A Mainlander’s fashion faux pas in Hong Kong

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25th April 2024 – (Hong Kong) A mainland Chinese woman who recently relocated to Hong Kong for work shared her sartorial challenges on the popular social media platform XiaoHongShu.

Despite her proficiency in Cantonese, she found herself immediately identifiable as a non-local due to her choice of clothing. In her post, which garnered considerable attention, she expressed frustration at being so easily spotted as a mainlander. Her attire, markedly different from the local norm, included crop tops with significant back exposure paired with tight shorts—a stark contrast to the more subdued, casual style commonly adopted in Hong Kong.

The discussion around her post highlighted a broader conversation about the cultural distinctions in attire between Hong Kong residents and visitors from mainland China. Local netizens pointed out that typical Hong Kong fashion tends to favour neutral colours and prioritises comfort, which starkly differed from the more flamboyant style preferred by the poster.

Her attempts to adapt by trying out ‘Hong Kong style’ attire were met with personal dissatisfaction as she described the local fashion as unappealing to her tastes. This led to a vigorous online debate, with many encouraging her not to be disheartened by the opinions of others. Comments ranged from supportive reminders that differences between tourists and residents in dress and behaviour are normal, to more affirming responses asserting the importance of individuality in fashion choices.