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Tang Suit, Chinese Traditional National Costume


Tang Dynasty was the most thriving, prosperous, splendid, and glorious period in ancient China. As a result, the traditional clothing worn by the Chinese is called “Tang suit”. Actually, “Tang suit” has no relationships with Tang Dynasty.

The origin of Tang suit can be traced back to Qing Dynasty(1644–1911), evolving from Magua, It is a Manchurian clothing, which was in turn adopted by the Han Chinese during Qing Dynasty. It is a short tunic with high and round collars and lapels, which are fasten down the front. At that time, only noblemen, aristocracy and government officials were wearing it; however, in modern times it was eventually adopted by common people. This kind of clothing is often seen as a national costume for men, although women wear it as well.

Now in Chinese communities, the Zhongshan suit, the western suit, and the Tang suit are main formal dressing for men in many occasions. Tang suit is made in different colors, most commonly red, dark blue, gold and black. One common design is the usage of Chinese characters to spread good luck and wishes.

By 1940s, “the Tang suit” becomes popular in China again. Compared with the ancient style, the sleeves had become longer and wider. Patch pockets were added and the number of frog buttons became standard at seven. This jacket was worn with matching pants.

At the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Shanghai, China in November 2001, the host presented its silk-embroidered Tang suit jackets as the Chinese traditional national costume.


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