With every Chinese New Year we celebrate, the one thing most of us have to contend with when it comes to what to wear for two days (or more) of festive celebrations is the tradition of wearing red. The redder the better, says customs and age-old superstitions; but what if going red gives us headaches everytime we see ourselves in the mirror?
Luckily, while red is highly preferred, other jolly shades are generally acceptable as well - just as long as it isn't black - so we've picked out 12 outfits that will please your elders and distant relatives, without having to don the crimson shade.
And, just in case you get a disapproving glance your way, we've got a handy excuse for each one. You can thank us later.
Printed tulip dress, $76.90, New Look
Blue-and-white is such a classic Chinois colour. Think of all the ceramic bowls you eat rice out of. If that isn't quintessentially Chinese, what is?
Navy jacquard dress, $119, Warehouse
Black? Who says so? This is a midnight blue at its darkest, made seasonally-appropriate with the jacquard fabric and Peony flowers. Plus can't you imagine Kate Middleton in this?
Navy cheongsam, $269, Tong Tong Friendship Store
Start off on the right note with a modernised cheongsam. Funky checkered patterns and the peek of a rosy peony print at the pocket? Bonus points!
Claudette dress, $730, Kate Spade
What's more auspicious than this adorable Mondrian-inspired dress with all the colour you can wear in one? Nothing, that is.
Paisley print shift dress, $69, Mango
Get into the New Year spirit with this feisty purple dress that is almost as much of a lucky colour as red is, but a lot less bold and a lot more stylish.
Snakeskin silk top, $325, Zadig & Voltaire Channel the Year of the Snake in this snakeskin printed top, which you can brighten up with neon accessories. Add a splash of colour with your shoes and you'll be golden.
Iris & Ink sweater, $272, The Outnet
Nothing says "I am so happy to be here" better than a so-bright-you-need-shades colour, so pick this acid yellow colour-block sweater to really tell the world.
Vine halter dress, $249, French Connection Flowers are a fail-safe choice, especially when they are plastered all over a figure-flattering dress like this. Add some gold earrings and you'll be all good.
Peach t-shirt dress, $129, Lacoste Live
Make pale pink stripes your only concession to wearing red with this casual t-shirt dress. Festive and comfy - all you need for a busy day of visitations.
Marine printed t-shirt, $89, Lacoste
An oft-referenced animal during the New Year is the fish. So use that to your advantage with this marine life printed t-shirt, Who knows, you might just get away with it.
Floral printed silk jumpsuit, $219, Guess
Silk is such a traditionally well-loved fabric first invented by the Chinese so it'll do you some good this year to slip into this floral jumpsuit for an extra dose of good fortune.
Safari khaki shirt, $69.90, H&M
Army green is a great option if you just can't stand bright colours. Not as omnious as black and a lot cooler than brown, this safari-appropriate shirt is bound to please.