Last minute style tips for Chinese New Year

Up your sartorial game this festive season with these style tips!

Andy Yong

Published: 5 February 2016, 12:00 AM

Chinese New Year is just around the corner. Of all the things to worry about, such as your relatives’ intrusive questions about your personal life or gaining weight after binging on pineapple tarts, planning your CNY outfit seems the least daunting.

For all you monkeys who have not done your Chinese New Year shopping yet, here are some last minute tips to help you look your best this festive season.

1. Be subtle

Red is a colour that is rather tricky to incorporate into an outfit for both guys and girls. Wear red pants and you get called a clown, wear a red top and people sarcastically ask you if it is National Day.

However, you can still don the colours of Chinese New Year and not look like a hardcore patriot– just using the colour conservatively in your outfit.

Wearing red accessories like bracelets or earrings is one way to do this.


You can even go a step further and dye your hair red for the festive season.


2. Whip out your mandarin collars

Mandarin collars have a Manchurian origin and were hugely popular during the Qing dynasty. For a quick fix, find outfits that feature mandarin collars. It adds a touch of culture to your outfit without cramping your style.

Today, most high street retailers like Uniqlo and H&M are offering modern takes of the mandarin collar at affordable prices.

I recommend that you keep the rest of your outfit toned down, so that the mandarin collar stands out as your statement piece.


An outfit that guys can wear with the mandarin collar.


The mandarin collar looks great on girls too.


It can also serve as a conversation starter, so that your relatives will ask about your collar instead of your marriage plans.

3. Explore the 50 shades of red

While wearing a red-centric outfit can be quite obnoxious (see point 1), get acquainted with red’s stylish cousins, burgundy and pink, instead.

A rich and deep colour, burgundy can be easily integrated with most outfits. Make it the base of your outfit by using a burgundy shirt or sweater.

Alternatively, burgundy is a great complimentary colour that can be paired with other neutrals such as navy and white. A burgundy tie looks great under a navy blazer if your Chinese New Year celebrations involves a formal dress code.


Here’s how you can wear a burgundy piece while keeps the rest of your outfit neutral.


Pink is a colour that has always been popular with girls, but not so much amongst guys. Maybe Chinese New Year is the time for us guys to try something new.

I would recommend wearing something like salmon, instead of full-on pink. Again, you will want to keep the rest of your outfit neutral to avoid looking like Andy Warhol’s bright colour palette.


A tonal outfit you can try with the colours of burgundy and pink.


4. Stand out with loud prints

Show off your enthusiasm for Chinese New Year by donning loud and vibrant prints. If you do not feel like wearing red, prints are another way to channel your CNY vibes.

You could try prints like aztec, floral or even the recently trending camou. If you opt for the latter, be prepared for questions about national service from your clueless aunts and uncles.


Prints should also be paired with neutral colours like black.


A blue floral print paired with a blue top.


Again, any retailer worth their sartorial salt will have a selection of printed clothing for you to choose from. Try shops such as Cotton On, Uniqlo and Mango.
Keep these four tips in mind, and you will do just fine this Chinese New Year!

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