Qipao has its origin in the Manchu female’s costumes in the Qing Dynasty and has been regarded as the model of Chinese traditonal habilatory culture. As for the reason,the Qipao not only accords with the characteristic of harmony within Chinese culture in terms of the style,but also shows rich oriental idiosyncracy with regard to ornamental techniques. In addition, the Qipao will give more prominence to a lady’s slender figure,and also elp to heighten the center of gravity of human bodies together with high-heel shoes,so that civility,elegance and dignity will be fully displayed. Therefore, the Qipao developed its own trend,which has been long lasting.
As for the traditional clothes of Chinese men, the long gown and mandarin jacket are typical. Both of them have roundnecks and narrow sleeves. The mandarin jacket can be seen as a kind of Chinese-style jacket with buttons down the front,mostly with sleeves like a horse’s hoof. However ,the front of long gowns,with buttons on the right,is basically large. There is also a type of garment combining the long gown and the mandarin jacket,and they will only have the under-half part,buttoning in the under lap of the mandarin jacket. The long gown and mandarin jacket will give the impression of comfortableness and ease as well as sobriety.
Current Chinese-style costumes were transformed from the mandarin jacket of the Qing dynasty,and there are four major characteristics in terms of desgin.
1: Chinese-style costumes have a standup collar and buttons in the very middle of the front of the jacket
2:there is no seam between sleeves and jacket
3: the costumes are jackets with buttons down the front or in diagonal way
4:they have right-angled buttons.
In addition, with regard to the outside material,Chinese costumes are mostly made with silk
Moreover,the feature of clothing varies with area and nationalities. For instance,the bellyband is the traditional close-fitting costume in Central China and north of Shaanxi. The bellyband is just like the front of vast with a lace tying to the neck and two laces tying to the waist,and it can prevent children from catching a cold. The children’s wearing of bellyband will also show their naivety. Most bellybands will be embroidered with the pattern of a tiger head and the” five Poisons” which contain a parents’ nice expectation of wishing their children health.
To take the costumes of the Yi Nationality as another example,they are rather distinctive with three types of women’s head wears including decorating brocade round the head,a handkerchief round the head and a cap with an embroidered case. Especially in the area of Honghe,women’s head wears are full of beautiful colors and styles. They prefer silver ornaments to show their riches and beauty.