The title of a web story goes, 婚后的张钧甯尽情散发出知性魅力,穿长款的白衬衫,优雅又有气质 I believe 知性 means smart and intelligent, but does wearing a white blouse make a lady smart? Or if she is in black or other colors, then she looks stupid? What does this phrase really mean?

  • It is the culture of the past around the creation of modern China. The girls in higher education like to wear white shirt, for the white color symbols purity. Combined with their academic background (知識青年), comes the word "知(識)性(向)" that means "intellectural".
    – r13
    Oct 14, 2022 at 4:01
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    It's just like how people associate wearing glasses with "looking smart", it's a very superfical association, and not wearing glasses doesn't make you "look stupid". Besides, although 知性 does mean intelligent, in mordern usage it has the connotation of being gentle, considerate, and non-aggressive (either as the reason or result of the word being mostly used to describe women). A white blouse is generally preceived as more mainstream and non-aggressive than, say, a black one.
    – EEQ
    Oct 14, 2022 at 4:16

2 Answers 2


知性 = intellectual

知性魅力 = intellectual charm

A long white blouse doesn't make a lady smart, it just indicates she doesn't often do physical labor and is well off.

White clothes easily get dirty, long clothes are not convenient to move around in big movements, e.g. physical labor

In the olden time, only rich people got educated. Wearing clean white long clothes implies she is well off, therefore likely educated and refined. Certainly not an uneducated commoner who needs to do hard labor for a living.

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    I'm not sure if the colour itself is what's important here, because in ye olden time rich people wouldn't wear white (on the contrary, lower class people wear white more since they can't afford dye). Of course, the cleanness is certainly important. I think it's more that a white shirt/blouse (as opposed to trainditional clothing) invokes the image of a modern office lady/career woman, whom the word 知性 is often used to describe.
    – EEQ
    Oct 14, 2022 at 4:04
  • @EEQ I think 知性 in this sentence, just describe that her dress is very temperament.
    – jackson
    Oct 16, 2022 at 10:00

The original meaning of 知性 is actually what they said. But the meaning of “知性美” is more commonly used to describe a woman who is showing a comprehensive beauty. Not only is it beautiful in appearance, but also very temperamental and knowledgeable. Both sensual beauty and rational beauty are taken into consideration.

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