9 Traditional Clothes China for Men and Women

Md Mahedi Hasan

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Exploring Chinese culture would be melancholy if you forgot about traditional clothes China. Here You get to know more about 10 well-known clothing of China.

An Overview

Traditional clothes China traces back to pre-17th century Han Chinese clothes. Han Chinese, being a populous ethnic group, significantly played an important role in Asian countries. This hanfu was a thin-cuffed tunic with a sash and knee-length in nature. A chang, ankle-length skirt with bixi reaches up to the knees.

Traditional Clothes China
Traditional Clothes China

A total of 3 types are there in the existence of hanfu. The popular style goes to women’s jackets and skirt’s part. In China, there is less limitation on what you cannot wear. In modern times, the only things that matter the most are material, color, design, and where to find the clothes.

2 Basic Forms of Traditional Clothes China

While watching a Chinese film, you have noticed the two forms of traditional clothing. Here, one piece of clothing refers to the top-bottom clothes, and another clothing form refers to the 1-piece clothes. It means, Chinese people either wear two-bottom or two-piece clothes or one-piece clothes as traditional clothing style. How to identify them? Let’s see the following:

1. Two-Piece Clothing

It consists of an upper garment named yi and a lower garment named shang. Yi refers to the open cross-collar garment that both genders can wear with the right side wrapped over the left.

Two-Piece Clothing
Two-Piece Clothing

Shang means any skirt that can be worn with a side-hanging belt.

2. One-Piece Clothing

Shenyi, a one-piece garment, dates to the late Zhou dynasty.

One-Piece Clothing
One-Piece Clothing

Here, yi and shang both are sewn together as a one-piece.

Traditional Clothes in China Categorized for Both Men and Women

4 traditional well-known clothes are there in China that can be categorized for both men and women as well. They are:

1. The Hanfu

The Hanfu type of Han clothing is the oldest type of China’s traditional clothing. Throughout the Han dynasty, the ruling class specially adopted the Hanfu and was Promoted by wearing. It became the Han ethnic people’s national clothing. Besides, it had a great influence on other neighboring countries.

The Hanfu
The Hanfu

For Men and Women, the robe type used to be distinct. The curved hem robe and the straight hem are the two different robe types. Women preferred a cross-collar wrap shirt that was pairable with a large-length skirt. Pei (ornaments) was worn on the belt or sash.

2. Zhongshan Suit or Mao Suit: Male Attire

The Zhongshan suit or the Mao Suit depicts the type of male attire. Dr. Sun Yat-Sen advocated this suit. The design consists of traditional clothes China Styles. The suit has 4 big pockets on the front panel, two up and two down, 5 central buttons like the front, and on each sleeve, there are 3 smaller buttons.

Zhongshan Suit or Mao Suit
Zhongshan Suit or Mao Suit

For both formal and casual occasions, these suits are wearable due to their appearance, impression, shape, and elegance. Moreover, the colors are available in a variety including black, white, and grey colors depending on the wearer’s choice of wearing.

3. Cheongsam or Qipao: Women Attire

Cheongsam or Qipao is completely dedicated to traditional clothing for women. The Qipao traces back its origin to the Qing Dynasty. Among Manchu Women, these dresses were popular. There are two types of styles in Cheongsam.

Cheongsam or Qipao
Cheongsam or Qipao

One is Shanghai-Style which is commercial and upward. Besides, there is a Hong Kong-style Cheongsam that has been influenced by European clothing fashion. Usually, the sleeves here are shorter than the Shanghai ones.

4. Tang Suit: Male Attire

The Tang Suit refers to the traditional clothes China in a jacket type that dates to the Qing dynasty. This suit is Manchurian clothing developed. A combined form of the Manchu male jacket and the suit of the Western style.

Tang Suit
Tang Suit

The entire cloth is straightly collared with coiled buttons. Traditionality here refers to the color and design but the tailor or making of this dress has a Western influence.

Other 5 Types of Traditional Clothes China

Other 5 types of traditional clothing based on ethnic nationality. For instances:

1. Manchu Clothing

These are traditional clothes in China specifically for the Manchu ethnic nationality. It consists of a full- evening gown including a jacket and waistcoat outside. The Qing dynasty has Manchu as the leading class.

Manchu Clothing
Traditional Manchu Clothing

The clothing also consists of a straight collar, fastened buttons from the right collar side, a waist sash, 2-4 slits, and tight sleeves.

2. Ethnic Minorities Clothes

The nationalities of Mongolian and Tu have a high-collared gown with buttons down the front panel.

Clothing of Ethnic Minorities
Clothing of Ethnic Minorities

Meanwhile, Tibet and Monba wear collarless gowns with buttons.

3. Dragon Robe

The emperor wears this embroidered dragon robe. These robes are round collars with

Dragon Robe
Dragon Robe

buttons on the right and bright yellow most of the time.

4. Uniform of Officials

Colors and embroidered patterns distinguish them. For first-rank officers, there is a crane, and a golden pheasant is another uniform for second-rank.

Officials Uniform
Officials Uniform

The uniforms are different based on Rank.

5. Wedding Costumes

The red color is what promotes luck, prosperity, and the auspicious ceremony of traditional clothes China culture.

Wedding Costumes
Wedding Costumes of China

The Newlywed wears a red chaplet and robes as a traditional style of clothing.

Chinese Clothing Being Distinct From One Another

If you have not seen any Chinese traditional celebration, you missed the specific traditional clothing distinction from one to another.

Chinese Clothing Being Distinct From One Another
Chinese Clothing Being Distinct From One Another

Although at first glance the differences are difficult to identify, you will get to know the variation following these attributes. Attributes are:

i) Color

In everyday life, you do not see vibrant colors much. Most people wear light colors. In Chinese tradition, red, yellow (the bright one), and purple, refer to royalty or the essence of the royal family. At weddings, red is what mass people prefer. Besides, for Funerals, they prefer white color.

ii) Material

Material is another attribute that makes differences from one traditional clothing in China to another. The most common fabrics are linen, silk, and cotton.

iii) Design

Another attribute is design where harmony is the only key. Mostly, traditional clothes China adopts a loose-shaped, straight-cut design to preserve their clothing culture.

iv) Gender

This attribute is unique apart from the given 3 ones. Men’s and women’s clothing in China traditionally is different based on ornaments, objects, as well as styles. For instance, Hats with Flappers are well-designed for court officials, tracing back to the Song Dynasty. Meanwhile, hats with jewelry strings are for emperors to dignify their authority.


Since clothes are part of Chinese culture, they also make up the identity of the country. Traditional clothes China are colorful and bear the civilization of material and spirituality. There are in total 4 traditional Chinese Clothing- Han, Cheongsam, Tang Suits, and Mao Suits. Apart from that there are more than 6 clothing styles popular among the ethnic groups. We hope this article has been insightful and a great addition to Chinese Culture Learning!

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