(CBS) Victoria's Secret listen up! Ovulating women unconsciously buy sexier clothes in order to catch a mate at just the right time.
That's according to new research from the University of Minnesota's Carlson School of Management.
"The desire for women at peak fertility to unconsciously choose products that enhance appearance is driven by a desire to outdo attractive rival women," says Kristina Durante, a post-doctoral fellow at the Carlson School, in a statement. "If you look more desirable than your competition, you are more likely to stand out."
The findings are a bit quirky because they found that ovulating women only seem to compete against women who are pretty and close.
In the study, researchers showed participants photographs of attractive and unattractive women and told them some lived nearby and others lived 1000 miles away.
They then asked them to pick out clothing they would like to purchase.
"We found that, when ovulating, women chose sexier fashion products when thinking about other attractive, local but not distant women," says Durante. "If you are in New York, a woman who lives in LA isn't going to be seen as competition."
The study, done by business researchers, not doctors, could have big implications for retailers.