Changes In The Dresses Of Chinese Women Under The Reign Of Various Dynasties
Traditional Chinese dresses have been considered to symbolize not only the rich culture of this ancient nation but also be a reflection of the history and customs of various dynasties. Even though the costumes worn by Chinese women and men have always been extremely magnificent and colorful, they bore a distinct imprint of the dynasty which ruled the land during a specific period. Most often the change in leadership across dynasties had a direct impact on the style and design of the costumes worn by people, giving a unique edge to the dresses worn in every era and turning them into much-admired works of art.
The most significant changes that the clothing of Chinese women and men underwent occurred during the era of the Qin and Han dynasties. Emperor Qin was a firm believer in the concept of Yin and Yang and the theory of five elements. The color black, which symbolizes water, was predominantly used in the clothing and accessories of people living during this era. On the other hand, the favorite color of the Zhou dynasty was red, the color associated with fire and men and women used it extensively in their dresses and other things of everyday use.
Since the era of Tang dynasty was the most glorious period in the history of ancient China, the clothes worn by people during this era were elegant, noble and poised. They were made from extremely fine and delicate material and embellished with lustrous decorations and designs. During the Song dynasty the clothes were of three main styles. The first style was designed especially for Chinese women belonging to the royal class, noble families and other government uses. The second style consisted of garments worn by the gentry and the third style included clothes meant for commoners for daily use.
During era of the Ming dynasty, pleated skirts and blouses with three collars and narrow sleeves were in preferred while during the Quing dynasty Manchurian-style clothing with short narrow sleeves was quite common.