daily Mail, “Rather than being a reliable and honest signal of future paternal investment, displays of luxury goods may sometimes represent investment in mate attraction, which is at the expense of future investment in offspring.”
Kruger went on to add: “Luxury displays featuring exaggerated size, coloration, and sound may indicate relatively greater investment in mating effort…Large luxury product logos enhance social competitiveness and mate attraction, whereas small logos enhance perceptions of trustworthiness and reliability.”