Everyone has those days when you wake up feeling, you know, blah. Luckily, there are some little tricks you can use to instantly give your confidence a boost and make yourself appear more attractive to others in the process. Whether it’s highlighting one side of your face or switching up the way you walk, looking good has never been so easy. Here’s how to nail the transformation process.
Who knew color could make such a big difference in your level of attractiveness? A 2010 study published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology found women loved it when men wore red—and, the same went for women. In a separate study from Rochester University, men were more attractive to women in red as well. It’s not just clothes, either: another study found red lipstick had the same effect.
Show Off Your Hips
Don’t try and hide your hips—flaunt them. Wear pants that show off your figure and feel free to sway a little when you walk: One study from Texas A&M University found the attractiveness of women went up a whopping 50 percent when they strutted with a hip sway. Just like Shakira always says: hips don’t lie.
Make Yourself Look Taller
Research has shown women prefer taller men over the short guys of the world, but just because you can’t change your height doesn’t mean you can’t physically make yourself look like you grew a few inches. Experts say sticking to monochromatic color palettes—otherwise known as colors that are the same shade—will make you appear taller. Plus, it looks super classy: You can’t go wrong with an all-black look.
Highlight the Left Side of Your Face
You might not notice one side of your face being more attractive than the other, but a study published in the journal Experimental Brain Research found people preferred the left side of over the right. Whether you’re taking pictures or chatting with someone, turn your head slightly to the right to showcase your left and you’ll instantly look a little better.
Travel in Groups
If you’ve ever watched How I Met Your Mother, the cheerleader effect is actually super legit. (Well done, Barney.) A 2014 study found people typically look much more attractive when they’re in groups than they do on their own. So grab your friends and hit up your favorite hot-spots in packs.
Fill in Your Eyebrows
Thin eyebrows used to be portrayed as the most attractive style, but the ’90s are over. After analyzing pictures of 763 women in a 2017 study, researchers found those with bold brows appeared younger and more attractive. Learn how to fill in your brows for a thicker (but still natural!) look.
Put On Some Sunglasses
There might be a reason celebs wear sunglasses all the time. According to one expert, there’s actually some science behind it. Researcher Vanessa Brown found people tend to look more attractive when wearing dark shades because of a few reasons: they make your face look more symmetrical, it adds a little mystery (aka sexiness), and they have a history of being cool, making you look cooler, too.
Walk With a Swagger
All right, guys—just like men think women are more attractive when they sway their hips, the same study found women found men more attractive when they walked with a swagger in their shoulders. But what does that mean, exactly? Basically it’s when you move your shoulders up and down as you walk. Not a lot, but just enough to look natural.
Show Some (Arm) Skin
You don’t have to show off your legs to appear more attractive. One study found it’s actually long arms that men are super attracted to, so start sporting those sleeveless tops whenever you need a little confidence boost.
Get a Dog
All right, this one might sound a little silly… but it’s scientifically proven, OK? According to multiple studies (yes, multiple!) men instantly look more attractive when they’re holding or simply hanging out with a dog. Plus, added bonus: you’ll also have an instant new best friend who thinks you’re cute no matter what.
Stop Trying to Look Model-Thin
Ignore those magazine ads! According to one study, men aren’t as into super-skinny, model-thin women as you think; they actually think women with normal body weights are more attractive. Instead of striving to become stick-thin, own and accentuate what you’ve got.
Stop Crossing Your Arms
It can quickly become a habit to cross your arms when you’re standing, but opening up a little will make you look much more attractive. One 2016 study found having an open posture — especially when you’re first meeting someone—makes you look more confident and charismatic whether you’re male or female.
Show Off Your Jawline
Men who show off their jawlines instantly appear more attractive, all thanks to evolution. One 2011 review dug into the topic and found it’s more appealing to women for one specific reason: it’s a super masculine feature that shows genetic strength. While your beard is great and all, you might want to trim it up so your facial structure is a little more prominent.
