Fashion for blind dates (according to netizens)

How bad is wearing athletic shoes to a date? How about perfume?

On January 7, an internet forum user in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, shared the sad tale of being rejected by a woman on a blind date for the heinous crime of wearing Xtep shoes.

According to screenshots of a WeChat conversation between the two, the woman believes that Xtep, a Fujian athletic company often accused of being a Nike knock-off, is only suitable for school kids and inappropriate for a 27-year-old; she preferred men of elegance. The man wondered what was wrong with wearing one of China’s top five domestic sports brands.

The minor tiff then became a major debate when Chinese internet company Alibaba jumped in and confirmed that the man is one of their senior programmers on its official Weibo @阿里味儿官方微博, adding that “code monkeys” (程序猿, a pun on the word for “programmers”) made good partners since they earn a decent salary but spend less than 500 RMB on themselves per month. Though there was the usual misogynistic netizens who jumped on the woman’s materialism, many expressed concern for some people’s lack of manners in public, and voiced the need for appropriate attire in China’s increasingly competitive marriage market.

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author Tan Yunfei (谭云飞)

Tan Yunfei is the editorial director of The World of Chinese. She reports on Chinese language, food, traditions, and society. Having grown up in a rural community and mainly lived in the cities since college, she tries to explore and better understand China's evolving rural and urban life with all readers.

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