reddress1Ever wonder why you choose to wear a specific outfit and put on jewelry and other accessories before you go out into the world?

Well, part of your decision into what you wear has to do with where you are in your monthly cycle.

Past research, such as this study, this study and this study (which, though conducted in 2004, hilariously refers to outfits women wear to nightclubs as “disco clothing”) has shown that we gals prefer to wear sexier, more revealing clothes and don more jewelry and accessories on the days around ovulation, which is at the end of our Week 2 (in the middle of our cycle).

When out shopping on these days in our cycle, we’re also more likely to buy form-fitting and revealing tops, skirts and pants over comfortable, baggier duds as well as shell out on high-priced jewelry and cosmetics.

Okay, so when you think about it, this shift in what we wear and shop for makes sense. After all, during our fertile phase, estrogen and testosterone peak, revving sexual desire to a cycle-long high.

So, who wouldn’t want to look more attractive on these days? After all, when we’re looking for love (or, okay, lust), we’d like the partner we’re with or potential new partners to look our way, right?

Hold up–not so fast, researchers say.

While catching the eye of a cutie may be one part of the reason our hemlines are climbing, our necklines are falling and we’re busting out the gold hoop earrings that hurt our earlobes, but are oh-so-adorable, a new study in the journal PLOS ONE reveals who we may really be dressing up for: Other women.

Turns out, during our fertile days, we subconsciously try to muscle out other women who could possibly be competition for our mates by dressing up and trying to appear more beautiful than they are.

How the researchers figured this out: When they showed heterosexual female study participants photos of highly attractive males and highly attracted females, the women showed more interest in products that would make them more beautiful (such as sexy clothes, jewelry and makeup) only after viewing the photos of the females.

So, next time you’re in your Week 2 and you’re dressing to the nines for a night on the town, think about who you’re really trying to impress….

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