Recent years have seen the quintessential Chinese New Year garb of choice, a classic red dress, progressively fall out of favour with the crowd. To claim its spot as the reigning go-to every woman dons for CNY, other novel options in bright canary yellow or electric blue served as exciting alternatives as compared to the traditional, predictable standard set by the red dress. 

This year however, we’ll be disputing the very notion that the tired ol’ red dress no longer has any tricks up its sleeves; in fact, we think the enduring staple can still hold its own with a refreshing and invigorating flair. All you need is a couple of unprecedented modern styling hacks to switch it up with a twist which echoes the current trends.

To help support our case, we’ve gone ahead and curated three completely different looks which revolve around the same red dress:

Photo: Farfetch

The dress in question? An absolutely stunning scarlet crochet square neck midi from Australian brand Suboo that features sexy see-through panelling and a flattering cut that hugs the curves of the body. We’ve chosen this stunner not only for its evident trendiness (crochet is a huge trend for S/S ‘20), but also for its versatility. The figure-hugging slip silhouette allows it to be easily teamed under lightweight jackets and jumpers, while the daring sheer panels add interest to styling. 

1. Sweetie pie

Loewe flower-jacquard wool-blend cardigan, S$2,480 from Matchesfashion; Prada Mary-Jane crocodile-effect leather mules, S$1,060 from Matchesfashion; Suboo Stella side button crochet dress, US$445 (S$600.48) from Farfetch; Roxanne Assoulin Hip-Hop But Not gold-tone and Swarovski crystal clip earrings, US$125.16 from Net-a-Porter; Bottega Veneta Jodie mini knotted intrecciato textured-leather tote, US$1,720 from Net-a-Porter

One of our favourite things to do of late is to throw a jumper over a slip dress and dust our hands off. It’s a simple outfit to put together, yet it exudes an air of femininity and looks effortlessly chic. This CNY, consider wearing your red dress underneath a lightweight buttoned-up cardigan or sweater. It gives the illusion that you’re wearing separates – that is, a sweater with a skirt, while allowing you the option of taking the top off for a little breather if you start caving in to the humid weather. We’ve picked this cardigan from Loewe for its exquisite floral embroidery. Finish the look with a pair of kitten heeled mules, a roomy red tote to stash your ang paos and dazzling statement earrings.

2. Edgy and girly

Wandler Anna crocodile-effect belt bag, US$856 from Farfetch; Isabel Marant Dernee suede ankle boots, S$800 from Matchesfashion; Suboo Stella side button crochet dress, US$445 from Farfetch; Shrimps floral bead and faux pearl-embellished hair clip, S$130 from Matchesfashion; Pleats Please Issey Miyake pleated cropped trousers, US$512 from Farfetch

A contemporary styling hack to consider this CNY: Make the most out of the dress’s intriguing sheer crochet overlay by teaming it with a pair of relaxed fit trousers. This pair of pleated baby pink pants looks modern and comfortable to move around in, making it a great choice for this look. Wear it high-waisted underneath the sheer panelling, and cinch the waist with a belt bag to hide the waistband of the trousers for an immaculate finish. Complete the look with your favourite barrette (we’ve opted for this pearl-embellished floral one from Shrimps) and a pair of ankle boots

3. Colourblock chic

Lot Lthr Isabella grained-leather biker jacket, US$1,264 from Farfetch, Little Liffner Shell camera shoulder bag, US$558 from Farfetch; Neous Thallis leather sandals, US$528.85 from Net-a-Porter; Staud Poppy tulle maxi skirt, S$339 from Mytheresa

Take colourblocking to the next level by teaming your red dress with other vibrant primary colours. We’re daydreaming about this mellow yellow biker jacket – not only will it add an edgy feel to the soft femininity of the crochet dress, it’s bright zesty use of yellow also renders it energising for the festivities. Take it up a notch by styling a light blue tulle maxi skirt underneath the dress to add a little contrast in texture. Look for a skirt that’s long enough to extend below the hem of the dress. Complete the look with trendy naked sandals and a white shoulder bag to pull the entire look together.