If you're celebrating Chinese New Year, then you know that it takes place next Friday. But like with any event in the social calendar, there's always a reason to think about what you might wear for such an occasion. So, I decided to pick the brains of InStyle China contributing editor and influencer Leaf Greener on the rules for dressing for the event. I wanted to know how much you needed to stick to traditional ways of dressing but also how to avoid offending anyone. Not only did she give me three tips that everyone can easily follow, but she also pointed out the one thing you shouldn't do when picking out your look.
While traditions are still present, the event has definitely become more modern, so you'll be pleased to know it's surprisingly simple to find an outfit. Keep scrolling for four dressing rules to follow for Chinese New Year.
#1: Traditional Dress Is a Red Cheongsam
Style Notes: The traditional way to dress for Chinese New Year is to wear a qipao or a cheongsam frock. Leaf advised that traditionally, you would wear this in red. However, right now, there are many designers who have been influenced by this style. From Rixo London to Attico to Prada, you can easily find a piece that takes its inspiration from these traditional dresses.
#2: Wear Something Sentimental
Style Notes: When I asked Leaf what she always wears on Chinese New Year, she replied that it was her grandmother’s diamond ring. While new clothes are preferable to symbolise new beginnings, there's also an emphasis on family for the day, so it makes sense to honour those close to you.
#3: Red Is Lucky for All But luckier for Certain People
Style Notes: During Chinese New Year, red is considered to be a lucky colour. Leaf told me that it means "happiness, passion and luck," which is why so many people wear it during the celebrations. But if it's your Ben Ming Nian year (your zodiac year), then the good news is red is your lucky colour. How do you know if it's your Ben Ming Nian year? Find out which animal represents the year you were born, according to the Chinese zodiac calendar. Twenty-nineteen is the year of the pig, so get your rouge on if your birth year matches.
Style Notes: Although Leaf says younger generations can pretty much wear "whatever they want" for New Year, the one colour you wouldn't wear is black. This is because black and white are traditionally associated with funerals, so brighter hues are preferable for this celebration.
Have you picked out your Chinese New Year look yet?