Readers’ Blog

Is Qipao the sexiest Chinese dress?

Popularity 9Viewed 3371 times 2015-4-29 15:21 |System category:Life| Chinese, qipao

Qipao. 中国的杰作. 旗袍

I fell totally in love with qipao on my recent trip to China in April 2015. When i was younger, i remember seeing my mom and grandmother don these elegant dresses. But I did not know how to appreciate its beauty back then. Yes, I knew it was a dress rich with history and heritage, but i could not see my scrawny 14 year old self back then doing much justice to this dress.

So now I am 37 years old, with bodily metamorphosis and possibly more well endowed in certain areas. When I was in Shanghai, a friend told me that I must tailor make a few personal qipaos to bring back to Australia. So i did, I made 3. A baby blue one with large white flowers, a white one with small peonies and black bees, and finally a dramatic red tube top long qipao which fit just perfectly on my body.

The stylish and often tight-fitting cheongsam or qipao (chipao) that is best known today was created in the 1920s in Shanghai and made fashionable by socialites and upper class women. In Hong Kong where many Shanghai tailors fled to after the communist revolution in China, the word chèuhngsāam may refer to either male or female garments. The word keipo (qipao) is either a more formal term for the female chèuhngsāam, or is used for the two-piece cheongsam variant that is popular in China. Traditionally, usage in Western countries mostly followed the original Shanghainese usage and applies the Cantonese-language name cheongsam to a garment worn by women.

The original qipao was wide and loose. It covered most of the woman's body, revealing only the head, hands, and the tips of the toes. The baggy nature of the clothing also served to conceal the figure of the wearer regardless of age. With time, though, the qipao were tailored to become more form fitting and revealing. The modern version, which is now recognized popularly in China as the "standard" qipao, was first developed in Shanghai in the 1920s, partly under the influence of Beijing styles. People eagerly sought a more modernized style of dress and transformed the old qipao to suit their tastes. Slender and form fitting with a high cut, it had great differences from the traditional qipao. It was high-class courtesans and celebrities in the city that would make these redesigned tight fitting qipao popular at that time.

Today, i am seeing more #20sthrowback on social media as fashionistas post modern qipaos of their own to be viewed. It is interesting to see how the humble qipao will revolutionize the fashion industry in the 21st century as we see more couturists blending their designs between the East and the West.

Do you have a special qipao?

shanghai qipao

retro qipao

qipao in the silver screen

qipao worn by westerners

one of my tailor made qipao

(Opinions of the writer in this blog don't represent those of China Daily.)




Shake hands


Friends who just made a statement (2 Person)

Like 0 Share


Comment Comment (1 comments)

Currently, only the comments that relate to your operation are displayedClick here to view all the comments
Reply Report Selerit 2019-12-2 13:37
Cheongsam looks great. I recently bought one on

facelist doodle Doodle board

You need to login to comment Login | register


Recent comments

  • Is Qipao the sexiest Chinese dress? 2019-12-2 13:37

    Cheongsam looks great. I recently bought one on

  • A wicked Rosa and a conniving Wins 2017-6-19 19:53

    seneca: A film script? Maybe. Perhaps. But compelling??? Your imagination is too conventional: the guy always has to bad, a victimiser; the girl innocent, a v ...
    Bollywood? Why not?!

Star blogger










Most Viewed

Most commented

Contact us:Tel: (86)010-84883548, Email:
Blog announcement:| We reserve the right, and you authorize us, to use content, including words, photos and videos, which you provide to our blog
platform, for non-profit purposes on China Daily media, comprising newspaper, website, iPad and other social media accounts.