Qipao: The only guide

What is qipao?

Qipao is a classic and traditional one-piece Chinese dress that has been worn by women for centuries. Originally, Manchu women wore long, loose-fitting silk gowns called the qipao, but it wasn’t until the 1920s in Shanghai that it evolved into the close-fitting dress we know today. The Qipao is a form-fitting dress that accentuates the curves of a woman’s body and features a Mandarin collar. It was the official formal dress during the Qing Dynasty era and was later adopted as the Republic of China’s mandarin gown. Traditionally, Qipao was made from embroidered silk and adorned with intricate patterns, making it a symbol of elegance and grace in Chinese culture. Han women took a long time to accept the Qipao, which is the female version of the chángpáo robe, but it eventually became a popular choice for formal occasions and special events.

Qipao meaning

Qipao is a traditional one-piece dress worn by Chinese women that is also known as a cheongsam or a “Mandarin gown.” It has a long history and was originally worn as a Bannerman robe during the Qing Dynasty era. Over time, it evolved into a highly gendered and sexualized object that reflects global stereotypes about Asian women. However, it is also seen as a symbol of liberation and sensuality, with its close-fitting design accentuating the curves of a woman’s body.

Qipao is usually made of silk fabric decorated with embroidery on top, making it a luxurious garment that is often worn for formal occasions or special events. Despite its complicated history and cultural baggage, the Qipao remains an important part of Chinese culture and fashion, and has been embraced by people all over the world as a beautiful and elegant piece of clothing.

You can wear a cheongsam both in formal situations and in daily life. But for most Chinese women, a qipao would only be worn on special days such as weddings, parties, events, or for taking photos. A wedding cheongsam is almost always red, because red means good luck in Chinese culture. >> read more

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