What About the Smog?

Wearing pajamas and flip-flops in public is a fashion faux pas according to an etiquette book released by Beijing officials.

For Beijing, Etiquette Isn’t a Game By LORETTA CHAO, August 1, 2008; Page A7

BEIJING — From pollution to terrorism, the list of worries Beijing officials have to contend with is substantial, with fashion now apparently one of them.

Beijing officials have distributed 4.3 million copies of an etiquette book outlining rules on good manners and foreign customs, including rules about what not to wear. The guide is part of an effort by various departments within China’s government to clean the city up in preparation for the at least 400,000 foreign visitors who are expected to descend on its capital for the Olympic Games, which start Aug. 8.

Among the no-no’s: more than three color shades in an outfit, white socks with black shoes, and pajamas and slippers in public.

“No matter what, never wear too many colors…especially during formal occasions,” the book said. “When you wear [formal shoes], be sure to wear socks in good condition…socks should be a dark color — never match black leather shoes with white socks.”

“Older women should choose shoes with heels that aren’t too high,” it said.

The book, published by the Beijing Municipal Government’s Capital Ethic Development Office, is part of the department’s effort to make Beijing more “civilized,” officials said.

Along the same lines, Beijing authorities announced earlier this year that they would step up efforts to fine people who spit in public as much as 50 yuan ($7.33).

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