Just when you're about to recover from all the fun, food and other indulgences that happened over Christmas and New Year's, it's time for another bout of festivity. That's right; Chinese New Year is only a few days away.
We're bidding goodbye to the Year of the Pig, and ushering in the Year of the Rat based on the Chinese lunar calendar. It's common to be decked in red for Chinese New Year—red represents good fortune and joy in Chinese culture—to symbolise the hopes of a prosperous new year. The colour is almost everywhere this time of the year, and it can be quite a put-off to wear it for the occasion and inevitably match with everything from red packets to lanterns to biscuit containers.
Thankfully, wearing red isn't the only way to embrace Chinese New Year. We've picked out 10 different style pieces to show that you're into the festive spirit without actually making such a bold statement (if you don't feel like it).
#1 Brooks Brothers T-shirt
It's the Year of the Rat so there are bound to be references to the animal in various interpretations by brands. This T-shirt by Brooks Brothers is a subtle nod to the Chinese zodiac for 2020, done in a dapper illustration. Pair this with a pair of tailored chinos and your go-to loafers, and you're good to go.
#2 dunhill leather billfold
This is more of an investment piece rather than a for-the-moment buy. It is customary to splurge on new items for Chinese New Year so why not a spanking new wallet that's digitally printed with an illustration of a goldfish–an animal that symbolises good fortune, health and happiness. Seems pretty apt, no?
#3 MCM leather belt bag
If it's not in the clothes, it's in the accessories where you can have a bit of fun this Chinese New Year. Like a belt bag you'll be carrying around as you travel from one relative's house to another (you know, for those red packets you'll be getting or giving out), especially one that's adorned with a leather mouse motif.
#4 TUMI gift box
Spending at least SGD600 (if you're a Marina Bay Sands Rewards member) at TUMI entitles you this gift box by the brand. It's a complete kit consisting of a set of beautifully printed red packets, luggage stickers and a silk scarf—all designed by Los Angeles-based illustrator Victo Ngai. The latter is the perfect pop of print against a monochromatic look.
#5 Montblanc Great Character Walt Disney Special Edition pens
Mickey Mouse is definitely not a rat, but we can forgive the oversight when it comes to one of the world's most beloved characters. Besides being a symbol of vitality, the rat in Chinese culture is also seen as clever and witty. Note those witty thoughts down on paper with Montblanc's special edition writing instruments. Or at the very least, hope that you're signing off on some clever investments with one.
#6 Mr. Bags x Longchamp travel bag
Skipping the traditions and festivities? Bring along this canvas travel bag as a nod to the Year of the Rat without actually having to celebrate it. It's 2020; you do you.
#7 RIMOWA Chinese New Year stickers
If a luggage sticker acts as a reminder of the places you've travelled with your luggage to, these stickers symbolise the time you decide to take off during 2020's Chinese New Year.
#8 Gucci oversized bowling shirt
Gucci's collaboration with Disney this time around is extensive—everything from leather goods to footwear feature Mickey Mouse. This printed shirt is sure to be one that you'd want to wear even after the festive season is done. Layer this over a tank and left untucked with a pair of high-waisted trousers as a retro nod to the '70s, a la Harry Styles.
#9 Moncler baseball cap
Moncler has quite cleverly reinterpreted its logo into a face of a rat, by inverting it and adding a few abstract details. Sure it's black (not a great colour to wear during Chinese New Year) but it doesn't take up much sartorial real estate that your grandmother would frown upon.
#10 Burberry Union sneakers
But if you have to wear red or feel like it, make it an accent. This pair of sneakers by Burberry is incredibly red, but wear it with blue denims or a cream coordinates, and the colour is immediately less intimidating and in-your-face. And most importantly, still on brand with the Chinese New Year festivities.