Festive Lunar New Year Outfit Ideas Based on Your Chinese Zodiac Element
Despite outdoor festivities on hold for the foreseeable, there’s no reason to dial down your style as you celebrate at home with loved ones. The staunch traditionalist might say that red is a no-brainer choice (and there are actually no others). On the other hand, the modernist will want something a little more subversive instead of reaching for cherry-splashed cheongsams or fiery tonal sets.
As times have changed, the event has definitely progressed to be a little more sartorially forgiving. There are plenty of ways for any individual style to shine through. In the true spirit of the occasion, we’ve paired pieces to match your personality according to your Chinese zodiac element. You can pick your favorite colors too! So no matter what style you gravitate towards—even in the middle—we’ve got you covered with these celebration-ready looks you’ll want to wear even beyond the lunar bash.
Red is a culturally-significant hue in Chinese culture. Wearing this siren shade means starting the new year on a good note. It represents joy and good fortune—believed to scare away the bad spirits. Beyond its cultural roots, red is also just a fresh, head-turning shade that’s apt for spring.
For passionate, thrill-chasing fire signs, take cues from Chinese women’s penchant for megawatt glam with a diamante strap piece. Interesting cuts will also give any simple ensemble character, whether it be asymmetrical, hi-low, or wrap. We love a traditional cheongsam for the latter, which is the most important dress to sport when wearing red. If you’re looking to make a statement, we say go full red haute.
The conscientious mediators of the zodiac value practicality and efficiency. So it makes sense that they’ll drift towards utilitarian styles. Jumpsuits are one-piece wonders that have long retained their place in every busy girl’s closet. Its effortlessness virtually needs no other extra pieces.
In the essence of luxe, those who feel like breaking away from their everyday staples can try a hand at faux fur. Something as lowkey as strategically-placed trims can be especially chic and arresting even in a muted neutral shade. Meanwhile, laid-back dressers can still have their moment. We recommend some texture to spruce it up, like a ruched skirt or a beautifully-stitched sweater.
Blue reminds us of a time when we could wander off from the city to revel in the beauty of crystal waters. Apart from its oceanic nature, it’s no wonder why blue is such a beloved shade. It’s easy on the eyes and looks great on any skin tone. The introspective artists of the zodiac will probably agree—this color is fitting for their peaceful personalities. Those with darker skin tones will look amazing in blue satin or an eye-catching royal blue, especially when subtly embellished with dainty accessories.
On the more relaxed side of the pond, flowy baby doll dresses offer maximum comfort and style all in one. Don’t feel like wearing a one-piece? Try a tie-dye skirt that’s elementally apropos with a solid-colored wrap top and strappy heels.
The thing with warm palettes is that there are so many ways to mix and match them. Incorporating it into your get-ups is almost always a no-fuss process and guaranteed to be wearable. We think the sunny dispositions of the wise wood signs don’t deserve the plain beige looks. While you can definitely rock it for easy elegance, a celebratory event calls for something a little more fanciful than something you would wear on your casual days.
Explore fun prints like paisley or a trendy animal print like leopard in universally-flattering silhouettes. If you ask us, there’s no better time to experiment fashionably. Although we get that wood signs could be steadfast with their styles, we recommend injecting subtle prints by choosing contrast-detailed pieces. A paneled pleated midi in a tri-color palette would be a great choice paired with black floss heels.
We constantly rave about textural pieces and for a good reason! It lets methodical minimalists (like metal types) venture off the textbook definition of minimal. Don’t get us wrong, we love our fair share of sleek monochrome but it could translate as too plain for festive occasions. It’s also not appropriate to wear for the Lunar New Year as black and white are symbolic of mourning and death. Of course, brights, as well as metallics like silver and gold, naturally reign supreme to match the upbeat affair.
Get with the mood and go for high shine fabrics such as velvet, silk, or sequin. Throw in some patent leather in there too if you prefer to keep your shine as a complementing feature instead of the highlight.
Have Fun With It
In the midst of all the not-so-fun things that have transpired in the past year, the festivities of the Lunar New Year is a time to enjoy dressing up and be more adventurous with your clothes. After all, going big is fully encouraged. There’s no doubt a little convivial party will uplift your spirits.
It’s also a time to explore the culture and share it with others, whether it be your own roots to get acquainted with or simply something you’d like to learn about. Bonds formed—even digitally—through an exchange of heritage and fashion is definitely something worth cultivating.