How to look good in a Cheongsam dress for Chinese New Year 2018

What to wear for Chinese New Year 2018?

Ah, how about a stylish Cheongsam dress?

Abit of background, this often tight fitting one piece dress was created in Shanghai in the 1920s, worn by socialites and the upper class women as a fashion statement.

Dare to try if you hadn’t before? I mean, Chinese New Year is that best time of the year you can wear it without getting weird stares on the streets, right?

Cheongsams come in a wide range of styles and fabric types

Silk Cheongsam

Satin Cheongsam

Lace Cheongsam

Brocade Cheongsam

Cotton & Linen Cheongsam

Wool Cheongsam

Velvet Cheongsam

Acrylic Cheongsam

They come in different lengths as well

And how can we not mention the famous (and very sexy) Cheongsam split?

Various types of sleeves too

You must now be wondering… wow so many variations… how do I get the right fit to enhance my body?

“I don’t dare to wear it”

“Its so tight it makes me fat”

“I don’t have the perfect figure, maybe next time if I slim down”

“Nah, Cheongsams are expensive, I don’t want to spend so much on a dress I probably will only wear once”

and blah blah blah…

Yes, Cheongsams are designed to flatter the body, but lets face it, MOST OF US DO NOT have the figure of a supermodel. But the saving grace here is about choosing a piece that accentuates our asset and hide our flaws. Same logic as piling on makeup (my friend calls it painting) to conceal blemishes… hide ittttt! So yup, I say we are good to go if we are able to find that one perfect piece that will help enhance our figure.

Some tips below to find “that perfect piece”:

For shorter women, avoid those with boxy cuts and shoulder pads as they tend to weigh you down. Don’t go for the long ones as they will make you look shorter. Choose mid length Cheongsams as they help elongate the legs.

For women with broader shoulders, Cheongsams with shoulder pads should be avoided as they will make you look top-heavy. Choose the silky type of fabric to soften the silhouette.

For skinny women, you can go for brocaded (heavy silk fabric sewn on with gold or silver threads). This will give more form and curves to your body structure.

For women with flabby arms, choose three quarter sleeves to hide those bye-bye arms!

For women with larger chests, avoid heavily brocaded fabric as they tend to attract stares in that direction (unless that’s your intent 😊).

For women with shorter necks, pick one with a lower collar so that it gives an illusion of a longer neck. On the reverse, women with longer necks will look beautiful in those traditional high collared ones.

For women who are either top heavy or bottom heavy, wear Cheongsam separates. Top heavy women should avoid large contrasting prints; a simple single coloured top will work well to create an elegant look for this group of ladies. For those with heavier bottoms, try a straight cut skirt with a side slit.


Hairstyle to match your Cheongsam dress

Expert advice: go for something simple, classics can’t go wrong. No stress, no hand cramps trying to do complicated braids. Moreover, Cheongsams are on its own already a fashion statement piece.

Makeup to go with your Cheongsam dress

1. If your Cheongsam has a main colour, use that colour on your face. For example, if you are wearing a red Cheongsam, consider putting on red lipstick to achieve a bold look. Or, if your dress has gold motifs, why not consider gold eyeshadow? Go softer if you are conservative, most importantly, have fun experimenting with the different looks.

2. If your Cheongsam is a darker colour, use vibrant colours on your face. Again, red lipstick can’t go wrong.

3. If your Cheongsam is somewhat neutral in colour, time to jazz up your face and get creative. There are tons of YouTube makeup tutorials out there. Check them out.

What shoes to wear with your Cheongsam dress?

Be adventurous. Experiment marrying traditional with modern to create that chic look. Don’t be shy to catwalk down your living room aisle with sandals, platforms, heels, flats, sneakers, brogues, whatever. See which fits the best, complements your personality, and yet comfortable enough for the home visits.

Accessories to go with Cheongsam dress

The rule of thumb is really to look “balanced” and appropriate. Cheongsams on its own are already a decorative piece. Sleek and simple is the key here. Remember, less is more. You can even forget about wearing a necklace if it looks distracting.

For single solid coloured Cheongsams, you can play up your creative juices in the makeup, accessories, hair and shoes.

For more elaborated Cheongsam pieces, keep your makeup and accessories neutral. Perhaps, you could even coordinate your makeup and accessories to match the colour of your dress. By doing so, you won’t steal attention either ways. 

Where to buy Cheongsam dresses in Singapore?

Well, I think buying your Cheongsams online is the best bet (although the downside is that you will not be able to try on the sizes.). That, as a compromise, you get your stylish Cheongsam at a lower price compared to a retail store. You can easily purchase your Cheongsams online for below S$50 bucks.

Otherwise, two options to buy Cheongsams from retail stores in Singapore

  1. Chinatown for Cheongsams definitely. However, their designs might not be as stylish.
  2. Traditional shops selling “real” Cheongsams. However, you will need a way higher budget for this. And even more so for those custom-made/ tailored ones.

Meanwhile, I have collected some of the online retailer’s Cheongsam selection for your reference. Have fun browsing and till then, take care and happy shopping!

Check out these trendy and exquisite Cheongsam designs (yet at super affordable prices

Chic and trendy design ranging from handbags, totes, clutches and more with Charles & Keith Online:

Discover the best in beauty, makeup and skincare. And yay to free samples with every purchase by Sephora Online:

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