Most of us have already come to terms that this CNY is going to be a lot different from the usual celebrations, as we go through MCO 2.0. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t invest in outfits that scream of new hope for the upcoming Year of the Ox! If you’re worried that you won’t be able to make full use of your new buys, why not opt for pieces with hints or elements of CNY on them instead of getting a cheongsam, so that you can wear them on casual outings even long after the festive season is over? Here are 8 versatile picks that that we won’t think twice about adding to (our) cart:

1. Lunar New Year Sweater, RM1,800, Coach

Photography: Coach

We understand if you’re feeling a li’l nervous to meet your BF’s family for the first time. Just like Rachel from Crazy Rich Asians, the entire experience can be rather daunting, but the trick to overcome it is to dress up in a comfortable yet stylish outfit to make that first and all-important meeting a success! So why not count on this red sweater that comes with an ox print to do the job? Instead of jeans, pair it with a leather skirt that falls slightly above your knees and peep-toed shoes to elongate your legs. Keep your accessories simple with a pair of gold earrings and voilà!

2. ‘Celaine’ Top, RM99, Inch Perfect

Photography: Inch Perfect

Willing to let go of the regular red but still want to wear something that comes with cheongsam elements? Then this top might work for you! The combination of white and blue tones on this fitted top will not only accentuate your features but also brighten up the mood in the room. Not to mention, the Chinese Empress power-shoulder feature combined with the Pankou knots are elements that will make Ah Ma’s eyes light up at the sight of you! Match it with a pair of fitted white denim pants and ankle-strapped heels and you’re all set for a rocking day.

3. Prosperous Tee Re-Work, RM189, Kittie Yiyi

Photography: Kittie Yiyi

If you’re a minimalist and want to wear something that’s airy, comfortable and yet a tad fancy, then this prosperi-tee (geddit? geddit?) will suit you well. Made of 100% cotton, the tee comes with gutters in the centre, making it easy for you to breathe even after you’ve indulged in all that scrumptious CNY food! If shorts are a little too casual for your liking, then pair this tee with palazzo pants in red or orange, white sneakers and a chunky bracelet to bring out an easy-going and fun vibe.

4. Oriental Floral Graphic T-Shirt, RM161.78, Maarimaia

Photography: Maarimaia

School reunions are the best as you get to bring out the cheeky (or rebellious) side of you! So instead of wearing something overtly fancy, opt for a casual top like this oriental retro-style tee from Maarimaia. Made of soft and thick cotton jersey, this body-fitting piece goes well with denim overalls – unbuckled on one side, of course, to reveal the colourful doodle. Complete your look with a knotted headband, button earrings and a pair of sneakers!

5. Opera Face Satin Wrap Trousers, RM1,988, Melinda Looi

Photography: Melinda Looi

The first thing that drew our attention to this delicate piece was its combination of colours – red, orange, green, blue, grey and white – that is put together ingeniously. Take a closer look and you’d see that the colours form images of opera singers that take us back in time to the days of Chinese folklores, making it an ideal piece to wear and a conversation starter amongst relatives. Made from satin silk scarf, this upcycled item will pair well with a halter neck top and sneakers, and bring out that cool and confident side of you!

6. Long Sleeve Knit Dress, RM2,360, Moschino

Photography: Moschino

We totally understand that working out in the past year hasn’t been easy and we’re not here to judge, even if you’ve put on a few kgs (I know I have!). Nevertheless, in every family, there will always be relatives who might ask you that sensitive question. To avoid the awkward scenario and usher in the Year of the Ox with love, opt for this oversized knit dress that will let you enjoy all the glorious CNY food without worry. Made of 100% cotton, the flared hem is a bonus for you to move around easily and the piece is super comfortable too! Wear it with a pair of knee-high boots and put your hair up in a high bun or sleek ponytail to bring out that rock star vibe in you.

7. CNY Khaki Rookie Shacket, RM479, Superdry

Photography: Superdry

Get-togethers with the big boss can be a little tricky cos as much as you want to appear like you’re in the festive mood, you’d also want to maintain your professionalism. This rookie jacket that comes with a ‘prosperity’ print at the back is the key to a toned-down CNY look and we’re loving the cool-girl vibe it brings. Off-duty, wear this over a bodycon dress, throw on a sling bag and you’re set!

8. Convertible Swing Dress, RM239, Saturday Club

Photography: SaturdayClub

Surprise visits under any circumstances are what most of us dread, and the best way to play it safe is by having a dress that you can change into in a matter of seconds. This flared dress that falls just above your knees comes with a removable collar that you can attach and detach anytime you like. If there isn’t a need to do so and you have a love-hate relationship with collars, then all you need is a pair of pretty danglers to complete the look. The plus point is that if you encounter a situation where there’s an emergency at work, just add on the collar, throw on a blazer and you’re good to go!

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