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History Of Chinese Clothing

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1 History Of Chinese Clothing
Teacher: 趙琪芬 (Laura Chao, Grade 11 English) Students: 廖元秀 蔡伯榮 劉懿庭 許婷姿 Da Zhi Senior High School

2 Foreword Chinese clothing has a long-term history. For the ancient Chinese, the purpose of clothes was not just for protecting and covering the body, but for showing profound meanings which prevailed in society. Thus, observing the development of clothes gives us a chance to understand their society, economy, culture, and even their mentality.

3 先秦Pre-Qin During the Shang and Zhou Dynasties, people wore a suit of clothes, which consisted of a long top part with a belt around the waist and a lower part. The top part came in five primary colors: blue, red, yellow, white and black. It had short sleeves with a hem that dangled to the knees. Also, the hems of the neck and sleeves would be beautifully embroidered.

4 During war time, more convenient clothes were needed, so a new type of clothing came into being. The long top part was replaced with a short form. The people began to wear trousers and boots, which made it easier to move in combat. This new type of clothing was popular at that time.

5 漢朝Han Dynasty People in the Western Han Dynasty used four seasons and solar terms to determine the colors of their clothing. For instance, when spring came, they dressed in blue. Women in the Han Dynasty dressed themselves in an outfit that consisted of a blouse and a skirt.

6 The Han Dynasty was powerful and its economy was steady, so its people had higher demands in make-up and clothing. Meanwhile, the famous Silk Road started and promoted the interchange between Chinese and Western cultures. Therefore, silk spread around the world through the Silk Road, and the western style in clothing also began to affect the Chinese. Through this assimilation, new trends emerged.

7 魏晉南北朝 Wei, Jin, Northern and Southern dynasties
The Wei, Jin, Northern and Southern Dynasties were not stable. In fact, the society was in great turmoil. Therefore, the intellectuals avoided politics but resorted to the philosophies of Taoism and Buddhism, which affected their clothing. They preferred to wear loose clothes, mainly in white.

8 During this period, men liked to wear head decorations in light color
During this period, men liked to wear head decorations in light color. As for the intellectuals, they would use square-shaped cloth to fix and cover their hairstyle at the same time.

9 Women’s clothing followed a similar trend
Women’s clothing followed a similar trend. They especially liked to wear dresses with loose belts around the waist and pieces of triangle-shaped cloth on the back of the skirt. They wanted to create the image of a bird flying when they walked.

10 It was until the Northern and Southern dynasties that women’s clothes, which were influenced by the Northern Chinese, became more light and convenient than the clothing of Han dynasty.

11 隋唐Tang Dynasty The Tang Dynasty was a great era where the frequent interchange of cultures between the East and the West happened, which transformed the traditional clothes into a brand-new trend.

12 With the development of textile, more slight and soft cloth had been invented and thus gave more change in clothes. The characteristic of this era is low-cup, narrow sleeve, cape, clothes of women disguise as men, high-waist, tight-clothes, Ming-Yi(明衣), the clothes of other nationality (胡服).

13 Women usually wore dresses with a belt fastened above the breast
Women usually wore dresses with a belt fastened above the breast. The colors of dresses mostly came in red, purple, yellow and green. The dress would contain a low-cut bodice with a cape behind. Besides, women would put on an additional dress made of transparent silk. The kind of dress used to be underwear before the Tang dynasty.

14 宋朝Song Dynasty This was the time for the emergence of li xue, a school of Confucianism in idealistic philosophy. Affected by the thoughts, the clothes of Song dynasty were usually plain. Most of vestments were big sleeve. They used different colors of clothes to tell their status.

15 Women’s clothes of Song dynasty were very similar to those of Han dynasty. They were long dresses with narrow sleeves. Additionally, women would put on a long-sleeved.

16 Apart from dresses, women in Song dynasty wore pants as well
Apart from dresses, women in Song dynasty wore pants as well. There was a special custom of foot-binding at that time. The Song people considered foot-binding a symbol of beauty and elegance. Therefore, women would wear pants shorter than their legs to expose their bound feet to catch people’s eyes.

