Fashion buyers reveal choices for Chinese New Year dressing

Fashion buyers reveal choices for Chinese New Year dressing

Shop for the 3Cs

When it comes to personal style, fashion buyer Marie Wong uses three Cs as a guide - casual, contemporary and comfortable.

The 35-year-old sources women's wear labels for Robinsons, including The Kooples, Elizabeth and James, See By Chloe, Paul & Joe Sister, By Malene Birger, and Samsoe & Samsoe.

This Chinese New Year, Ms Wong - who has been a buyer for five years and working with Robinsons for seven months - intends to mix and match neutrals and reds when she goes visiting.

"For the first day, I've selected a Tela Operato silk dress in fuschia as it is relaxing and feminine.

"The second day can be a little more casual and I will match the Issa balloon top in wild pink with cute text print shorts from Paul & Joe Sister," she says, adding that she allows herself to splurge once a year.

To complete the look, Ms Wong has some choice accessories.

"I've also chosen a contrast nude short handle mini bucket bag from Elizabeth and James to go with my reds," she says.

Elizabeth and James mini bucket bag ($895).

"My shoes have to go with my bags and comfort is key for me," she adds. So she is glad to have got the Rachel Zoe Izzy ankle strap flat sandals in black.

Rachel Zoe Izzy ankle strap flat sandles ($525).

Keep with tradition

You can't go wrong with red for ChineseNew Year. And OG's veteran buyer Celia Seah, 50, is recommending that people go with that colour, in any shade.

"The first day of the Chinese New Year is typically a day for visiting the more senior members of our extended families. So I recommend wearing traditional cheongsam or qipao to honour our elders," she says.

A standout piece, she adds, is a purple i-Shanghai's floral qipao with embossed flowers.

Ms Seah says you don't need an hourglass figure to pull off the department store's cheongsam.

"Our i-Shanghai qipao is exceptionally flattering for those with not-so-perfect figures. They are generally not designed to be figure-hugging," explains Ms Seah, a buyer of 19 years.

To accessorise, she recommends pairing the cheongsam with a pair of Silver Tree diamante earrings (only at OG Albert).

She has also improvised a multi-coloured crystal Watts In hair band (only at OG Albert and OG Orchard Point) to be used as a choker and hung one side of the Jesace amethyst bead hook earrings as the pendant (only at OG Albert and OG Orchard Point).

To complete the elegant look, she chooses a Unipel boxy clutch bag that "matches perfectly" with a pair of Sarrer black pointed-toe sling-back pumps.

For the second day, Ms Seah recommends casual elegance in the form of an Arthur Yen side-embroidered flared dress in cranberry red.

Arthur Yen's cranberry red side-embroidered flared dress ($159).

"The flared skirt helps gently soften nottoo-perfect hips, and the baroque floral embroidery gives a touch of spring," she says.

Her choice accessories: a Jesace purple agate necklace, Rockport's mesh-trimmed suede pumps, and Bonia leather-trimmed signature monogram drawstring shopper.

Rockport's mesh-trimmed suede pumps ($189).

Dare to be modern

To stand out, opt for a modern, functional look by COS. Part of the H&M Group, COS offers crisp lines and interesting textures for its spring-summer 2015 collection, which has a strong sports influence.

There are two COS shops here - one at ION Orchard, another at Westgate Singapore.

COS' slimline trousers ($125).

Managing director Marie Honda - who began her career as a buyer for H&M Group in 2000 in its Stockholm head office - says COS offers "something for every occasion", including Chinese New Year.

Says Ms Honda: "New techniques have been researched and proportions, prints and patterns are playful. COS pays a great deal of attention to the quality of its garments and always looks for ways to innovate fabrications for a more modern and interesting feel."

Men looking to stand out in the sea of red this festive period may want to consider her "key" recommendation: a leaf print shirt.

"The fun pattern will add an unexpected twist on a perfectly fitted black suit", says the 40-yearold, who joined COS as head buyer for menswear in 2008.

Or, if you prefer to leave out the sombre shade traditionally frowned upon during spring blossom festivities, just wear the shirt on its own.

Her other choice picks include a pair of slimline trousers, as well as a bottle green technical cotton shirt jacket and trousers.

As for women, Ms Honda recommends two futuristic-looking dresses: A silver iridescent technical cotton dress with rolled sleeves and cutaway back for the first day of Chinese New Year; and an iridescent green metallic tunic with squared-off neck for the second day.

The dress can be worn on its own or with a pair of hightwist cotton tailored shorts.

This article was first published on Feb 8, 2015.
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