Traditional Chinesefashion clothTraditional Clothing of the Other Ethnic Minorities In addition to Manchu, the country has ethnic minorities and each of them has their own unique costumes. Unlike the traditional Han Chinese costumes, these costumes are still widely worn today. Basically, they can be ided into two s long gown and short coat with pants or skirt. They usually wear long gowns with hats and boots; others prefer short coat and generally wrap their head with cloth and wear shoes. People wearing the same of clothes can be further distinguished by the costume details like the structure, craft and , etc. Take the long gown for instance. TheMongolianandTunationalities prefer high collared gown with buttons down the front; theTibetandMonbagroups wear collarless gown with buttons on one side and theUygove those with buttons on the right.
As a vital part of Chinese civilization, traditional clothing plays an important role in the countrys history and culture. Their basic features are crosscollar, wrapping the right lapel over the left, tying with sash and a form of blouse plus skirt or long gown. These features have been preserved for thousands of years till the time of the Republic of China AD, when Chinese Tunic Suit Mao Suit and cheongsam prevailed. Nowadays, however, most Chinese wear modern clothes in their daily lives, not much difference from their western counterparts. Traditional attires are only worn during certain festivals, ceremonies or religious occasions. However, they are often seen in Chinese television serials and movies. Many of the countrys ethnic minorities also wear their traditional costumes in their daily lives and they played an important role in the traditional Chinese clothing.
Traditional Han Chinese ClothingHan Fu It refers to the attire worn by theHan peoplefrom the enthronement of the Yellow Emperor about BC till the late Ming Dynasty AD. It became known as the Han Fu fu means clothes in Chinese because the fashion was improved and popularized during the Han Dynasty. It is usually in the form of long gown, cross collar, wrapping the right lapel over the left, loose wide sleeves and no buttons but a sash. Although in design, it gives different feelings to different wearers.
Traditional Wedding Costumes Chinese traditional wedding costumes vary in different dynasties and time periods. However, they are red most of the time as red is considered lucky, happy and auspicious in the countrys culture. The most wellknown are red chaplet and official robes, which are still widely worn today by newly wed in traditional wedding ceremonies or for taking wedding photos.
CheongsamQi Pao Originated from the Manchu female clothes, it evolved by merging with western patterns that show off the beauty of a female body. Its features are straight collar, strain on the waist, coiled buttons and slits on both sides of the dress. Materials used are usually silk, cotton and linen. Cheongsam is the most popular Chinese attire in the world today.
Chinese Tunic Suit Zhongshan Zhuang Also called the Yatsen Suit, it is designed by Dr. Sun Yatsen by combining the western suit and Chinese attire. It has a turndown collar and four pockets with flaps. As Chairman Mao Zedong worn it quite frequently, it is also called the Mao Suit by westerners. It is the main attire from the founding of the Peoples Republic of China in till s. The countrys leaders still wear it today when attending important occasions, such as military parades.
Officials Uniform Unlike modern China, almost all kinds of officials in ancient times had uniforms. They are strictly distinguished by s, embroidered patterns and hats, etc. For instance, in the Ming Dynasty, the embroidered pattern on a first rank civil officers uniform was a crane, second rank a golden pheasant, third rank a peacock, fourth rank a wild goose, fifth rank a silver pheasant, sixth rank an egret, seventh rank a purple mandarin duck, eighth rank an oriole and ninth rank a quail.
Other TypesTraditional Manchu Clothing It is the traditional dress of theManchuethnic nationality, usually in the form of long gown and sometimes with a jacket or waistcoat outside. Since Manchu is the leading class of the Qing Dynasty and their dresses were strongly promoted, this kind of clothes was very popular in that period. The characteristics are round or straight collar, fasten with buttons from the right collar and a sash on the waist, two or four slits, and tight sleeves with cuffs shaped like horse hoofs.
Based on historical discoveries, Chinese clothes dates back to the later era ofPaleolithic Times. million years ago the st century BC. Materials used were of animal skins and decorations were of small stones and animal teeth. The real clothes were not invented until about , years ago by the Yellow Emperor. By theShang Dynastyth century BC BC, the basic features of traditional Chinese attire were created, as well as the general pattern of blouse plus skirt. Later, the long gown appeared during theZhou Dynasty BC and it coexisted with the blouseskirt combinations for thousands of years, improving further as time passed. Then a great change occurred with the formation of the Republic of China, when Mao Suit became popular among the males and cheongsam among the females. In the early period of the Peoples Republic of China, Mao Suit stayed popular among not only males, but also females. Later in the s, when the country implemented reform and opening policy, the masses gradually turned to western attire.
Chinese SuitTang Zhuang It is a combination of the Manchu male jacket of the Qing Dynasty and the western suit. It is usually straight collared, with coiled buttons down the front. Its and design are in traditional Chinese but tailoring is western.
Dragon Robe It is so named because of the embroidereddragonson it. It can only be worn by the emperor, who was considered a dragon from heaven in the ancient times. Other characteristics of a dragon robe are round collar, buttons on the right and most of the time in bright yellow.
FeaturesIn addition to the basic features and patterns, traditional Chinese attires have many other features like appearance, cutting, decoration, and design, etc, all of which changed over the various dynasties. For example, black is the most dignified in the Xia Dynasty st th century BC, white in the Shang Dynasty and red in the Zhou Dynasty. They also vary based on ones political position, social status, occupation and gender, etc. For instance, dragon embroideries and bright yellow can only be used by emperors most of the time; in the Tang Dynasty AD, purple official costumes are for the fifth or higher rank officials; in the Qing Dynasty AD, the higher a persons social rank or the richer one was, the more embroideries and borders there were on his attires.