They say you shouldn't judge a book by its cover. But what if judging a potential partner by what they wear could help you determine how likely they are to cheat?
That's what a new study from the University of Michigan wanted to find out.
Who, what, wear
Published in the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, the study had 376 US students look at a pair of Ralph Lauren polo shirts: on one, the iconic polo player logo was smaller, and on the other, it was far larger.
The students were told to picture the type of man they think would wear the shirt with the smaller or the larger logo and then answer various questions about the shirt wearer's personality.
The questions included things like would the man 'flirt often' or 'knowingly hit on someone else's partner' or are they 'good at taking care of children' or would they 'devote most resources to supporting family'.
Large or small?
The participants were also asked to rate the imaginary man's interest in relationships of different durations — from brief flings to long-term commitment — as well as how attractive they thought women would find them.
The results showed a distinct difference in participants' opinions on men who wear clothing with larger and more flashy luxury branding compared with smaller and more subtle branding.
Men with OTT logos were seen as more likely to cheat, engage in 'brief sexual affairs' and less likely to care about settling down and having kids.
"Men owning shirts with larger luxury brand logos were rated higher on mating effort, lower on parental investment, higher on interest in brief sexual affairs, lower on interest in long-term committed romantic relationships," wrote study author, evolutionary psychologist Dr. Daniel Kruger.
In a separate part of the study, a different set of just over 600 participants were shown the same two Ralph Lauren polos with small and large logos.
This time they were told to picture the type of man who would wear either polo to various social situations including to a job interview, a party attended by their crush or a family gathering.
Participants thought that men who were 'competing for social dominance' — such as getting a promotion at work or attracting a mate at a party —would opt for the shirt with the larger logo.
"Large luxury product logos enhance social competitiveness and mate attraction, whereas small logos enhance perceptions of trustworthiness and reliability," Dr. Kruger told Daily Mail.
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