Dress Code, Hong Kong
Hong Kong is fairly fashion conscious especially for business. Hong Kong people are also very modest in their dress and you will attract some unwanted stares if you wear anything too revealing.
Different colours have different means for instance, red is a happy colour except when writing. Red Ink symbolises Anger. White is the symbol of death and its only appropriate to give white flowers at a funeral. I did read that men wearing green hats symbolised that their wife was having an affair but I’m not sure on the accuracy of that or if anyone would ever admit to those circumstances.
HK sales people GENERALLY (but not all), I feel, applied double standard treatment to their customers. Wheverever u go, bear in mind that u tend to get better service if ur well-dressed. I had some unpleasant experience with salespersons who were rude or pretend to ignore u if they think that u cannot afford whatever they are selling or that u've simply no intention of purchasing their products!
From my personal observations, I realized that the Hongkongers place a lot of emphasis on the way a person dresses. You may be rich but if you're clad in shorts and T-shirt, don't expect to receive a warm welcome when you shop at the local boutiques or department store.
Anyway, I was clad in a pair of jeans and t-shirt and decided to go shopping at Lane Crawford department store one fine morning.... NO sales assistant even bothered to attend to me. When I wanted to purchase an Estee Lauder lipstick, the sales assistant muttered in Cantonese (thinking that I didn't understand Chinese) 'If she doesn't have the money, don't buy!'. My jaws literally dropped when I understood what she said! I was soooo peeved (and I don't easily get mad, incidentally) that I threw the lipstick onto the counter table and stalked off.
I called up my girlfriend (who lives in HK now) and narrated the entire incident to her.... This was what she said 'Yes, this is Hongkong. If you're an Asian, do dress up. If you're a Caucasian (and the Hongkongers LOVE Caucasians), they can get away with any kind of dressing'.
After a couple of unfortunate incidents... and whenever I do go to Hongkong, I'd dress up as if I'm attending a big gala ball!! But if I can, I'd try and AVOID coming to this city. It's not one of my personal favorites....
In short, if you have the money, FLAUNT it so that you can receive the BEST service available. (If you ask me, I think the really rich folks DON'T flaunt their wealth... Only those that probably need to prove a point will flaunt it, ya know?).
Oh, yet another personal observation about the Hongkongers: The guys and girls here are VERY, VERY well-dressed! I've NEVER seen a bunch of such well-dressed/ well-groomed and designer conscious group of people than those I've met here in Hongkong! Not a hair out of place... Not a tear in their pantyhose (for the girls)... and 90% of the people here have VERY nice hair-cut. The guys are ALWAYS clad in designer (presumably!) suits even in summer (where temperatures can swell to over 32 degrees Celcius!).... Ouch!
Try and also learn some Cantonese words/ phrases before you come... It'd bring you far or at least, it'd impress some of the Hongkongers here into serving you better! ;-)) Everywhere in Hongkong, people speak Cantonese - their official dialect.... The locals don't speak English to one another. So, when I started speaking in English, they knew immediately that I wasn't 'one of them'... Hm!!
Should you be asked to visit the home of a local, be sure to take your shoes off at the door. Chinese do not usually wear their shoes inside the house and it is good manners to follow their customs (although they will not insist for a foreigner to do so).