Chinese Style Clothing for Women

buying clothes from China

If you are considering buying clothes from China, particularly Chinese traditional clothing then this article is for you. It is alway difficult finding a trustworthy supplier and one that consistently provides a quality product. There are many horror stories and unless you have confidence in your supplier it may all be too overwhelming. Fortunately, I can help you and point you in the right direction.

Chinese Traditional Clothing

Chinese Style Clothing for Women

Ming Chongzhen

China’s traditional clothing was characterized, as magnificent.

A Characteristic of traditional Chinese clothing was that not only was the clothing an external expression of elegance, but each and every piece communicated a sense of external form and contained an internal symbolism of meaning. Certain colours and images carried specific meaning and status.

Today’s clothing 

Chinese Style Clothing for WomenChinese people like the color red. The red color, indicates happiness, success and unity. Today’s China’s fashion designers use a mixture of traditional and modern ideas to create new fashions.

These new fashions also incorporate, age-old motifs such as guardian deities, lions, and masks of Chinese opera characters. Another source of printed, woven and embroidered design for clothes. Some of the distinctive designs include dragons, phoenixes, clouds, flowers and lighting. These often dominate Chinese clothing style for women.

Men’s Clothing

In modern day society, Chinese men can be seen at social occasions wearing ceremonial clothes in two varieties on formal occasions, The dignified and refined traditional Chinese long gown and the SunYat-sen’s uniform, which is a blending of fashion elements from the East and West and was once hailed as the “State Suit”.

Sun Yat-sen introduced the style shortly after the founding of the Republic of China as a form of national dress although with a distinctly political and later governmental implication. Chinese Style Clothing for Women

After the end of the Chinese Civil War and the establishment of the People’s Republic of China in 1949, such suits came to be worn widely by males and government leaders as a symbol of proletarian unity and an Eastern counterpart to the Western business suit.

This “State Suit” or Chinese tunic is a style of male attire traditionally known as the Zhongshan suit and later as the Mao suit (after Mao Zedong).

The name “Mao suit” comes from Chinese leader Mao Zedong’s fondness for wearing them in public, so that the garment became closely associated with him and with Chinese communism in general in the Western imagination.

In the 1960s and 1970’s, the Mao suit became fashionable among Western European socialists and intellectuals. It was sometimes worn over a turtleneck. 

Although they fell into disuse among the general public in the 1990s due to increasing Western influences, they are still commonly worn by Chinese leaders during important state ceremonies and functions.

Changes in Clothing Fashion

After the 1911 Revolution, the government specified the system of formal dress of both men and women in the first year of the Republic of China. Men wore western-style clothes and Chinese tunic suits. These two style of clothes were foreign styles, and most officials and intellectuals more usually wore them. White garments were worn in summer, but black or dark ones in other seasons.

Men had dress suits and routine suits, which were all made of black cloth, trousers, and cravats.These included Western-style and Chinese style (e.g. long gown and mandarin jacket).

The common dressing style was a mandarin jacket over a long gown. Erect collars, three pockets, and seven buttons were mainly the uniform of students of universities and colleges. The typical clothes of rural men and women included a jacket and trousers or covered with a ramie skirt.

WomenChinese Style Clothing for Women

The formal dress of women had collars and was long to the knees with buttons down the front. Skirts were decorated with cartouches in the front and back, both sides were sewn with pleats, and both ends had patterns of knots.

The main changes of garments in that time were the modifications of the collar, sleeve, and length, etc. The garments with high collar were popular first, and the higher the collar, the more popular. Gradually, garments with low collars began to be popular, and the lower the collar, the more modern the style. 

One of the main types of traditional Chinese clothing was the Ch’ang-p’ao (cheongsam) which is a one–piece garment extending from the shoulders all the way to the heels. While women often wear these the variations of height, length, width and ornamentation of the collar, sleeves, skirt, and basic cut of this Oriental fashion are limitless. 

But Then…

By the 1940s, cheongsam came in a wide variety of fabrics with an equal variety of accessories. However, the 1949 Communist Revolution curtailed the popularity of the cheongsam and other fashions in Shanghai. But the Shanghainese emigrants and refugees brought the fashion to Hong Kong where it has remained popular and has made a comeback in mainland China in recent times.

