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Traditional Chinese Dress

China is a land of great cultural heritage. The traditional Chinese dress represents an important part of the Chinese culture. It reflects the Chinese society and the outlook of the people in different periods of history. The system of dress came into being in china from the ‘Xia' and ‘Shang' dynasty.

‘Hanfu' is the traditional cloth of china, which literally means ‘Ancient clothes'. It is made of pure silk and is known as ‘Silk Robes'. Traditional dress depends according to the social class that exists within china. The material and design of clothing differs for each social class. People of

higher rank like scholars, superior officials, and wealthy families wear fine embroidered silk robes with clothes slippers. Peasants wear clothes made out of rough material called hemp and straw scandals. A clothes made of silk is reserve only for the rich. Generally, cloth is made using various parts of specific clothes draped to a specific style. People use different symbols to show their social class.

The Chinese traditional dress is not marked with uniformity. Traditional Chinese clothing has three different types- ‘pien-fu' a two -piece ceremonial garb composed of a tunic – like top , extended to the knees , paired with a skirt or trousers that extended to the ankles. Ch' ang- p' ao, a one-piece shoulder – to- heels garments. Shein – i, similar to the ‘pein-fu'. The upper portions are sewn together like the Ch'ang – pao. This pattern is widely popular among the three. The three common patterns were wide, extremely with loose fit and voluminous sleeves. The different variety in design is one of the unique features in traditional Chinese dress.

One popular Chinese traditional dress is "Cheongsam" which literally means long dress. It is a female dress with distinctive Chinese features. The dress is design in a simple way and it does not require many accessories to go with it. It is used both in formal and casual occasions. The dress creates the impression of elegance and charm and women all over the world admire it. Chinese men are less concerned when it comes to dress. The basic traditional Chinese clothing for man is a long robe. It is a prominent part of the culture of china. The ‘chang pao, is one of the traditional dress of man in china. It is design with a loose fitting and it is an official dress for man in china. Embroidery was common on both man and woman. Carrying a fan was a favorite for both genders.

Chinese associate a lot of importance to the color of clothes. In traditional Chinese clothing, dark colors were preferred over bright ones. The common people used light colored clothes for everyday use. Dark colors are mainly for special Ceremonies. The uses of different color are related with different seasons – Green symbolizes spring, white symbolize autumn, black symbolize winter and red symbolize summer. The Chinese mastered the art of coordinating, matching, contrasting colors and shades of light and dark in apparel.

It will not be wrong to say that each piece of traditional cloth has a deep meaning. It is a fine combination of external elegance with internal meaning. It also shows the Chinese ancient way of life.

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