Rock Your Dad Bod
Don’t be self-conscious about your dad body. Instead, be confident about the extra weight. Yale researcher Richard Bribiescas found women are super into a little pudginess, meaning those extremely jacked guys don’t get to have all the fun.
Throw on Some Heels
Heels might make you feel a little sexier the second you slip them on, and they’re scientifically proven to make you look more attractive, too. The reason? One study found it’s simply because it makes women appear more feminine, particularly in the way they walk.
Ditch That Slouch
According to Dr. Liza Egbogah, a health and wellness expert focusing on body and posture, good posture can “boost our attractiveness to potential partners,” helping to “induce romantic attraction in potential mates.” In addition, a 2012 study found that good posture, even if held for a short period of time, can increase levels of testosterone—the “hormone associated with confidence”—by up to 20 percent.
Go For The Hourglass
According to Allena Rissa, editor of TheBetterFit.com, studies have shown that an hourglass figure is widely considered a draw, so to boost attractiveness, it can help to dress in ways that help accentuate this shape. For example, Allena recommends pairing “high-waisted skinny jeans with a cute crop top or lacy bralette, and [tying] the outfit together with a matching belt.” This, she says, “will help to draw attention to your waist and also cinch it in with the belt, giving you a curvy shape.”
No matter what your gender, Dr. Egbogah says, standing up straight is the first step towards telling others that you’re both interested and interesting. Among other things, it signals “youth,” as well as a certain openness and alertness that a hunched-over or slouched back fails to convey.
Look Up Or Ahead
Whether they’re glancing at their phone or their shoes, “Both men and women find it unattractive when the other sex is looking down,” says Dr. Egbogah. So, if you’re hoping to attract a partner, she says, “look up and enjoy the world.”
According to a 2016 study, says Dave Bowden, a men’s style coach and founder of IrreverentGent.com, women “find facial hair more attractive than a clean shaven face.” Even more than that, however, the study revealed that, of all the facial hair lengths, stubble is the “‘most attractive overall.'” So to kick attractiveness up a notch, Bowden says, “ditch the razor” that shaves your face clean, and instead use “an electric beard trimmer that will leave a degree of stubble.”
Opt for Contacts
If you can handle getting your hands close to your corneas, try contacts. According to a 2011 study, the stereotype that glasses make people appear less attractive was “confirmed.” So, if you’re up for the challenge, opt for contacts instead.
Get a Tan
There’s a reason, says Bowden, that “most male models have darker skin.” Women, he says, are “predisposed to finding darker shades of skin more attractive” in men, as it is associated with danger, virility, and mystery. So, while it’s important not to “go overboard” and end up with an “oompa loompa” look, spending a few hours in the sun or lathering with a self-tanning moisturizer can go a long way towards boosting your attractiveness levels.
Lean Beats Bulky
“A lot of what guys think what women want is huge muscles,” says Patrick Kenger, a men’s stylist and founder of Pivot Image Consulting. This, however, isn’t exactly true, as women actually prefer men who have “less body fat and appear stronger.” Instead of looking to bulk up at the gym then, Kenger recommends working towards an “athletic” look, and a lean, toned physique.
Stand With Your Feet Apart
Standing with your feet “a little wider than shoulder width,” says Dr. Egbogah, “signals virility and fertility,” and is a “huge turn-on” for women. In addition to remaining cognizant of this posture when waiting at bus stops and other public locales, she recommends using this pose in pictures for dating apps and other profiles to really catch someone’s eye.
Wear Bright Colors
When it comes to color palette, says Misha Kaura, a fashion designer and author of the upcoming book The Science of Style, wear “as many bright colors as possible.” After all, it’s called peacocking for a reason: “So much of interpretation of attractiveness,” she says, “is contingent on women making themselves easily noticed” by wearing “stand-out clothing.”
Pull Your Shoulders Out
In addition to standing up straight, Dr. Egbogah recommends actively “pull[ing] your shoulders back and out.” This, she says, is a “power pose,” and while women find it attractive because is “emphasizes the chest,” men find it desirable as well as it exposes the “sensual inner wrist.”
