Rightly or wrongly, people always judge others by their appearance. Therefore, especially for a company function or for other than a casual occasion it’s best to “dress-up” to make sure you portray the right image. Talking with your work colleagues or friends in Mandarin Chinese about what to wear will be a great help—so make sure you know how to do this appropriately!

In this Podcast, you will learn:

(i) How to discuss suitable attire for a company event

(ii) To take advice from a colleague about what to wear


Office colleagues are talking about a company event:


(Zài gōng sī)

(at the company)


A: Wǎn shàng gōng sī huó dòng de zhuó zhuāng yāo qiú shì shén me?

What’s the dress code for the company event this evening?


B: Jīn tiān wǎn shàng shì jī wěi jiǔ huì, wǒ jué dé qǐ mǎ yīng gāi shì bàn zhèng shì ba.

Tonight is a cocktail party; I think it should be semi-formal at least.


A: A? Nà wǒ zhè shen er shì bù shì yǒu diǎn tài xiū xián le?

Ah…? So what I’m wearing now is a bit too casual, right?


B: Què shí yǒu yī diǎn er. Hǎo xiàng dà jiā dōu zhǔn bèi chuān xiǎo lǐ fú qún ne!

Yes, it is indeed. Looks like everybody is going to wear evening dress.


A: Nà xià bān shí wǒ zǎo zǒu yī huǐ’er, qù fù jìn shāng chǎng mǎi jiàn xiǎo hēi qún.

Then I will leave early from work to buy a little black dress in the shopping centre nearby.


B: Hǎo, wǒ péi nǐ yī qǐ qù.

Okay, I can go with you.

Chinese words and phrases mentioned in this Podcast:

公司活动:company event

着装要求:dress code




商务便装:business casual


正式服装:formal outfit


晚礼服:evening gown

休闲装:casual outfit



鸡尾酒会:cocktail party

起码/至少:at least

应该:should be

这身儿:the outfit that I’m wearing


确实有点儿:yes indeed

准备:be going to

礼服裙:evening dress

小礼服裙:less formal than evening dress

下班:after work

早走:leave early



小黑裙:a little black dress

陪你:go with you

Cultural/Grammar note:

Every girl should keep a little black dress in her wardrobe, because when you don’t know what to wear, wearing a little black dress is always likely to be right.

Mandarin Chinese learning resources we recommend:

round-italki-logo-3d-01Using Italki, a unique system of learning Mandarin Chinese where you interact with real teachers, is widely recognised as an effective way to learn a new language! You’ll make more progress and learn how native Chinese speakers really speak. Plus, Italki is more affordable than offline tutors, offline schools and software, and is convenient to use at your own pace and place!


Keats Chinese SchoolKeats Chinese School, which was founded in 2004, is one of the top Mandarin Chinese language schools in China, offering both one-on-one immersion Mandarin courses and small group Chinese classes. Located in Kunming, Keats develops personalised exercises and materials for students to meet their learning goals and requirements and can arrange a student visa for its 16 week course.

Yes! I’d like to learn Mandarin Chinese more effectively

Narrated by Song Liu

Our Podcast narrator, is a native Chinese speaker and is originally from Beijing, China and is keen to help you get ahead with learning. She graduated from San Francisco State University with a Master of Arts in Communication Studies. Song also hosted a Mandarin live call-in news and music radio show in the Bay Area.

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2 Comments on "208: Talking about dress code in Mandarin Chinese"

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Chong Lin

Hi Song, this podcast 208 is wrongly uploaded I think, because although the text is about dress code, the audio is about food which is the same with podcast 209. Can you please reupload the correct audio for this episode?

Learn Mandarin Now

Hello Chong Lin, just updated it. Thanks for the reminder!:)