07.31.131:30 PM ET

Brand Names May Boost Relationships

Women flaunt designer handbags to show loyalty of significant others.

Your Louis Vuitton may signify more than riches. The Journal of Consumer Research said women might use designer goods—bags and shoes—to tell other women their boyfriend or husband is loyal and dedicated to them. One professor said it seems “irrational,” but “when a woman is flaunting designer products, it says to other women ‘back off my man.’” In the study, 649 women were asked their opinions on specific scenarios, such as seeing a woman at a party and judging what they thought about the woman’s relationship based on the quality of her clothes and accessories.