Hang Out with Attractive People
While conventional wisdom says to hang out with people less attractive than you are in order to fare better by comparison, doing so won’t actually boost your attractiveness. According to Kenger, when someone looks at people within a group, their brain “averages out the faces,” when considering the group’s attractiveness. To appear more desirable, then, it helps to be surrounded by others who can help—by their addition—to increase your groups’ average attractiveness level, rather than dragging it down.
Don’t Wear Clothing That Is Too Big
Though fashion trends may ebb and flow—emphasizing one cut one day and another the next—it’s never a good idea to wear clothes that are too big for you, says Jack Vitel, a relationship coach and founder of the relationship blog RoadToSolidity.com. While it may be part of a larger ensemble, or a symptom of your desire to go back to the ’90s, the effect it will have is only to make you appear “stubby” and “without shape.” Regardless of era, he says, “fitting clothing is the way to go.”
Mirror Your Partner
Prefacing his tip with the warning “don’t make it weird,” Caleb Backe, a Health & Wellness expert at Maple Holistics, recommends adopting a partner’s body language to increase your attractiveness to them. While this should be done subtly—after all, no one likes actively being overtly mimicked—doing so “shows them that you’re paying attention” as well as validating them, making you seem more attractive in return.
Wear Clothing That Accentuates Your Favorite Features
Don’t be afraid, says Darlene Corbett, a licensed therapist and author of Stop Depriving The World Of You, to wear clothing that “accentuate[s] your bodily attributes.” While you might be the type to prefer understated accents to in-your-face statements, there’s no harm—and quite a lot of good—to be gained from dressing to your strengths. If you’ve got it, after all, you might as well flaunt it.
Grow a Beard
While stubble is proven to be the most widely attractive form of facial hair, there’s a niche for other designs, as well. Specifically, says Kenger, if you’re looking for something “long-term,” go with the (short) beard. As a result, he says, “you’ll be perceived as more trustworthy.”
Wear Rimless Glasses
Similarly, while glasses were shown to decrease attractive in most wearers, they had their upsides too—specifically those of the rimless variety. Particularly, says Kenger, they made wearers appear “more intelligent and trustworthy.” Like many decisions in life, says Kenger, “it’s all a tradeoff.”
Get The Right Haircut
While there are endless varieties of popular new haircuts being trotted out each day, more important than anything is getting a cut which fits your face. Just because everyone else has a pompadour doesn’t mean you should, too, and many of those wearing that trendy style would probably be better with a different cut, as well. You wouldn’t wear the same shoes as your neighbor, after all, so why have the same haircut?
You don’t need to spend “tons of time and money,” says Dr. Christine Carpenter, a psychologist and dating coach at Evolve Dating Consultation, but it’s important to pay at least some attention to your grooming and style of dress. At the very least, she says, “look like you put in some effort.” Failing to do so, she warns, doesn’t come across as unique or rebellious—like it may have when you were younger—but instead “broadcasts low self-esteem.”
Have Your Hands Out
Ever found yourself on camera or film and wondered: “What do I do with my hands?” Well, apparently that’s not the only time to be asking yourself that perplexing question. In order to appear “strong,” says Dr. Carpenter, and attract the gaze of a possible mate, it’s important to have you hands at the ready and “available for action.” While it may seem the epitome of cool to stroll down the block with your hands in the pockets of a trench coat, apparently it’s not the most effective way to attract a partner.
Hold Your Head Up
Attractiveness, says Corbett, “start[s] with how you project yourself.” For her, this means maintaining a posture that keeps your head held high. As long as you don’t take the opportunity to literally look down your nose at others, she says, the position “exudes a sense of confidence,” and “not arrogance.”
Don’t Worry So Much
Sometimes the best way to attract others is to simply let your guard down. While violating too many of the rules of attraction will likely end up poorly, ignoring a few here and there in an effort to appear more real can help endear you to others who themselves are likely just as confused as you are.
