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Dressing Taboos in East Asia!

A very unique ‘Chinese fashion’ will be coming to the end of an era - earlier in July 2019 Ji'nan has announced to forbid men walking around in public in the summer time with their bellies exposed - so called ‘Beijing Bikini’ by many foreigners. Guess many other cities will follow this after Ji'nan.


With such a sudden change, many grandpas are gonna cry in the bathroom for a while.


Our clothes have their own languages, sometimes our appearance speaks for ourselves. Just like we all know that ‘Casual Smart’ always goes right in workplace, then how are we gonna dress appropriately out of business occasions? Well, things varies from place to place, there are some taboos you think it’s OK in your country but may be giggled or forbidden in east Asia. Today we will teach you to avoid these taboos. 




In China


01 No green hat!


If you have been in China for a while, you will find an interesting phenomenon that barely no green hats are seen in shops. If you wear a green hat, no matter a light one or dark one, people around you may give you a short snicker and pat your shoulder with a teasing smile.


As you may be confused, it’s actually a Chinese slang that says if your other part is cheating on you, you will be called  ‘wearing a green hat!’ Now you understand the teasing smile, go for another colour of hat then!



02 No shining decorations!


Shining decorations are beautiful in advertisement and also welcomed by a lot of people in other countries. However, you may not want to wear these stuff such as a fat golden necklace or other bling bling accessories on the street of China.


Chinese people will associate you with a noveau riche in bad taste as these stuff are their typical marks. Go for a simple but elegant look just like a thin silver bracelet or platinum ring, it will help you look better.



In Japan

01 No shorts for adults!


Wearing shorts in public places is acceptable in many countries. However, in Japan, you seldom see adults wearing shorts on the street, ladies may go with skirts but not with shorts either.

Though Japan has more tolerant attitudes on some part of their culture, the people still think it's not very appropriate for adults to show too much of their legs, so shorts are usually for primary school students. There still may be some adults wearing shorts, but if you want to be fully respected, better leave your shorts at home.


02 Leggings are stockings!


It’s quite funny for some foreigners to find girls wearing a miniskirt or shorts outside their leggings, you may be quite confused with that as you can wear it naturally in your country.


In local people's thoughts, leggings are mostly tight and bouncy, so they tend to see it as stockings. As one won’t wear stockings without a skirt, then they tend to wear one with leggings.



In Korea


01 Hide your shoulders!


As many of you may think too much legs exposing is a sign of immodest in a conservative country like Korea, still, it is not seen modest if you go for a off-the-shoulder look. This can be regarded as a sexual hint and is seen as ‘too open'. It may be OK for young teenagers but is not approved by the old generations.

As the country has a well-reputation on respecting the old, so you can barely find people wearing sleeveless shirt in public, they protect their upper body a lot.



02 No more miniskirt!


Miniskirt is popular and welcomed by a lot of people around the world, it is also acceptable in east Asia as well. However, a very recent law came into force in Korea that you wouldn’t want to wear it anymore.


It is said you may be fined for wearing miniskirt, for the law forbids anyone ‘expose too much’ in public places. Kind of strict maybe, but better not to go against the laws there.



Here are the dressing taboos you need to be aware of in east Asia, it's true our outlook doesn't always speak for ourselves, but still it never goes wrong to follow the social customs as an expat in a foreign country. We wish you always dress right, cool and stunning!

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