Color me surprised.

Who knew tints and tones and hues and shades said so much about you? Not that I know anything about colors. Like most men, I am familiar with the basic color groups:

Black and blue.

Blond. Brunette. Redhead.

Home and away.

I am also aware that black is for mourners, and that wearing white to a wedding when you are not the bride is an even greater sin than wearing white after Labor Day. Of course, the seriousness of wearing white after Labor Day or before Memorial Day varies by region. For example, where I grew up in Waterbury, violating the rule is considered little more than a minor faux pas. That noted, I believe that in the history of Waterbury there has never been a documented case of anyone ever actually using the phrase faux pas in public.

In large sections of lower Fairfield County, however, a violation of the white laws is a felony, although I believe there is a loophole exempting tighty-whities.

Where were we …

Oh, yeah. So I was reading this short compilation article in Time magazine about what various fashion and color choices can say about you. It’s more than you would think. Here are some of the highlights.

Red is strongly associated with sex.

Red makes men more attractive to women, and women more attractive to men. Is there a case to be made here for tighty-redies?

Wearing the color red can adversely affect one’s performance on tests. I’m not exactly sure why, but I’m thinking it involves brain power being diverted to other areas of the body.

Red is a good color for team uniforms and seems to afford some type of advantage. I don’t know about that. It certainly didn’t help the Red Sox during their 100-year-long “Curse of the Bambino” period.

One last thing about red. A woman hitchhiking will increase her chances of getting a ride if she is wearing red. Getting in a car with someone who has stopped because you are wearing red is another matter. FYI, red doesn’t work for male hitchers.

Two other color findings: People trust doctors more when they are wearing white coats. Hmm, how about when they are also wearing masks? And neurotics favor dark clothing. For some reason this makes me anxious.

Other research on the you-are-what-you-wear front indicates:

Formal attire indicates conscientiousness. I always thought it indicated stuffiness.

Messy clothes demonstrate openness to new experiences. Such as what, ironing?

Cleavage equates to narcissism in women. Who knew? All this time I thought it was kind of a beacon thing. I’m sure male cleavage, including that which is accessorized with gold chains, also says something, but I think we are all better off not knowing what.

A few other things:

Glasses make one appear smarter, but not as attractive. Or as Dorothy Parker once noted, “Men don’t make passes at women who wear glasses.”

Women who feel they look younger after having their hair colored, have lower blood pressure.

People who wear uniforms to work have lower death rates than people who don’t.

Men who are prematurely bald age faster and have a greater chance of developing health problems.

Women who have children later in life live longer than women who have children at a younger age.

In married couples who have a large age difference, the older spouse tends to live longer.

So marrying some rich old goat and then attempting to knock him off by, um, wearing a lot of red, is probably not a sound plan.

Jim Shea is a lifelong Connecticut resident and journalist who believes the keys to life include the avoidance of physical labor and I-95. He can be reached at and on Twitter @jimboshea.