17 元朝Yuan Dynasty The Yuan Dynasty was influenced by the Han nationality. Clothing had become more and more gorgeous and featured on robe. Because of Mongol nationality’s custom, men in that time liked to grow plaited hair and wear earring. They wore a wide-brimmed rain hat in summer, while wore fur coat, leather boot and leather hat in winter. Many of mandarin’s clothes were robe had narrow sleeves.

18 Women of Mongol clothes were similar to men’s, but their colors were different. Plenty of women’s clothes were 左衽 and had tight and narrow sleeves. When women wore a robe, they also wore pants, and used a band to tie on waist. Instead, women of Han nationality featured on 襦裙. Their clothes were 右衽 and loose or narrow sleeves. They wore long pants in the pleated skirt and wore shallow-bottom shoes. The rich women of Mongol nationality had a special-shaped hat which was tall and long.

19 明朝Ming Dynasty Men in Min Dynasty wore long robes.

20 Women in Min Dynasty wore shirt(衫) , coat, 霞披 (a kind of plaid) and skirt. Their clothes were feat body. They just could wear light color but couldn’t wear deep red and yellow. However, clothes of ladies were fit and slemder, such as long coat and long skirt. They would wear pleated skirt, long vest and shawl.

21 清朝Qing Dynasty The trait of clothing of Qing Dynasty were retaining and absorbing Han nationality and Manchu’s custom. Men of Qing Dynasty’s mainly clothes were robe, jacket(馬褂) and vest(馬甲) . Because Manchu liked riding-shoot, their sleeves of robe were looked like a horse’s hoof. 褂 had been wore out of the robe, whether men or women could wear it. On the vest(馬甲) were much adornment of colorful embroider.

22 Women of Qing Dynasty liked the slender figure
Women of Qing Dynasty liked the slender figure. They often wore a cheongsam, combed the chignon on hair flat, fashioned put an upright board which artificial flowers were sewed on and wore tall-bottomed shoes. The rich women of Qing Dynasty would inlay jadeite coral, pearls or white jade on the adornment which was inserted on the chignon and wore nail coats made of jewel to protect their fingernail.

23 Nowadays近代 When the Xin-Hai(辛亥) revolution happened in 1911, three demands came from the people: abolishing the monarchy, cutting off the braid, changing the traditional clothes into the new ones. During that time, men began to wear unlined upper garments and jackets. The young people usually wore western-style clothes. Zhong-Shan(中山) style clothes also became a trend for the Chinese during the reformation.

24 Zhong-Shan(中山) style clothes appeared after the Xin-Hai revolution
Zhong-Shan(中山) style clothes appeared after the Xin-Hai revolution. This new style combines the traditional characteristics with the western clothes. It features a chink and a waistband on the backside. Besides, there are always nine buttons on the front part of the garment, and folds on the pockets. The Zhong-Shan(中山) style has its special politically symbolic meaning. The five pockets, one of which is inside the garment, represent the five constitutional principles by Dr. Sun Ye-Shan (孫逸仙)。

25 Other Decorations 1. Foot-binding 2. 花鈿 Dang

26 Foot-binding纏足 Foot-binding was a special kind of Chinese custom prevailing in the early 20th century. At that time, women had to use a long piece of cloth to tie their feet since childhood. They wanted to stop the growing of the feet, for smaller feet were thought more attractive to men. Women with bound-feet could not walk properly, but had to walk on their heels. After the end of the Chin Dynasty, more and more people started to consider the food-binding a kind of repression for women, and then the old custom has been banned legally now.


28 花鈿Dang Dang (鈿) is also a kind of ornament worn on the forehead by women as a decoration. Due to its various components, Dang is colorful. For example, a golden one is usually made of foil. Besides, the pictures on Dang may determine its color as well. There is a popular one, named Zui Dang (翠鈿). It got its name from the picture with bird’s feather made of green emerald.

29 The special glue used to paste the Dang was called Ho-Chiao(呵膠)
The special glue used to paste the Dang was called Ho-Chiao(呵膠). Legend has it that the special glue is made of fish pneumatocysts. When women wanted to peel the Dang off, first, they should blow it on, and apply a little saliva on it, and then the glue may dissolve. Otherwise, they could use hot water to pat on their forehead, and then the glue could come off.

30 References

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