Chinese Style Clothing for WomenTraditionally, a Cheongsam was made of silk and embroidered with pearls and other decorations. 

The modernized version is noted for accentuating the figures of women, and as such was popular as a dress for high society.

As Western fashions changed, the basic cheongsam design changed too, introducing high-necked sleeveless dresses, bell-like sleeves, and the black lace frothing at the hem of a ball gown.

Along with the emergence of cinema, film stars became eminent figures and gradually, Shanghai City fashions became the base camp of women’s wear in China as well as the garments of Guangdong Province and Hong Kong. 


The revival of the Shanghainese cheongsam in Shanghai and elsewhere in China has made this mostly now a stylish party dress. 

Darker colors were favored over lighter ones in traditional Chinese clothing, so the main color of ceremonial clothing tended to be dark while bright, elaborate tapestry designs was worn more frequently by the common people for everyday life and around the house use.

The Chinese associate certain colors with specific seasons: green represents spring, red symbolizes summer, white represents autumn, and black symbolizes winter.

Chinese Style Clothing for WomenChinese Style Clothing for WomenChinese Style Clothing for Women

Chinese Fashion Today

So, today we still see elements of traditional Chinese culture in the dress and fashion wChinese Style Clothing for Womenear as a typical example these types of fashion clothing have wide and voluminous sleeves and a very loose fit.

Because of their relatively plain design and structure, they have embroidered edgings, decorated bands, or patterns on the shoulder, and sashes are often added as ornaments.

So the variety in design is now one of the unique features of traditional Chinese dress. The Chinese are said to have a fully developed system of matching, coordinating, and contrasting colors in apparel.

Buying Clothes From China

To explore buying clothes from China further, the website below The New Silk Road is a Chinese clothing online store and contains Chinese fashion clothing at wholesale prices, at actual Chinese prices. Not priced for foreigners to buy chinese clothing. 

To access The New Silk Road use this image below

Chinese Style Clothing for Women

To access The New Silk Road use this link



Peter V Crisp“I am currently living in China, teaching English and Business to Chinese students, at a University in Shanghai and I know the owner of this Chinese Website and can help out if you have any questions such as bulk orders or shipping or any issues”

If you wish to learn more about China you may want to visit my other posts here.

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  • Really nice collection. I think these are great quality and are cheap and underrated. Thanks for the great information and the connection to a good supplier.

  • Sunewako

    Hello Petervcrisp,
    You have really inspired, I love culture, culture is the root of every person. It is very good that we keep on promoting it so that the young children won’t be lost.

    Thank you for this information. I love fashion but I did not know much about Chinese clothing but now I know.

    Thank you.

    • Peter

      Hello, Sunewako Thank you for your comments and I am pleased you enjoyed the post and know that if yu choose to purchase anything through this vendor they will treat you right which is often hard to find in China. Thanks again for your comments. 🙂

  • olman claros

    Hello Peter

    Hey Great website you have build, great images and I love the content you have in the website.

    It has very useful information and interesting topics. I like the colors you integrated into the site as that makes it look more alive and interactive.

    Great information about Chinese style clothing for woman and the images are very engaging. I’m sure this is a quality site as you have recommended it. Thanks for bringing this to our attention.

    • Peter

      Hello, Olman Thank you for your comments and I am pleased you liked the post. Feel free to check out my other posts sometime. 🙂

  • Benjamin

    Seems like you know some history of Chinese clothing. This doesn’t exactly appeal to my taste of clothing but was nice to educate myself about it.

    Well written as it kept me engaged reading the entire article.

    I noticed that you had some promotional material on the side about making money online. Can you enlighten me a little please?

    • Peter

      Hello, Benjamin yes it’s not for everyone as people’s tastes are their own. The Chinese culture though is interesting for example the Chinese associate certain colors with specific seasons: green represents spring, red symbolizes summer, white represents autumn, and black symbolizes winter. fashion designers in China these days tend to use a mixture of traditional and modern ideas to create new fashions.

