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There was a time when China was considered to be a rather traditional, conservative nation which strongly upheld conformity. While tradition, culture and family are still valued, the younger generation in China has today become more fascinated, interested and even attracted to the western culture.
Western trends, if not as prevalent or as wide-spread across China, are as popular as they are in Europe and the United States. In fact, should you be toying with the idea of pursuing a university degree in China, and you’re wondering how the day-to-day get-up looks like, you don’t have to look farther than your own bedroom drawers and closet. Style-wise though, Chinese dressing still differs a bit from the western type especially where modern, media-hyped, Hollywood-inspired clothing is concerned. So if you’d like to take on the look of a local Chinese young man or woman, be aware of how it is in China.
a) Bikinis are almost non-existent. When you’re traveling along any of China’s coastlines, don’t expect to see young women in those skimpy bikinis. Even 2-piece swim suits are not often worn on the shorelines or beaches. If you’re a young western girl coming to study in China, a one-piece swimming wear would be the wise investment. Perhaps because of tradition and culture, showing too much skin among women is generally frowned upon. This is reason enough for women over 30 to be seldom seen wearing a two-piece swimming outfit. It’s usually the conservative one-piece for them.
b) For good luck, wear red : Red is probably the most popular color in China. It is believed widely to bring riches and good fortune. If by any chance you get invited to any Chinese festivity or celebration while at the university, make it a point to wear something red. Bright-colored-clothes are also very commonly worn at ceremonies, festivals and family affairs. During the Spring Festival which happens during the early part of the year, you’ll see lots of greens, reds, blues, oranges and yellows in all festivity-associated trimmings. If you find yourself in it, be in something brightly-colored.
c) Forget your flip-flops : Especially, if they don’t have stylish leather straps, they’d be seen in China as cheap. In any case, you’d probably be doing a lot of walking in and around the university so it’ll be more practical packing a pair of comfortable tennis or running shoes. They’ll come in handy as you get to be familiar with the country’s varied cityscapes during the day. For going out at night, you should have a pair of black, leather dress shoes.
d) U.S, styles are in : When moving about on the university campus and the city streets, don’t worry too much about what to wear. Casual American styles are popular in China. Your branded sports shirts and logo-laden clothes are just fine. And should you feel like donning something that might be regarded a bit unconventional, that’s ok too, as long as it’s got nothing printed or designed on it to offend Chinese sensibilities.
e) Finally, particularly if you’re a young woman, when in doubt lean towards conservative clothing.
In physical features you may not exactly look like a Chinese but dressing the way they do will certainly be a step closer to looking like a local. And they’ll appreciate it too. __________________________________________________________________
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