A modernized Mandarin dress


Lunar New Year of the Rabbit is coming up on Jan 22. Why not put on a modernized Mandarin dress for Lunar New Year even if you are not of East Asian descent? The Mandarin collar can keep your neck warm in winter. Better yet, the sleek cut of a Mandarin dress usually goes pretty well with boots. A Mandarin dress made of thick fabric really can become a wardrobe essential in winter and early spring.

There are many websites that sell Mandarin dresses, which are also known as qipao or cheongsam. You can easily search for them on Google. When you look for a Mandarin dress, you should be able to find some with black side panels, and those are what I would recommend. As a matter of fact, black side panels are more optically slimming than all black! This is because black side panels divide the horizontal view and thus can make whatever object being viewed appear narrower.

The sheath silhouette of a Mandarin dress usually works best with a long waist. In case your proportions are simiar to mine (short torso + long legs), you can cinch the dress with a wide belt to accentuate a nip at the waist, as shown in my photo here.

By the way, you may notice a spring couplet in my photo. The two lines of the couplet composed and handwritten by my maternal granddad can be translated into English as "Keep your kindness as the most precious treasure to enjoy for a whole lifetime; regard your heart as the most fertile land to cultivate for hundreds of generations."

A spring couplet consists of two lines in parallel structure to express auspicious wishes for Lunar New Year, which is also dubbed as the spring festival, because ancient Chinese defined the beginning of spring as the day when the sun reaches the celestial longitude of 315 degrees. That happens in early February and usually overlaps with the 15th celebration of Lunar New Year, which starts with a new moon between Jan 21 and Feb 20. If you would like to learn more about spring couplets, here's a short video that will tell you everything about them: https://youtu.be/Lq80SilG6SY

I hope you find the styling tips provided above helpful and the knowledge about Lunar New Year interesting. Happy Lunar New Year!

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