Chinese clothing is broadly referred to as hanfu with many
variations such as traditional Chinese academic dress.
Japanese clothes and Chinese clothes are very similar.
Depending on one's status in society, each social class had
a different sense of fashion. Most Chinese men wore Chinese
black cotton shoes, but wealthy higher class people would
wear tough black leather shoes for formal occasions. Very
rich and wealthy men would wear very bright, beautiful silk
shoes sometimes having leather on the inside. Women would
wear bright, silk coated Lotus shoes under their bound feet.
Male shoes were mostly less elaborate than women's.
and Military Officials
civil or military officials used a variety of codes to show
their rank and position. The most recognized is the Mandarin
square or rank badge. Another code was also the use of
colorful hat knobs fixed on the top of their hats. The
specific hat knob on one's hat determined one's rank. As
there were twelve types of hat knobs representing the nine
distinctive ranks of the civil or military position.
Variations existed for Ming official headwear.
The rise of
the Manchu Qing Dynasty in many ways represented a cultural
rupture with the past, as Manchu clothing styles were
required to be worn by all noblemen and officials. This
style eventually became popular among the commoners. A
new style of dress, called tangzhuang, included the
changshan worn by men and the qipao worn by women. Manchu
official headwear differed from the Ming version but the
Qing continued to use the Mandarin square.
wearing cheongsams in a 1930s Shanghai advertisement.The
abolition of imperial China in 1912 had an immediate effect
on dress and customs. The largely Han Chinese population
immediately cut off their queue as they were forced to grow
in submission to the overthrown Qing Dynasty. Sun Yat-sen
popularised a new style of men's wear, featuring jacket and
trousers instead of the robes worn previously. Adapted from
Japanese student wear, this style of dress became known as
the Zhongshan suit (Zhongshan being one of Sun Yat-sen's
given names in Chinese). For women, a transformation of the
traditional qipao (cheongsam) resulted in a slender and form
fitting dress with a high cut, resulting in the contemporary
image of a cheongsam but contrasting sharply with the
the People's Republic, Mao Zedong would inspire Chinese
fashion with his own variant of the Zhongshan suit, which
would be known to the west as Mao suit. Meanwhile, Sun
Yat-sen's widow, Soong Ching-ling, popularised the cheongsam
as the standard female dress. At the same time, old
practices such as footbinding, which had been viewed as
backwards and unmodern by both the Chinese as well as
Westerners, were forbidden. Around the Destruction of the
"Four Olds" period in 1964, almost anything seen as part of
Traditional Chinese culture would lead to problems with the
Communist Red Guards. Items that attracted dangerous
attention if caught in the public included jeans, high
heels, Western-style coats, ties, jewelry, cheongsams, and
long hair. These items were regarded as symbols of
bourgeois lifestyle, which represented wealth. Citizens had
to avoid them or suffer serious consequences such as torture
or beatings by the guards. A number of these items were
thrown into the streets to embarrass the citizens.
in contemporary China (1980–present)
fashion has drastically changed over time. Following the
relaxation of communist clothing standards in the late 70s,
the way Chinese dressed and the fashion trends of the
country were also changing. Contemporary urban clothing
seemed to have developed an obsession with brand names. In
major urban centres, especially Shanghai, an increased
western look is preferred, and there is an emphasis on
formal wear over casual wear for adults on the streets.
Teenagers prefer brand names and western clothing. Children
usually wear clothes decorated with cartoon characters.
However, there is also effort by the hanfu to revive
traditional clothing forms such as the hanfu by the hanfu
movement. At an Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in
Shanghai in 2001, the host presented silk-embroidered
tangzhuang jackets as the Chinese traditional national
costume. However in rural China, clothing tends to be the
same as it was in the 1960s. This is because life in rural
China has not been influenced by western lifestyle. Also,
most people residing in rural China cannot afford such new
and pricey clothing from new western style companies.
However, many rural Chinese in the less isolated areas have
blue jeans, T-shirts, and modern jackets because of many
factories that manufacture these goods at an affordable
price. Rural Chinese just don't have the fancier modern
clothing such as designer jeans, high heels, miniskirts,
dresses, etc. People in rural China also tend to have cotton
shoes, but the wealthier areas may have cheap sneakers. In
rural China non-western modern clothing e.g. Mao suit are
usually hand-made by grandmothers who are very experienced
in tailoring and sewing.
Manchus and Han: Ethnic Relations and Political Power in
Late Qing and Early Republican China, 1861-1928 by
Edward Rhoads, pg. 61
2. a b
Law, Kam-yee.  (2003). The Chinese Cultural
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Chihua. Madsen, Richard P.  (1995). The Red
Mirror: Children of China's Cultural Revolution.
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