Cheongsams, also known as qipao in Mandarin, are one of the most iconic and recognizable pieces of traditional Chinese clothing. With their sleek silhouettes, intricate designs, and rich history, cheongsams have captured the hearts of fashion enthusiasts worldwide. In this article, we will delve into the fascinating world of cheongsams, exploring their origins, how to wear them, the different styles available, fun facts, and where to buy these timeless pieces.

Origin of Cheongsams

The cheongsam has its roots in the Manchu-led Qing Dynasty (1644-1912) of China. Initially worn by the Manchu ethnic minority, the cheongsam evolved over time to become popular among Han Chinese women as well. Originally known as 'qipao' in Mandarin, the term 'cheongsam' is derived from the Cantonese pronunciation of the same characters.

During the 1920s and 1930s, the cheongsam underwent a transformation, adapting Western influences and incorporating modern elements into its design. It became a symbol of modernity and elegance, worn by urban women in China and gaining popularity internationally.

How to Wear Cheongsams

Wearing a cheongsam requires careful attention to fit and style to achieve the perfect look. Here are some tips on how to wear a cheongsam:

  1. Fit: A well-fitted cheongsam should hug the body without being too tight. It should allow for ease of movement while maintaining a sleek silhouette.

  2. Length: The length of the cheongsam can vary, from mini to ankle-length. Choose a length that flatters your body type and suits the occasion.

  3. Accessories: Pair your cheongsam with elegant accessories such as jade jewelry, a clutch purse, and high heels to complete the look.

  4. Hairstyle: Traditional hairstyles like the chignon or modern styles like loose waves can complement a cheongsam beautifully.

Different Cheongsam Styles

Over the years, the cheongsam has evolved into various styles, each with its unique characteristics:

  1. Traditional: Classic designs featuring high collars, intricate embroidery, and traditional motifs.

  2. Modern: Contemporary designs that combine traditional elements with modern fabrics, prints, and cuts.

  3. Mandarin Collar: A popular style with a stand-up collar that adds an elegant touch to the cheongsam.

  4. Sleeve Length: Cheongsams can come with different sleeve lengths, including sleeveless, short-sleeved, and long-sleeved options.

Fun Facts on Cheongsams

  • The cheongsam gained international fame when it was worn by celebrities like Anna May Wong and Maggie Cheung in movies during the 20th century.

  • The cheongsam was banned in China during the Cultural Revolution (1966-1976) but made a comeback in the 1980s.

  • The cheongsam has inspired Western fashion designers, with many incorporating its elements into their collections.

Where to Buy Cheongsams

If you're looking to add a cheongsam to your wardrobe, there are various places where you can find these exquisite pieces:

  1. Boutiques: Specialty boutiques that focus on traditional Chinese clothing often carry a range of cheongsams. 

  2. Hanfu Story: Besides our beautiful Hanfu collection, we also have over 50 gorgeous cheongsams that will make you look amazing and feel inspired!

  3. Custom Tailoring: For a personalized touch, consider getting a cheongsam tailored to your measurements by a skilled dressmaker. 

March 29, 2024

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