What Is the Dress Code in China?

The dress code in China mirrors that of Western nations: younger people typically dress in jeans and t-shirts during casual occasions, while men and women don proper business attire, with skirts, dresses and slacks for women and suits for men during business events. Under Communist rule, Chinese citizens wore government-mandated suits that were called Mao suits. Worn by women and men, those suits included a unisex jacket on top and slacks in either blue or green.

Although government restrictions on clothing no longer exist, Chinese men and women lean towards conservative styles of dress, even when out with friends and family on casual excursions. Chinese women in particular dress more conservatively, with longer skirts and dresses and less revealing swimwear than women of western nations. Younger travelers to China should bring business attire as many situations call for formal attire. Women visiting China for business should wear long skirts and dresses reaching at least knee-length. They should bring blouses or nice long-sleeved shirts, which convey respect and honor.

Men generally wear suits, complete with long-sleeved shirts and slacks, to business meetings. In the hot summer, dress codes permit men to wear button-down collared or polo T-shirts, but they don't wear shorts or street-style tees.

The Chinese admire and respect wealth to some degree. Visiting westerners may wear watches and designer clothes, provided they promote a smart and not provocative look.