Chinese Dress

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Chinese clothing is an important part of their culture. Although China no longer dresses in their older more traditional styles, the traditional garments are still worn for holidays and ceremonies. There have been many historical changes in Chinese clothing, and the Chinese style choices vary depending on what region is being scrutinized. Hanfu is a term that includes all traditional Chinese dress worn prior to Manchurian and western influences. All Chinese citizens living under the Ming dynasty, and many dynasties prior to it adopted this style of dress. It was widely worn by all until the beginning of the seventeenth century and the start of the Quing dynasty. Hanfu, which was the widely accepted style in China for over three thousand years, consists of the Shenyi. A one-piece robe, which wraps around the body, the Shenyi is made up of different parts. The Jin, or the upper front of the body, the Jiaoling Youren, which means “crossed collars to the right” in Chinese and is the collar usually seen on the Hanfu of both men and women. The collar is only tied to the left as burial dress. The Qu and Mei are the cuffs and sleeves, and the Chang is the name of the skirt. The first recorded dynasty in China was the Shang dynasty. Although they did wear Hanfu clothing, most specifically the Shenyi, the garment worn by them was actually made of two separate pieces. The jacket, referred to as the Yi, and the skirt, or the Shang. It did not become a one-piece garment for many years. During the Shang dynasty the colors most often used for the garments were warm colors such as red and yellow. As time moved forward the Chinese began to decorate the fabrics with red and yellow designs. Different regions of the country had different norms as far as Hanfu dress. During the Zhou dynasty the western people used different styles of the Hanfu Shangyi to differentiate between classes. The differences in classes are shown through the two styles of sleeves, the broad and the narrow,...
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