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Great Outfit for West Street

I love the things that Chinese female tourists wear. No slaves to practicality, their outfits are gloriously, and occasionally horrifically impractical. I already showed you what a typical touring outfit for The Great Wall looks like, and Yangshuo is also crawling with vivid holiday creations like this one. So let’s see, I’m off to a small riverside town in the middle of nowhere -I’ll start with my almost zhende adidas shorts (note, four stripes, not three) floppy Victorian style hat with a flower, umbrella to keep the sun off, and my black bondage shoes. Perfect.

On the same day as seeing this ensemble, I visited the water caves outside town. After ricocheting around inside a tin-can minibus on a rocky dirt road for 30 minutes, covered now with a thin film of brown dust, I entered the caves in a boat through an opening no higher than a metre, so I spent the first five minutes bent double looking at the leak in the bottom of the boat. Then I clambered out, trekked through cave after cave in near darkness, swam in a mud pool, cleaned off in a hot spring, then took the whole journey in reverse. 

And the outfit worn by a lovely young Chinese woman sharing this with me? A black lace dress, a hat exactly like the one pictured above, a red patent vinyl almost zhende Chanel handbag, and sky high tan bondage sandals. Next to her, I felt totally underdressed for a cave visit. I’ll try harder next time.

Great Outfit for the Great Wall

Chinese women sometimes have a knack for wearing the most incredibly impractical outfits.  Every time I have been on top of a mountain in China, there is always someone in skyscraper heels, wobbling over uneven paths and being steadied by the hand of a boyfriend, girlfriend or husband in more sensible shoes. The outfit usually also involves at least one piece of completely weather-inappropriate attire – think sable-trimmed coat in summer, or sparkly miniskirt in winter. Why be practical when you can be outrageous?
(To be completely fair, I have my own wardrobe full of impractical outfits, and shoes – how I love them. But I never wear them to climb a mountain.)