      Thank you for your comments 🙂

  • Mike

    Very nice reading. I love to get together the best things from the world, all cultures learning from all cultures, and I personally love chinese style for many products like decoration and in this case clothing. Loved your history narration and how things were changing and evolving. I love to find this kind of curious info, so thanks for sharing this and have a wonderful day!

    • Peter

      Hello Mike Yes different cultures are certainly interesting and China is no exception.Today’s China’s fashion designers tend to use a mixture of traditional and modern ideas to create new fashions.Although there is a largely western style clothing following amongst the younger people. Thanks for your comments 🙂

  • Alfred James

    Really interesting, in fact, with our world and globalisation we are exchanging our cultures over and over again, so I guess so many people around the world love other cultures completely differents to them. I like the perspective that you share here, it says so much about you, very nice website.

    • Peter

      Hello, Alfred Pleased you liked the site and thank you for your comments. Yes, Chinese people like the colour red as it indicates happiness, success, unity. So lot’s of RED to you. 🙂

  • Peter

    Hello and thank you for your comments. It is also difficult to find a quality supplier and so I have highlighted this company as a good resource for anyone interested in buying Chinese styled clothing. Cheers 🙂

  • Eyal

    What a great article and to think that I’m accidentally bumped into it. I love watching Chinese movies and I always focus on the actors click because they are very appealing. I knew that the red color resembles something but I didnt know what. Thank you for the information. Do you know where I can order online Chinese clothes?

    • Peter

      Hello Eyal, Of course just see the link on my post ha ha. Thanks for your comments and I appreciate you dropping some feedback 🙂

  • Surrounding Beauty

    Hi Peter,

    As a Chinese myself, I must say your post on how Chinese style clothing has changes over the years is spot on. Though these days the cheongsam has been modernised, you can still find some chinese women (especially the older ones) dressed in traditional cheongsam during festivals such as Chinese New Year. It is always quite a nostalgic sight to see someone dressed in traditional clothing.

  • Jakob

    Hi Peter,

    I am more into affiliate marketing but I have tried dropshipping without any success.

    Do you need to invest a lot of money to get started to sell your own chinese styled clothing?

    I live in sweden so I guess that the cost for customs and shipping would also be a problem. Please educate me.

    Your friend,


    • Peter

      Hello, Jakob. I know it is hard to find quality suppliers in China and I know these people personally and can vouch for their ethics and quality product. So I am just giving them a shout out really. Thanks for your comments 🙂

  • Alec Terry

    Peter you have an excellent site and a very unique take on making an income online. I don’t think many people would have considered Chinese clothing but then again not many people have a set of experiences as unique as yours.
    I think you have a great pitch because you’ve been able to walk the walk and use your website as a way to travel the world.
    Best of luck to you in the future sir!

    • Peter

      Hello, Terry Thank you for your comments and yest I have lived in five countries now and the internet has made that possible to travel the world and earn a living. It’s always difficult to find a quality supplier for Chinese products so I hope i have some people with this recommendation for a source of Chinese women’s clothing. Cheers 🙂

  • Jeremy

    I really like how you used historical events to describe the changes in clothing patterns across time. My sister is really interested in Chinese culture and has quite a few artifacts decorated around her house. My niece (her daughter) is turning 4 next month and has shown a lot of interest in some of the Chinese trinquits she lets her play with. Do you know of any good Ch’ang -p’ao, if any, that come in children’s sizes?

    • Peter

      Hello, Jeremy. I can’t help you with Childrens clothing but thank you so much for your feedback. I am happy you enjoyed the post thanks again for your comments 🙂

  • Omar

    Finally a trustworthy site where I can shop for clothing. First of all I want to say Thank You for this article, I now know the Chinese style for women and for my girlfriend. This really gave me an idea of how to choose the style and color for her. I have also learned the Chinese style for men which is great! Thanks!

    • Peter

      Hello, Omar Thank you for your comments and I am pleased you found the post interesting. It is always difficult to find trustworthy supplies in China so I’m pointing people in the right direction. :

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