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Marvelous Mandarin Dresses for Autumn Birthday Parties

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Today is the autumnal equinox, which marks my maternal grandfather's birthday on the Gregorian calendar. It's interesting that his birth also coincided with the harvest moon on the Chinese lunar calendar. This year's Moon Festival will fall on Sept 27 of the Gregorian calendar, which is the coming Sunday. Were my granddad still around, my extended family definitely would celebrate his lunar calendar birthday this Sunday.

The upper left photo was taken at my granddad's 80th birthday party. Looking back, I wish my mom (left), myself (second from the left) and my grandma (right) had all put on Mandarin dresses for the night that marked both Asian Moon Festival and granddad's 80th birthday, but on-line custom orders of Mandarin dresses were unavailable then. Meanwhile, I felt I was too young to wear a red Mandarin dress, which seems sophisticated. But recognizing red as the most auspicious color in Chinese culture, I chose to have my red on a Clueless-inspired mini dress as a Clueless fan.

I thought I could wait until Granddad's 90th birthday to wear a red Mandarin dress. Given his excellent health at age 80, I took his longevity for granted and expected him to become a centenarian. I didn't know he would choose NOT to celebrate his 90th birthday because of Grandma's passing six months earlier. It was even harder for me to believe that he was diagnosed with lung cancer at age 90 and passed away two months later!

Had I known his 80th birthday would be the last elaborate celebration for him at an upscale Chinese restaurant, I would've searched extremely hard for a youthful looking Mandarin dress in hot pink, which is just about as cheerful as red but cuter.

Sexy Qipao Dress Rose


This mini Mandarin dress is absolutely meant for young ladies, probably best for those from age 17 to 21. I really wish I could've found something like this for Granddad's 80th birthday party.  So, I asked a good friend of mine who is pretty good at Photoshop to help me visualize how it would've worked.


Don't you think this would've been a better choice than that red body-con mini dress?

I wish I could go back in time to my granddad's 80th birthday to change not only my own dress but also my mom's and grandma's. Below is what I would've suggested to my mom.



Burgundy is my mom's favorite color. She would've appeared very elegant in this burgundy Mandarin dress with tiny polka dots. Let's envision the look through my friend's Photoshop work.



Burgundy would've looked wonderful on Grandma, too, especially burgundy velvet. I just adored Grandma's glamour whenever she had a velvet Mandarin dress on. In fact, she had two velvet Mandarin dresses, one burgundy and one royal blue. However, when I asked her to wear one of them for Granddad's 80th birthday, she said they didn't fit her any more. How much I wish she could've ordered a custom made velvet Mandarin dress on line then!

Jacquard Long Style Chinese Robes

The purple on this velvet Mandarin dress has a reddish tone, so it's almost as auspicious as red and burgundy in Chinese culture. I'm sure Granddad would've loved seeing this dress on Grandma!


Don't you agree this velvet Mandarin dress would've been perfect for Grandma?

As Mandarin dresses NEVER go out of style, the three shown above are forever. They would've worked fabulously for me, my mom and my grandma 20 years ago, and they will do the same for three generations of women in any family today or in the future!

The big birthday party we are talking about was 20 years ago? Yes, my granddad would be a centenarian today if still alive. I can't tell you how much I miss him!

Were he a centenarian today, what would I wear for his 100th birthday party? I would be struggling between the two Mandarin dresses shown below. 

The rose print would be the strongest reason for me to pick this red Mandarin dress (which I'm not too young to wear any more), because Granddad's garden had the most beautiful roses I've ever seen in my whole life. He had an incredible green thumb!

Speaking of green, I believe it's a great alternative for red in terms of color options for attending an elderly family member's birthday party, because it can symbolize "evergreen."

Green Cheongsam Gown Peonies

Which one would you select for your grandparent's or parent's big birthday party


Flatter Your Figure

Flatter Your Figure is a weekly blog on about how to make the latest fashion work for real women of all body types. It presents a new post every Wednesday or Thursday.