How to Dress for Chinese New Year If You Have No Idea

If you’re celebrating Chinese New Year, then you know that it began on January 22. 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. She gave me three tips anyone 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 it’s surprisingly simple to find an outfit. Keep scrolling for four dressing rules to follow for Chinese New Year.

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. Right now, there are many designers who have been influenced by this style. From Rixo to The Attico to Prada, you can easily find a piece (in a wide range of colors!) that takes its inspiration from these dresses.

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 honor those close to you.

During Chinese New Year, red is considered a lucky color. Leaf told me that it means happiness, passion, and luck, which is why so many people wear it during celebrations. But if it’s your zodiac year, red is an especially lucky color for you. How do you know if it’s your zodiac year? Find out which animal represents the year you were born, according to the Chinese zodiac calendar. 

Black and white are traditionally not worn during Chinese New Year because they symbolize bad luck and are associated with mourning. Instead, for an auspicious start to the year, choose red, orange, yellow, or green, which all have positive associations. 

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This post originally appeared on Who What Wear UK. This post was published at an earlier date and has been updated.