Chinese New Year Style Guide 2018

New year, new you? The New Year’s resolutions you made on the first day of 2018 may seem like empty platitudes now, but don’t let promises for a new you slide. As we usher in the Year of the Dog, what better excuse do we have to pull out all the sartorial stops for the festive season? Here are the top trends to try out this month.

Red Alert

Red may look good on most skin tones, but nothing screams dong dong chiang louder than red from top to toe. Instead of  going for your standard, blindingly bright red dress (which you know you’ll only wear once a year), here are some better ways to pull off the colour du jour.

(Source: Manoush/Support Surface)

Break It Up

Instead of going full-on red, try pairing bright separates with neutral basics for an outfit that will stand out without looking garish. Separates are also easier to work into your year-round wardrobe, as opposed to a bright red dress that may only work for festive occasions.

When choosing a shade of red, go for deeper hues like burgundy or garnet which tend to look classier. Plus, rich jewel shades complement Asian skin tones better, so you won’t look washed out (especially under that terrible Chinese restaurant lighting).

If you want to take it a step further, try colour blocking with complementary shades such as pink or white. Sure, it may seem more daunting than a mess of fallen Jenga blocks, but you’ll definitely make a statement if you pull it off well. Just start with simple silhouettes and you’ll be fine.

(Source: Taro Horiuchi)

Prints Charming

If bold and bright is not for you, a hint of print may be a better way to work some colour into your OOTD. Instead of the usual Chinese cheongsam prints (ho hum), go for more modern motifs which can be worn year-round. Trust us, you’ll still look festive, but sans the Chinese restaurant waitress vibes. Throw on a cardigan or belt to tone down the prints.

(Source: Parosh)

Clash Course

Clashing prints are one of those trends that can either make or break your street cred, but there are a couple of easy ways to ensure that you don’t end up looking like a hot mess.

(Source: Samantha Thavasa)

Colour Me Right

The key to keeping the look all class (instead of all crass) is to pick prints with similar colour themes. This way, the look will still look pulled together, despite the clashing prints. For a more high fashion effect, try contrasting prints with a reverse colour scheme – just keep your silhouettes basic and classic, to avoid looking too over the top.

(Source: Manoush/Parosh)

What’s Your Motif?

If you can’t find printed pieces with the same colour theme, you can still pull off the trend by picking prints with the same motif. If you want to tone down the look, try going for prints in different sizes. For instance, a polka dot top may look too busy when paired with a similar polka dot skirt, but you can still make it work with a print that has smaller polka dots instead.

Stripes are another good way to tone down any loud prints, especially if they are in neutral colours like black, navy and white.

(Source: ZARA/Parosh)

Small Statements

Bright colours and pretty prints may not be everyone’s cup of tea, even if Chinese New Year is the perfect time to pull out all the stops. If you are adamant about sticking to your neutral basics, you can still jazz up an outfit with a pair of statement shoes or some cool accessories.

(Source: J.Crew Facebook)

Costume Party

Bored of being basic? Statement jewellery is the easiest way to elevate any outfit. Whether you raid your mum’s closet for vintage pieces, or borrow baubles from the BFF, one thing’s for sure – a little bling never hurt anyone (or an outfit). After all, there’s no better time than Chinese New Year to be extra (as the kids these days like to say).

(Source: J.Crew Facebook)

Let Your Shoes Shine

Let your shoes do the talkin’, with a pair of statement pumps that will jazz up any basic outfit. Even if you may have to take your shoes off when visiting relatives’ houses, you can still show them off in that Chinese New Year OOTD photo you know you’re going to take.

(Source: J.Crew Facebook)

Honey, I Shrank The Bags

As much as we love our roomy tote bags, bigger isn’t always better. The festive season is the perfect time to pull out that statement clutch or mini bag that has been dying to see the light of day. Plus, you don’t want your relatives to think that you’re about to stash their silver in your suspiciously big bag, do you?

A word of advice though – go for a bag that can be slung on your body. After all, you’ll need to go hands-free for all that snacking you’ll be doing right?

(Source: Samantha Thavasa)

Still want more? Check out these other articles:

Chinese New Year Outfit Ideas

Lucky Colours For Chinese New Year

Spring Wardrobe Staples

How To Build A Capsule Wardrobe