Chinese Attire

By P. Altshuler

Wealthy Men

Wealthy men wore a lot of silk and a lot of bright colors, because bright colors were for wealthy people only. The color yellow was reserved for the emperor, as was the emblem of a dragon. They mainly wore short tunics, and in the winter they sometimes wore pants and padded jackets. They also wore bright, silk shoes with leather on the inside and grew their fingernails very long, because long fingernails showed that they were wealthy.


Wealthy Women

Wealthy women wore beautiful, elaborate silk robes that reached down to the floor with leather belts. Just like the wealthy men, they wore bright colors and had long fingernails. They thought that to be pretty they had to have small feet, usually no more than three inches long. To get these tiny feet they did something called feet binding. Feet binding was a practice in which girls’ toes were broken and bound underneath the bottoms of their feet. It was extremely painful. Because of this, the women wore shoes with curled toes. Their hair was put up in buns with pretty pins. In the cold weather they sometimes wore pants and padded jackets, like the men.






Working Men

Working men wore plain, short robes made of hemp or ramie (NEVER silk) and flat sandals. They had to wear dark, dull colors because they weren’t allowed to wear bright colors. They wore their hair long and had short fingernails. Like the wealthy men and women, they sometimes wore padding and/or pants in the cold.


Working Women

Working women wore many of the same things the men did, including the short, plain robes, darker colors, padded clothes, and short fingernails. They also wore their hair very long. Like the wealthy women, they practiced feet binding. This meant they couldn’t walk very well, so they did the housework.


Materials

Working women wore many of the same things the men did, including the short, plain robes, darker colors, padded clothes, and short fingernails. They also wore their hair very long. Like the wealthy women, they practiced feet binding. This meant they couldn’t walk very well, so they did the housework.


Ancient Chinese Clothing【Hanfu 漢服】

Bibliography

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