As the single most recognizable symbol of good fortune and joy in Chinese culture, the color red is as integral to the Lunar New Year celebrations as lai see and long family dinners! Legend has it that this bright and vivacious shade can ward off evil beasts and spirits, hence its popular adoption for Chinese celebrations of all kinds.
Of course, it's not only Chinese culture that holds the color red to a special significance. Indian brides traditionally wear red on their wedding day as a symbol of prosperity and fertility, while in Vietnam, Tết – the Vietnamese New Year – is also marked by bright crimson and gold decorations to signify luck. Over in Europe, wine-lovers may be amused to learn that the shade that we know as Burgundy is actually Bordeaux, in French. Even the Catholic Church traditionally held the color red in such high regard that it even named its Cardinals after the shade of their robes.
The widespread popularity of red is unsurprising, as it is in fact one of the first colours that humans learned to master, for dyeing, painting and more - being readily available from red ochre since over 200,000 years ago.
Circling back to Lunar New Year, tradition holds that on New Year's Day (which falls on 25 January this year), you should dress in brand new clothing – even down to brand new underwear and socks! – ideally in shades of scarlet and ruby to ensure prosperity and fortune for the year ahead. As advocates for careful consumption, we suggest not only limiting yourself to bright red, but choosing from the spectrum of reds and pinks a shade and style that you feel you would truly enjoy wearing. Just a few key pieces in these beautiful hues can add a festive pop of vibrancy to your outfits, not only for this holiday but also in coming years!
Here are our curated picks to help you ring in the Year of the Rat in style:
Spun from 100% featherlight silk, Our Pintuck Blouse comes in a cheerful cherry shade that is perfect for CNY celebrations. The clever gathered waist not only looks great, but also slims the silhouette. For an elegant look this pairs perfectly with smart black pants like our Hybrid Legging, or try white pants for an stunningly chic finish!
Special occasion dressing is also made easy with our Grecian Top in Cherry. Made from silk and cut to loosely skim the body, this versatile piece can be dressed up or down to suit your mood.
For red-adjacent options, try smartly tucking a top into our A-Line Miniskirt in Deep Plum. And for your first day back at the office, look no further than our smart Cuffed-Sleeve Tunic Dress, in delicious Dark Cherry with pink colorblocking.
Perfect for any CNY travel plans, our Drawstring Utility Pant with our Blouson Shirt Jacket in a rich burgundy is a clever take on the jumpsuit. Our smart pairing can be worn together for a one-and-done outfit, or separately for extra versatility. This bestselling combo is made from a midweight Upcycled fabric that is both wrinkle-resistant and supremely comfortable, so you can look fresh and fashionable wherever the holiday season takes you!
If you enjoyed this exploration of your color dressing options, stay tuned for our next Color Your Closet article!