China's First Lady in Britain: The outfit repeater

China's First Lady Peng Liyuan on Oct 20 accompanied her husband Xi Jinping on a four-day visit to Britain. Life gives a day-by-day report on her outfits.


Day 4

Ms Peng Liyuan ends the last day of her four-day state visit to Britain with her husband and China’s President Xi Jinping with a lasting impression - by repeating the same outfit she wore on day one. 


Ms Peng leaving Manchester Town Hall on Oct 23, 2015. PHOTO: AFP

Leaving Manchester Town Hall: Here she is in an outfit that a school principal might wear - a beige shawl-cardigan with fringe detailing, worn over a white cheongsam with blue prints. There are no shiny brooches this time, with only a slim, nondescript clutch as an accessory. We give her points for always looking polished, but it is a safe outfit that doesn't rock the boat.


China's President Xi Jinping and his wife Peng Liyuan waving as they board their aircraft to return to China, at Manchester airport, on Oct 23, 2015. PHOTO: REUTERS

Boarding the aircraft back to China at Manchester airport: As the couple bids goodbye and heads back home, we can’t help but notice that Ms Peng has committed a cardinal sin in the fashion world: repeating an outfit twice in less than a week! Ms Peng had earlier worn this look on her first day in Britain. 

We understand how much Ms Peng is dearly loved by netizens for her elegance, but even that cannot excuse her from the lack of effort here. Would it have been so hard to accessorise with a different pair of earrings or a brooch? Also, unlike previous occasions, her outfit does not match or complement her husband’s tie. 

Is Ms Peng trying to be so conservative to the point of being dull?


Day 3

Ms Peng's only look for her third day in London, though stylish, is another neutral outfit.


Ms Peng Liyuan waving as she leaves The Royal College of Music in London on Oct 22, 2015. PHOTO: REUTERS

Leaving the Buckingham Palace and later, at the Royal College of Music, London: Ms Peng may be wearing the same grey cape that she wore the night before, but we much prefer the flared silhouette of her outfit here: the smart casual cape is a stylish departure from her tailored dark coats, with the top button undone to show off her outfit underneath - a shirt and skirt combo accessorised with a black clutch and matching heels.

Ms Peng was at the Royal College of Music to watch performances by noted students and alumni such as Chinese soprano He Wu of the National Opera Studio and concert pianist Martin James Bartlett, a BBC Young Musician 2014 winner. She also promoted the exchange of education and the arts between China and the UK.

She did not join her husband, China's President Xi Jinping, when he had a pint of beer and fish and chips with Prime Minister David Cameron at The Plough pub, north-west of London.

Day 2

Ms Peng Liyuan, China’s first lady, starts the second day of her four-day visit to Britain with an embarrassing make-up mishap.


(From left) British Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne, Ms Peng Liyuan, Mr Xi and Britain's Prince Andrew at Imperial College London on Oct 21, 2015. PHOTO: AFP

At the Imperial College, London: What more can we say about Ms Peng’s outfit apart from the fact that it is another dark tailored coat? 

While we give Ms Peng credit for her attention to detail - her coat has rather flirtatious slits to show off her dress underneath, and her brooch livens up an otherwise dull-looking coat - the First Lady’s make-up left much to be desired.


Ms Peng Liyuan arriving at the Lord Mayors banquet at The Guildhall on Oct 21, 2015 in London. PHOTO: GETTY IMAGES

Image provider Getty Images released pictures of Ms Peng at the same event showing unsightly white patches on her face, which were most probably due to overzealous powdering by her make-up artist, and unflattering lighting.


(From left) Ms Gilly Yarrow, wife of the Lord Mayor of London, Chinese First Lady Peng Liyuan, Britain's Prince Andrew, the Duke of York, Chinese President Xi Jinping and The Lord Mayor of London Alan Yarrow pose at the Guildhall in central London before attending a banquet on Oct 21, 2015.  PHOTO: AFP

We think Ms Gilly Yarrow looks the most out of place here with her bouquet of flowers. Ms Peng looks more suited for the occasion in a silky purple qipao with an olive cape. Finally, some colour!

She accessorises, as always, with her pearl earrings, but the highlight of her outfit is the embroidery detail across her chest and lace trimming along the side of her dress. Feminine and dignified.

Day 1

We kick off the day-by-day report on her outfits with the four looks she wore on her first day in London.


Chinese President Xi Jinping and his wife Peng Liyuan arrive for a a four-day state visit at London's Heathrow Airport on Oct 19, 2015. PHOTO: REUTERS

Arrival at London's Heathrow Airport: Although Ms Peng is seen here with her trademark updo, she is for once dressed in a shapeless coat - a departure from her usual fitted suits. As always, the colour of her outfit matches her husband Xi’s blue tie - or is it the other way round? One thing’s for sure: This couple certainly colour-coordinate well.


Britain's Queen Elizabeth II (left) and China's First Lady Peng Liyuan look on at the royal pavilion during the Horse Guards Parade in central London on Oct 20, 2015. PHOTO: AFP

At the Royal Pavilion on Horse Guards Parade: If China’s First Lady were to be photographed alone, she’d look utterly fresh and crisp in her all-white skirt suit and ramrod-straight posture. But we have to say that Queen Elizabeth II looks much more feminine and put together in her lavender textured outfit with matching hat.


Britain's Prince Charles and his wife Camilla with China's President Xi Jinping and his wife Peng Liyuan in London on Oct 20, 2015. PHOTO: REUTERS

Meeting with the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall: Ms Peng is certainly no wallflower here - even though she is dressed top-to-toe in neutrals. This outfit, which looks like it was cut from a curtain, may not be a hit with everyone, but we like the giant pussycat bow detail and that she has gone for a colour other than her usual navy.


President of China Xi Jinping and his wife Peng Liyuan with Britain's Queen Elizabeth II and her husband Prince Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh, as they arrive for a state banquet at Buckingham Palace in London on Oct 20, 2015. PHOTO: REUTERS

At the state banquet at Buckingham Palace, London: Just when we thought Ms Peng was getting creative with her outfits, she proved us wrong in yet another conservative, sombre dress cinched at the waist with the same bouffant hairstyle. What a yawn.

Though she still looks regal, it is a safe and boring option and Queen Elizabeth II outshone her with her royal jewels. We hope to see Ms Peng in more colourful and interesting outfits for the rest of her trip.