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How Chinese Street Fashion Moved from Runway to Street Way 


At the outbreak of the pandemic and the compulsory lockdown the world experienced in 2020, Chinese street fashion took a viral toll on social media.

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It was as though Chinese fashionistas agreed that since they couldn’t have a physical runway show—thanks to the pandemic—they’d turn their streets into a runway. And so they did transform the streets of Beijing into a catwalk. 

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The results?

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Slow-motion videos like this that featured Chinese fashionistas expressing their style while strutting majestically:

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Because these guys are fashion risk-takers comfortable in all they wear, we’ve decided to draw inspiration from Chinese street fashion. And if you too will like to pull it off, you’ll see how to in this post.

Ready for that? Great. Let’s dive in.

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What is Chinese Street Fashion?

girl rocking ebony girl Chinese street fashiongirl rocking ebony girl Chinese street fashion

As the name implies, this is the street style peculiar to the indigenous people of China. It became popular when videographers filmed fashionistas on the street and uploaded the videos on Douyin, China’s version of Tiktok. 

Eventually, these videos moved from China Douyin to other Tiktok countries, Instagram, and other platforms, thus going viral naturally.

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Like streetwear outfits, this style features denim, hoodies, joggers, etc. But one extra factor that makes it more appealing is the infusion of traditional Chinese wear.

This goes without saying Chinese street style isn’t limited to one specific style. It’s a combination of different fashion genres that result in outstanding pieces you just can’t help giving three glances.

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The videos you see on Tiktok may tempt you to create your unique version of Chinese street fashion trends. And to pull it off successfully, you first have to know what this style entails.

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In other words, what outfits do you need to add to your wardrobe to birth your version of Chinese street style for the viewing pleasure of your social media followers?

Let’s look at them in detail.

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Outfits that Comprise Chinese Street Fashion

lady rocking ebony girl street fashion outfitlady rocking ebony girl street fashion outfit

You have to mix different styles to create your statement piece .. That’s how Chinese fashion icons do it.

They draw inspiration from other trends and incorporate them with Chinese cultural pieces. Thus owning the look with a touch of their personal style.

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Common outfits that make up this style include:

1. Hip Hop

lady rocking hip-hop Chinese street fashion outfitlady rocking hip-hop Chinese street fashion outfit

The baggy pants, crop tops, loose jackets, bucket hats, chains, dungarees, sneakers, etc., peculiar to 90’s hip-hop fashion have been integrated into Chinese fashionistas.

This music genre greatly influenced the fashion world. Rather than follow mainstream fashion, hip hop set its own rules. It’s why 90s artistes combined high-end designer pieces with casual wear to create a look peculiar to themselves.

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Chinese lady rocking hip hop street wearChinese lady rocking hip hop street wear

And Chinese fashion enthusiasts have succeeded in modernizing these looks as they merge 90’s hip-hop fashion with current trends they wear.

Watch this video to see how they pull it off:

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2. Pastel Goth

2 Chinese girls wearing goth Chinese fashion2 Chinese girls wearing goth Chinese fashion

Gothic fashion is a clothing style comprising dark, mysterious, antiquated, and often genderless features. For instance, it features smoky makeup, dyed black hair, dark nail polish, etc.

Chinese fashion also takes cues from goth fashion. But this time, they made the color palette pastel. 

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lady wearing goth Chinese street fashionlady wearing goth Chinese street fashion

That is, they combine the dark styles of goth fashion to create outfits deeply rooted in Japanese Harajuku street style and lolita fashion.

Take a look:

3. Trado-inspired

man and lady wearing trado-inspired Chinese street fashionman and lady wearing trado-inspired Chinese street fashion

The street style of China doesn’t abandon their culture. They infuse it into their modern pieces to create a blend of trado-modern Chinese street fashion.

man and woman wearing traditional Chinese fashionman and woman wearing traditional Chinese fashion

To achieve this, they pair outfits like Hanfu with wide-brimmed hats, knee-high boots, belts, midi bags, etc., and strut down the streets.

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See for yourself:

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4. E-girl/E-boy

lady rocking ebony girl street fashion outfitlady rocking ebony girl street fashion outfit

Stephanie Osmanski, Writer at Parade, defines an e-girl as:

“E-girls are a subculture derived from social media platforms like TikTok and Instagram and are typically categorized by winged eyeliner, vibrant and heavy eyeshadow, and a child-like aesthetic often associated with anime and cos..”

Stephanie Osmanski

girl rocking ebony girl Chinese street fashiongirl rocking ebony girl Chinese street fashion

Chinese fashion imbibes the Internet culture of youngsters to create outstanding outfits such as schoolgirl skirts, layered skirts, sweaters, and jackets along with baggy pants and chunky boots, knee-high socks, etc. 

Here’s an example of how they pull it off:

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Chinese fashion brands take advantage of their street fashion thingy to showcase their designs and set trends right t. on the street. And with the help of Tiktok fashion trends, these new designs go beyond the shores of China to Europe, America, Australia, Africa and beyond.

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ALSO READ: Korean Street Fashion: 10 Must-Have Outfits to Nail Your K-Fashion Look 

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