Perfect fit

If you’ve been reading this site for a while now, you’re probably pretty clued up on the finer points of natural testosterone.

So pop quiz hotshot; how might you be able to tell someone with high T on sight alone? Assuming they’re too far away to accurately judge physique, there’s nothing heavy for them to lift and you’re not currently dating them.

Well according to a new study from Pennsylvania University, the answer might be by their clothes.

Now, given the muscle mass and libido boost T brings, it’s a surprise guys with plenty to go round favour wearing any clothes at all, let alone a particular kind. But apparently so.

Seemingly high end testosterone is more drawn to high end fashion. In this article we’ll explore that connection and why it might exist.

Do big gains really need to be wrapped in big names? Do designer bodies deserve only designer brands? If it’s the gym ye choose will you only wear Jimmy Choo’s? Aw no, that last one was RUBBISH…let’s just move on.

Leader of the packaging

So what evidence is there for this well shredded, finely threaded connection?

Well, given testosterone’s well known link with higher sexual attractiveness we could point you towards a 1991 anecdotal case study by Right Said Fred. Results of saw the participant claiming to be too sexy for an unnamed brand of shirt. So much so it was actually causing him physical discomfort.

To be a little more scientific about it however, we’re probably best focusing on this 2018 study, led by Gideon Nave, assistant professor of marketing at the Wharton School.

243 men were given a patch containing either testosterone gel, to cause a safe rise, or a placebo. They were then asked to complete two tasks.

Firstly, the guys were asked to choose between two different brands for 5 different items. This involved giving their preferred choice, along with the strength of that preference, ranging from 1 to 10.

Researchers had already consumer tested the options and found them to be on a par quality wise in the minds of the public but with one having a lot more social status. Street cred basically.

The team report than men with elevated T tended to favour high status selections.

Style over substance?

To better understand what specifically was catching the attention of the men with higher T, an further test was then carried out.

Volunteers were shown random specially crafted written description of high end products, ranging from coffee machines to cars. Each ad was carefully worded so as to subtly pitch them to readers in a different way. The pitches either highlighted an item’s quality, power or status.

Ads focusing on quality were heavy on phrases like ‘high quality’ or ‘state of the art’ for example. The power plays were angled more towards ‘cutting edge’ and ‘athletic excellence.‘ Finally the status angle made great use of ‘luxury’ and ‘world famous’ etc.

Sure enough the team noticed that subjects with higher T had more of an eye for ads that suggested higher social status rather than power or quality.

The study concludes:

“Our results suggest that in such contexts male consumers might be more likely to engage in positional consumption, and might find status-related brand communications more appealing.”

*Sigh* They mean we like flashy stuff.

Status bro

All makes us sound pretty shallow, huh?

Well I think that’s a little harsh. We already know what testosterone is all about and this is just another example of it doing its job properly. It’s the alpha hormone after all. Previously on this site we’ve seen how high levels of T are linked to confidence, risk taking, and leadership ability.

Everything about our male hormone is designed to give us an edge and help us stand out from the crowd. What’s fashion about if it’s not about that?

So yeah, there may be a bit of instinctive peacocking going on with some guys and their fashion choices. Maybe ‘Me Tarzan, you Jane’ has been replaced by ‘Me Armani, you impressed’ to an extent, but that’s nothing to worry about.

Naturally raising your T won’t radically change your tastes. It won’t have you suddenly slashing the food budget to afford Gucci socks.

Health and fitness doesn’t have a uniform. Strong testosterone will be just as at home in jeans and a t-shirt.

That said, if we’ve been putting the work in and our hormone levels have us feeling our best and performing our best, if we decide to splash out on looking our best, then damn it we earned that right.

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