The cheongsam is a female dress with distinctive Chinese features and enjoys a growing popularity in the international world of high fashion.
The name “cheongsam,” meaning simply “long dress,” entered the English vocabulary from the dialect of China’s Guangdong Province (Cantonese). In other parts of the country including Beijing, however, it is known as “qipao“, which has a history behind it.
When the early Manchu rulers came to China proper, they organized certain people, mainly Manchus, into “banners” (qi) and called them “banner people” (qiren), which then became loosely the name of all Manchus. The Manchu women wore normally a one-piece dress which, likewise, came to be called “qipao” or “banner dress.” Although the 1911 Revolution toppled the rule of the Qing , Ching (Manchu) Dynasty, the female dress survived the political change and, with later improvements, has become the traditional dress for Chinese women.
Easy to slip on and comfortable to wear, the cheongsam fits well the female Chinese figure. Its neck is high, collar closed, and its sleeves may be either short, medium or full length, depending on season and taste. The dress is buttoned on the right side, with a loose chest, a fitting waist, and slits up from the sides, all of which combine to set off the beauty of the female shape.
The cheongsam is not too complicated to make. Nor does it call for too much material, for there are no accessories like belts, scarves, sashes or frills to go with it.
Another beauty of the cheongsam is that, made of different materials and to varying lengths, they can be worn either on casual or formal occasions. In either case, it creates an impression of simple and quiet charm, elegance and neatness. No wonder it is so much liked by women not only of China but of foreign countries as well.
Chinese dress may be traced to the conservative and modern look –
Qi pao, the classic dress for Chinese women, combines the elaborate elegance of Chinese tradition with unique elements of style. The high-necked, closed-collar Qipao .
The Qipao can display all women’s modesty, softness and beauty. Like Chinese women’s temperament, the Qipao Cheongsam is elegant and gentle, its long-standing elegance and serenity makes wearers fascinating. Mature women in Qipao / Cheongsam can display their graceful refined manner. A Qipao or Cheongsam almost varies with a woman’s figure.
What serves as a worthy testament to the beauty of the Qipao is, however, it does not require the wearer to pep up the look with accessories like scarves and belts. Designed to show off the natural softness of the female form, it also creates the illusion of slender legs. The overall picture: practical, yet sexy.
Because of its particular charm Chinese dress Qipao / Cheongsam is like a wonderful flower in the colorful fashion scene. Another beauty of the Qipao / Cheongsam is that it is made of different materials and can be worn either on casual or formal occasions.