beijing_fashionrulesolympics.jpg'On your marks, get set, go...'

With the 2008 Olympic Games right at our doorstep, Beijing isn't pulling any punches when it comes to polishing up its city, and its residents. The city government has issued etiquette booklets, asking locals to shape up or ship out... and no, this isn't a Friday funny.

Beijing's 15 million residents have received the instructions from the Capital Spiritual Civilisation Construction Commission, which has advised them on clothing and social etiquette.

Everything from what to wear (such as hem lengths and make-up) to what not to wear (e.g. white socks with black shoes are out) are advised upon, with four million households receiving the booklet.

"The level of civility of the whole city has improved and a sound cultural and social environment has been assured for the success of the Olympic Games," said Zheng Mojie, deputy director of the commission, who added that the campaign was in a bid to stop spitting on the streets.

Women and girls have been doled out their fair share of fashion tips also. Such as: "Young girls can wear skirts three centimetres to six centimetres above the knee - but never too short. For middle-aged and older women, the skirt should be at least three centimetres below the knee."

As well as: "Clothes should not be too small, otherwise this makes people feel you are unreliable."

Erm... ?!

When you think that Sydney's riff-raff were simply sent packing out of town on buses during the 2000 Olympics, this may not sound quite as extreme as first thought. Although I do wonder what this means for us and the London 2012 Games... Somehow I can't quite see myself trying to stick to just three colour groups for clothing, nor swanning about in dark tights in the height of summer, no, siree! Let the Games begin...