Sartorial Recommendations for Beijingers

This piece in Chinese recommends some basic sartorial rules for locals to follow during the Olympics this year.

“讲究服装穿戴并不一定就是穿名牌服装,它的基本原则是:颜色和谐、环境和谐、自身条件和谐、时节和谐、与主人的要求和谐。”

This sound argument ranks projecting tidiness above wearing expensive brand names.

Some highlights (I will offer loose translations, as I am not a professional):

“两扣的只扣上面的,三扣的只扣第1、2个或中间1个”

Men are advised to button only the top button when wearing a two button suit coat and the two top buttons or the middle one when wearing a three button coat. I’m glad they put this advice in here because countless Beijing men make the mistake of buttoning all of the buttons on their suit coat. This, however, is not nearly so atrocious or perplexing a violation of sartorial rules as buttoning only the bottom button of a three button jacket, also frequently observed here. One of my colleagues wears a four button black polyester suit and usually buttons only the bottom button. Of course, if you’ve already decided to wear this type of suit, you might as well just spit on any rules or aesthetics, for that matter.

“慎穿毛衫、巧配内衣”

Men should be cautious when wearing sweaters – this means with suits – and carefully select appropriate underwear. Businessmen here adore the sweater with suit look, for which foreigners mock them. To the second recommendation, I might add that Beijingers of both sexes should strive to keep their thermal underwear from being revealed either at the ankle, waist, or cuff. Of course, the Olympics is in summer so this won’t be a risk.

Turning to the women:

“所配披肩、手提包、皮鞋的颜色要同衣服和裙子颜色协调。忌着黑色发亮的皮短裙。”

Focusing on leather, Women are advised to ensure that their bags and shoes match in color and go well with the color of their garments. Short and shiny black leather dresses are, rightly, repudiated.

Most of this advice is quite solid and these basic guidelines need to be made known. However, in my opinion, mismatching is not the worst sartorial crime being committed in Beijing. To really improve the city’s image, they might add that most women should steer clear of animal prints, too many metallic objects such as chains and buckles attached to clothing and accessories, an abundance of glitter and lace, and nonsensical English. Granted, these violations are slowly becoming less frequent.

On a more conceptual level, Stylites would like to make the following, somewhat naughty, recommendation:

尽量不要穿得像小姐暴发户,或者民工

People should do their best to avoid dressing like a trollop, arriviste, or migrant laborer.

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