Let’s play a politically incorrect game:

First, imagine a woman you’d rate as a 6…

Yeah… Not that hot is she? Well maybe if you have another drink

Now, imagine a woman you’d rate as 8…

Hmm… nice, I’d hit that! Hell, if she’s good in bed and has something going for her I probably will want to see her again

Now, what if I told you, that as a man you can potentially go from a 6 to an 8 in an hour? Yes, you could make a male equivalent of a transformation like the one you just imagined (and, of course, without using make up – dear ladies, we’re on to your secret tactics!)

Welcome to the world of image.

Looks Matter – But How Much?

Gordon Patzer Ph.D. wrote a great book Looks: Why They Matter More Than You Ever Imagined, in which he shares research data that shows how our physical appearance affects from the moment we are born (nurses tend to spend more time taking care of “good looking children”) to school (teachers look more favorably to attractive children) to work (attractive people tend to earn more too, in US and Canada by about 7.5 to 15%) and don’t get me even started on the dating scene.

But we already knew most of this, well, at least suspected it.

I know first-hand how improving my appearance mostly using clothes changed the way women (and people in general) treat me. Unanswered messages changed to random booty calls.

And yet, when it comes to our appearance there are quite a few things we cannot control (height, bone structure, facial features, etc.) so it’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking “well, I’m just not attractive, sucks to be me” instead of finding ways to improve it.

So I wanted to make an experiment, similar to online dating one, where we would try to objectively measure how much the way you dress and groom affects how attractive you are perceived to be.

And measure it on a cliché 1 to 10 scale.

The Experiment

Idea – ask 50 random women on the street to evaluate my appearance on a scale 1 to 10. To keep it simple, I would be the “model” for this experiment. First outfit we surveyed was pretty bad (details below), second outfit was something I wear day-to-day (to avoid exaggerated results, I did not design a specific outfit or pre-test its effectiveness).

Execution – to avoid my super sexy smile and charm skew the results, I would stand about 3 – 4 meters away from the woman being questioned (few women actually walked up to me, which lead to some awkward moments haha). We asked our pretty lady friend to do the questioning hoping this would lead to more honest results.

Our first question was: “How tall do you think this guy is?”

Interestingly, I first formulated this question as an ice-breaker as it is way less personal than “how hot you think this guy is?”, however, as we’ll see it actually lead to some really cool results too.

The second question: “On a scale 1 to 10, how would you rate his appearance?”

Note, we didn’t ask how you would rate his style or his clothes – that would be too easy. We wanted to see how our style affects our overall appearance, without targets knowing what we are doing.

Some other rules we had to try and maximize the accuracy:

  • We would avoid women with boyfriends.
  • We would only question women who appear to be in their early twenties (a target audience for most of us.)
  • We did not discriminate on how attractive the women we questioned are (note: we observed no correlation between how attractive the woman questioned is and her evaluation.)
  • I did not smile or make eye contact (in most cases stood at a slight angle) with women being questioned.
  • To avoid my posture and body language skewing the results, I “posed” and was quite tense (overall this should have lowered evaluations in both instances.)

How To Improve Your Appearance And Grow Taller

Oh, I’m sorry, did I forget to add “spoiler alert” in the title?

Yes, and here are the results.


My first outfit:

-White sporty jumper with a zipper.

-Black leather-like jacket.

-Blue, straight cut jeans.

-Converse (sorry, I really wished I had worse shoes to test with but yeah…)


Average attractiveness – 6

Highest attractiveness score – 8

Lowest attractiveness score – 2 (wow…)

Average perceived height – 177 cm (5’8)

Highest perceived height – 182 cm (5’10)

Lowest perceived height – 170 cm (5’6)

My “normal” outfit:

-Charcoal coat, medium length.

-Casual shirt.

-Grey cardigan.

-Skinny jeans, dark blue, washed and slightly distressed.

-Black Chelsea boots.

-Used some wax to add definition to my hairstyle.


Average attractiveness – 8

Highest attractiveness score – 9

Lowest attractiveness score – 6

Average perceived height – 182 cm (5’10)

Highest perceived height – 193 cm (6’3)

Lowest perceived height – 175 cm (5’7)

The Takeaways

This experiment is far from perfect. By default, people have an aversion of giving low scores especially on something like appearance when they see the person being evaluated standing just next to them (they feel like they are being nice). On the other hand, hitting those 9 and 10 marks on the scale is getting much harder – we have a lot of fantasies associated to what is “our perfect 10”, so like a teacher who takes his subject just a bit too seriously, we’re very reluctant to give top marks to someone.

One thing that is particularly fascinating is that you can be, at the same time, one woman’s 9 and another woman’s 6 in terms of attractiveness – pick your targets carefully.

Also, it seems that unless you have godlike natural features, you need to have your style handled to be considered a 9 or higher. Great looks, physique, etc. will increase the amount of women that find you that hot.

When it comes to appearing taller, proper style of clothes is your best bet. Note: as the question “how tall do you think he is” was meant as an ice-breaker only, my second style is not exactly the best option to appear as tall as possible either – we can do better than that!

Lastly, it was a good wake up call for myself too. Even though I expect that under normal circumstances my average physical attractiveness would be about 8.5 or so, it’s not good enough for someone who wants to help you become your sexiest selves. In turn, in the next coming weeks (after the campaign is over) I’ll update you on my own strategy to reach 9+ in 2015 and repeat the experiment.

Oh, and standing there knowing that your appearance is being evaluated and quantified is freaking awkward!

Finishing Thoughts

The goal of this article was to share this experiment, but I don’t want to leave you just like that thinking “Okay, I get it – the way I dress is extremely important, but what the hell I’m supposed to do with this info?” To address this, here are a few timeless resources for your pleasure:

So next time you feel like giving yourself the good old “I’m just ugly” excuse, remember that even though most of us will never look like a “perfect 10”, we can drastically increase our attractiveness using clothes and grooming alone!

And don’t forget – Nerd’s Guide for Looking Sexy Campaign is still running!


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