Keep Your Wardrobe Updated
Clothes don’t make the man, but they can help undo him. While it’s not crucial, as Dr. Carpenter says, to remain “on the cutting edge of the latest trends,” that doesn’t mean it’s okay to non-ironically dress like a character in an ’80s movie just because you don’t want to go shopping. “It doesn’t take much,” Dr. Carpenter says, to avoid “com[ing] across as lazy and sloppy,” and a little effort goes a long way.
Don’t Take Yourself Too Seriously
While your strengths are what initially draw the gaze of others, it’s your weaknesses that endear them for the long-term. To really up your attractiveness, then, it can be helpful to take yourself a bit less seriously, and be able to enjoy a joke or two at your own expense—and maybe even by your own hand.
Add Some Color To Your Face
In the same way that bright clothing draws attention to a prospective mate, so does color on the face. To increase attraction, then, try some bright blush or a colored lipstick—anything that really makes your face pop as compared to plain ole skin.
While your own accomplishments and goals are sure to help gain the approval and respect of others, it can be even more appealing to appear interested in learning about the accomplishments and goals of your prospective partner. Instead of trying to woo solely by your own merit, try asking questions and learning about what makes them tick. After all, there’s nothing quite as endearing as someone being interested in you.
Work On Your Personality
“Studies show,” says Kenger, that “judgments of physical attractiveness are influenced by familiarity, liking, respect, and talent.” To boost your appearance, then, try “improving some of your personality traits,” like staying positive and being agreeable. In addition, he says, while it isn’t a pageant, it can’t hurt to “show off some of your talents.”
“Self-esteem instantly makes you a more attractive person,” says Backe. While this isn’t something that can be done overnight, performing some of the associated behaviors—making “solid eye contact,” engaging in “more free body language,” and generally being “less guarded”—is a good start.
Work on Your Humor
“Ask anybody to name the top quality they look for in a significant other,” says Backe, “and you’ll be surprised at how many people answer, ‘a sense of humor.’” In addition to being “fun to be around,” he says, this is because funny people are considered “more social and intelligent.” Off-the-cuff cleverness not exactly your thing? Come with a few memorized jokes in hand and try working them into conversation—nobody has to know exactly where you got your sense of humor from.
Wear The Right Makeup
Contours, highlights, thicker-than-thick eyebrows: there’s no shortage of makeup trends to go around. However, just like a haircut, there’s usually a makeup regimen which makes sense for each individual, rather than just the blanket “look” that graces most social media feeds. So, before deciding on what products to use, and how to use them, get to know your own face in all its pre-made-up glory.
Relax Your Face
Though a stern countenance can appear mysterious, it can also ward off the very types of interactions its appeal hopes to lure. To instead appear more “approachable,” says Dr. Carpenter—and the kind of person that someone can just walk up and talk to—try “relax[ing] your facial muscles.” And don’t fret—you can always get your jaw workouts in later.
Camouflage Your Least Favorite Features
Just because an outfit or a piece of clothing is fabulous doesn’t mean it has to be fabulous on you. We all have affinities for certain parts of our bodies—and less so for others—and the garments we put on them should reflect that fact. “When one says ‘yes to the dress,’” Corbett explains, it should be to an outfit “which flatters,” and not one which, despite its own elegance, “detracts.”
Find People Who Share Your Values
“Similarity,” says Kenger, “creates a bond and reinforces our own beliefs.” As a result, we tend to “find people who agree with our values and beliefs” more attractive than those who don’t. To boost your attractiveness, then, you may just need to find a more like-minded pool of applicants.
“It seems mundane,” says Carpenter,“but [smiling] really counts.” While you shouldn’t make an effort to appear happier than you really are, she says, there’s no harm in “present[ing] a side of yourself that others feel would be pleasant to be around.” And if really, deep down, you’re “broody or dark,” she says, don’t worry, others will “find this out” eventually.
Nod Your Head
According to one 2017 study, when a subject nodded their head they increased their “attractiveness, likability, and approachability.” So, while you may not agree with everything your date is saying, it’s a good idea to nod your head like you do regardless. And who knows? Maybe after you two fall madly in love, they’ll actually convince you to their point of view, making the constant nodding a whole lot easier.