An ancient Chinese tradition holds that purchasing new clothes prior to the Chinese New Year symbolizes the welcoming of a new beginning. We can see how this may hold true—clothes certainly have a restorative and reformative power. There’s nothing like a new dress that fits you perfectly to make you feel ready to take on anything the day (or year) has to offer. Whether your challenge is to impress relatives or simply to hide the signs of one too many pineapple tarts (we’ve been there before), we are here to empower you!
First of all, there’s no reason why following an ancient Chinese tradition should mean that you actually dress like one (i.e. a lady from an ancient Chinese era—good for television, but not so much for modern visiting). The myriad of style options available today means that you can pay homage to your roots and the hallmarks of the season without looking dated, or even straying too far from your daily style.
One simple way to do so is to wear red intelligently. Red is a traditionally auspicious colour in Chinese culture, and as designer Bill Blass once said, “When in doubt, wear red.” However, it’s important to note that not every shade of red will suit your skin tone. Not everyone can pull off shocking Chinatown scarlet. Generally speaking, if you’re fair or have cool undertones, go for rich, blue-based shades like wine red; if you’re darker-skinned or have warm undertones, try brighter, yellow-based shades like vermillion. If in doubt, choose clothes with red accents, like our Lily Belle Dress (White) or our Snow Flower and the Secret Dress. The splashes of colour will be enough to brighten up your complexion!
Have red hair? Not to worry. The old saying that those with red hair shouldn’t wear red has been completely tossed out of the window, following fabulous showings by red-haired celebrities like Amy Adams, who showed up at the recent Golden Globes 2016 in a stunning vermillion number (below).
If red isn’t quite your thing, sieve through silhouettes. If you like the figure-skimming cut of a qipao but don’t want something so immediately identifiable with this period, try our Rose of Sharon Dress, available in four colours and four sizes. The nude-tone underlay and crochet cut-outs add intrigue to a classically feminine piece. Looking for something a little more conservative? Try our My Fleur Lady Peplum Dress, which updates the peplum cut with a delicate shower of blossoms.
As a famous (fictional) fashion editor once said, “Florals for spring? Groundbreaking.” But we’d like to believe it is—that is, when done directionally, with laser-cut petals (see our Poets of Petal Laser Cut Dress), or when delicately spliced across shoulder-tops on a dip-hem dress (see our Almost a Love Story Dip-hem Dress). Take your cue from actress Holland Roden (another red-head in red—we love!), who let her dress do the talking with simple accessories.
Lace can be accentuated when placed atop a nude-tone underlay (pretty hot this season!), as in our Home Has A Heartbeat Dress. These would look great paired with either heels or flats (we’re envisaging the lace-up pointy-toed ballet flats that are all the rage these days) given their swingy silhouette and breezy length—perfect for switching up between house visits.
So there it is—no need to be uncomfortable or unfashionable when visiting cousins and colleagues alike! Simply weave your way through our collection, blessed in the knowledge that new hope and new confidence invite new beginnings indeed.
Photo Credits: Thread Theory, International Business Times, W Magazine