The history of Traditional Chinese Clothing
Originally, Chinese clothing consisted solely of a piece of silk that was adorned with a cord at the neck and sleeves. Despite its simplicity of manufacture, it quickly became the garment of choice for Chinese dynasties, as well as other members of the upper echelons, due to its comfort and elegance.
However, throughout its history, Chinese clothing has evolved and given birth to new models according to the dynasties. Also, during the rise of the Communist Party in China, the use of specific costumes for the bourgeoisie was forbidden. Instead, the Maoist costume was worn, which did not differentiate between social classes and genders.
Over the years, new cuts were designed to enhance the female figure. Its success was such that in a short time it became a traditional symbol in the culture. The turtleneck and shorter sleeves had been incorporated and represented a rapprochement with Western culture.
Although, as we have said, Chinese clothing has undergone a continuous evolution to adapt to modern times, three models can be differentiated. These have specific characteristics and uses.
The Qipao, an iconic pieces of the Traditional Chinese Clothing history
Created during the Qing Dynasty between the 17th and 20th centuries, it was the main garment of the Manchu ethnic group. That's why it should be worn by women as well as men. Although its use became widespread, it gradually became the characteristic Chinese dress for women. After the end of this dynasty in 1912, the use of the garment continued.
Regarding the characteristics of this Chinese garment, it is a straight and loose suit with long sleeves that goes down to the feet. It was made of natural silk and had cuts on each side, as well as distinctive ornaments on the neck.
As it was modernized in the 20th century, the qipao, also known as a cheongsam, became tighter, and there are even knee-length and strapless styles. When worn for informal occasions, the materials used are velvet and wool.
The Chinese Hanfu Dress
Hanfu is another of the Chinese clothing styles and began to be used during the Han Dynasty, around the third century BC. Its use continued throughout history, until the Qing Dynasty eventually banned its use. One of the highlights is that it served as an influence for Japanese kimonos.
It consists of two parts: a tunic that goes up to the knee called yi, and a narrow skirt that reaches the ankles and is called chang.It is also distinguished by the width of its sleeves.
In the case of women, these Chinese clothes are accompanied by ornaments in the hair, and for men by different types of hats. The zhongyi is the white costume that was worn under the hanfu. Nowadays, it is one of the most used in religious ceremonies and historical reenactments. In addition, it has inspired other more modern fashion designs.
Chinese Jacket Mens also known as "Changshan"
The third type of costume in Chinese clothing is the changshan, which was introduced in the late Qing Dynasty. It is designed in different colors and consists of pants and a jacket called tangzhuang. Today, it is used for important celebrations, such as weddings or New Year's, as well as for funerals in the case of men.
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