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Dazzling Chinese Clothing in Ming Dynasty


Each dynasty in China brought with it essential characteristics to Chinese culture. Clothing in the Ming Dynasty brought a new perspective to traditional clothing. A lot of clothing influences developed throughout the Ming Dynasty is usually described by historians as magnificent and graceful at the same time.


Circular buttons were popularized during Ming dynasty. Metal buttons became part of their clothing and collars were made circular instead of symmetrical. Proportions of the upper and lower garments during this time were also inverted. Jackets that topped the upper garments were made to become longer to make sure that the exposed skirt was shorter. The Ming Dynasty was truly influential when it came to traditional fashion in ancient times.



At the beginning of the Ming Dynasty light colors became very popular, embroidered capes called “Rosy Cloud Cape” also became an essential part of women’s daily costume. Most women wore three collars with narrow sleeves, pleated skirts were also popularized. Another feature of costume in the Ming Dynasty was that the garment front was decorated with various striking adornments made of gold, jade and pearl, etc. A special adornment was a golden chain hung with nipper, toothpick, ear pick and small knife, articles that were often used by women in their daily life.


Men's costume in the Ming Dynasty typically adopted the form of chuddar and circular collar. The clothing style featured broad sleeves, inlaid black brims and cyan circular collar. Most of the men also wore a drooping strap with black silk ribbons and soft chuddar. Most of men’s clothing was made of silk that was very popular during that time.


Clothes of Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) belonging to Confucius' aristocratic descendants are among the best-preserved of the era and offer hints of lost textile arts. The best-preserved Ming clothing was discovered in two black cases in the Confucius Family Mansion in Qufu, Shandong province. There were about 100 garments. From the case, maybe the world's only complete set of Ming court clothing is found. The costume consists of a five-beamed crown, red silk court robe, red silk skirt, white silk inner garment and a pair of bright red shoes with green lining and cloud patterns. According to the clothing scholar, it could take two years for one person to finish a robe for nobles, such as a kind of mustard-colored silk robe with an embroidered boa.

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