JOYOUS percussion-driven melodies are resounding through every mall in the country, cars are queuing up for kilometres outside shopping areas and mandarin oranges are everywhere.

It must be Chinese New Year!

In a few days, everyone will be rushing to get home in time for the festivities, and Chinese families everywhere will be gathering for the annual reunion dinner

The ‘Season to by jolly’ has made way for the Year of The Tiger and everyone’s excited, including me! I don’t celebrate the coming of the Lunar New Year, but the mere sight of ‘Sale’ signs in shop windows is reason enough to jump for joy and rush to the nearest ATM.

If you haven’t done your Chinese New Year clothes shopping, worry not. You still have a few days to pick out the outfits you’ll need for the reunion dinner, and for the visits to relatives’ homes.

Be bold and fierce in your selections for the celebration of the year of the tiger, but make sure you stick to a few simple rules.


Red is the colour to wear during this festive season, but that doesn’t mean you have to rule out every other colour. However, black and white are absolute no-nos, except in small quantities, like a part of an accessory or a belt.

CNY floral print dress from

CNY floral print dress from

Nude is a great colour to wear, and you can dress up this simple shade with red accessories or a hot red bag.

Earthy colours like browns, greys and greens are also hot on the racks, and if done right, can easily be paired with red accessories.

For a real touch of CNY spirit, get a mani-pedi, in bright red!

Dress up!

All year round, you’ll get to dress casually in jeans and t-shirts, so even if you’re the tomboyish type and cringe at the thought of throwing on a dress, give this piece of clothing a chance!

Easy-to-wear quilted peep toes from

Easy-to-wear quilted peep toes from

After all, it’s only once a year, and isn’t it a great feeling to have your aunts and uncles gush over how pretty you look?

If you can’t bear the thought of being in a dress, at least consider a skirt or a feminine-looking outfit like a jumpsuit or playsuit.

Of course, make sure the outfit is half-decent. Modern day relatives are pretty open-minded, but it still pays to show that you respect them by not flaunting every inch of flesh on your body.

For visiting, make sure you wear something cooling. There’ll be a lot of getting in and out of cars in the hot sun. And if it rains, you’ll want something that will dry out fast if you’re going to be visiting the whole day.

Also, wear shoes that are easy to take off. You don’t want to be struggling with buckles and knots at every single house you visit.

It’s also the year of the tiger, and animal print is hot right now! Throw on a pair of animal-print shoes and you’re sorted!

Consume wisely

Lastly, style is also about how you present yourself, Even though Chinese New Year is a great time to let loose and throw discipline out the window when it comes to eating, don’t overdo it.

If you’re going to be visiting 20 houses on the same day, try not to drink too much carbonated drinks. Opt for water instead, after all, you’ll need the hydration for all the talking you’re going to be doing.

It may be deemed impolite to refuse food, so consume very little at each house. You don’t have to fill your plate with everything. To ensure you please the host, maybe ask which dish is his/her specialty, and focus on that. If they say ‘everything’, well, then try a little of everything.

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