Contemporary Chinese Fashion

From walkway to street fashion, China’s fashion sense has grown and changed dramatically in the last decade.  From post Mao era to current day China, there has been many influences on Chinese fashion.  We will be focusing on Chinese street fashion since it is prevalent in everyday Chinese life.

One major influence on the development of Chinese street fashion is the rise of the middle class.

With over 220 million adolescents between the ages 15-24, they are the main focus of Chinese street fashion. Also, this encouraged the “fast fashion” market in China. International brands now sell more affordable versions of clothes by popularity and brand name designers.  Add fast fashion plus the availability of disposable income and the outcome is the rise of teenage “fashionistas.”

FASHION: MEN VS WOMEN

Men fashion compared to women fashion are not too different with each other. Both are low key, clean cut and simple. What’s considered “hot” for young men and women are:

  • “chao” which means trendy
  • simple and clean cut for people just graduating school which gives a more mature and sophisticated and professional look
  • the “sporty” look which grew popular and originated after the Beijing 2008 Olympics
  • high end street fashion which can consists of different versions of high end brand names and popular trending clothing

Some examples of trends during 2012 were loafers and bow ties for men and faux-hawk hair styles which elongated their faces.  In regards to shirts and sweaters, the hem or bottom of their shirt should be in between the waist and the crotch of their pants.  If it is too low then it will be considered baggy, if too short, then it is too “geeky.” Men’s pants should be snug fitting, but not too tight like western style jeans.  The bottom of a pant leg should be above the shoe which elongates the leg and rolled up hems that show the ankle are considered fashionable in China.  As for women, cut out prints are popular with fun graphic designs such as animal prints, floral or graffiti prints.  Women are also fans of neon and contrasting colors which brings out the different styles of each piece of clothing.  Between men and women, round vintage glasses are popular too.  In men, it shows intelligence and boldness but for women, it can show daintiness and the cute and passive side of women.

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