The Tang Dynasty (618-907 AD) of China was a period of cultural and artistic prosperity. One of the most visually stunning aspects of this era was the fashion and costumes worn by the people. The Tang Dynasty costumes are commonly known as Hanfu, which refers to the traditional dress of the Han Chinese. In this article, we will explore the different types of Hanfu that were prevalent during the Tang Dynasty.
- Ruqun: Ruqun, also known as “Qixiong Ruqun,” was one of the most common types of clothing worn by both men and women. It consisted of a cross-collared top and a long skirt. The top was loose-fitting and featured wide sleeves, while the skirt was floor-length and flared. Women often adorned their Ruqun with elaborate floral patterns, while men’s Ruqun was plainer.
- Beizi: Beizi was a type of outer garment worn over Ruqun. It was a long robe-like coat that added layers and protection against the cold. Beizi was made of silk or brocade and was often adorned with embroidery, making it a more luxurious and elegant option.
- Daopao: Daopao was a robe-like coat worn by high-ranking officials and nobles. It had wide sleeves and a loose fit, giving it a regal and majestic look. The fabric used for Daopao was often silk or brocade, and it had distinct characteristics depending on the wearer’s rank and position.
- Beizi Ruqun: Beizi Ruqun was a combination of Beizi and Ruqun. It involved wearing a Beizi as an outer garment over Ruqun, adding more layers and grandeur to the ensemble. Beizi Ruqun was often worn for ceremonial events or by the elite class.
- Tiaowen: Tiaowen was an accessory worn by both men and women. It was a long, narrow band of cloth wrapped around the waist over the Ruqun. Tiaowen served both functional and decorative purposes and added an additional touch of elegance to the attire.
- Hezi: Hezi was a short jacket worn over other garments, similar to a waistcoat. It was worn by both men and women and had various designs and patterns. Hezi was often made of silk, brocade, or fur and was favored by the wealthy class.
- Pi ling: Pi ling was a sleeveless vest-like garment. It was crafted from brocade or other luxurious fabrics and was mainly worn by women. Pi ling could be worn alone or as an additional layer over other clothing. It was popular for its versatility and aesthetic appeal.
What is the difference between Tang suit and Tang Dynasty Hanfu?
The Tang suit, also known as the Tangzhuang, is a modern style of clothing inspired by the traditional attire of the Tang Dynasty. It originated in the 20th century and has since become a popular fashion choice, particularly for special occasions or formal events.
While the Tang suit draws inspiration from the Tang Dynasty, there are several key differences between it and the Tang Dynasty Hanfu:
- Time period: The Tang Dynasty Hanfu refers to the clothing worn during the actual Tang Dynasty (618-907 AD), while the Tang suit was created centuries later, in the 20th century.
- Design and Style: The Tang Dynasty Hanfu reflects the fashion and costume styles of the Tang Dynasty, featuring specific garments such as the Ruqun, Beizi, Daopao, and more. It embraces a loose and flowing silhouette, with wide sleeves and floor-length attire. On the other hand, the Tang suit is a fusion of traditional design elements and modern tailoring. It generally consists of a straight-cut, knee-length jacket with a mandarin collar, often paired with matching pants.
- Fabric and Embellishments: The Tang Dynasty Hanfu typically used luxurious materials like silk or brocade, and the garments were often embellished with intricate embroidery or patterns. In contrast, the Tang suit is commonly made from more modern fabrics like cotton or linen, and the level of embellishments and ornate details can vary.
- Occasion and Usage: Tang Dynasty Hanfu was worn during the actual Tang Dynasty and was a part of everyday clothing for people of different social statuses. It was worn for various occasions and events. Conversely, the Tang suit is primarily worn as a traditional or formal attire for ceremonial events, weddings, or other cultural celebrations.
In summary, the Tang Dynasty Hanfu represents the clothing of the Tang Dynasty itself, while the Tang suit is a modern adaptation and reinterpretation of that historical style. The Tang suit captures the essence of Tang Dynasty fashion in a contemporary context, offering a nod to China’s rich sartorial heritage.
The Tang Dynasty was known for its vibrant and diverse fashion sense. The Hanfu worn during this period showcased a blend of classic Han Chinese attire with influences from neighboring regions and foreign cultures. The costumes, with their intricate designs, exquisite fabrics, and elegant silhouettes, were a testament to the artistic and cultural richness of the time. Even today, the legacy of Tang Dynasty fashion continues to inspire and influence modern-day fashion trends in China and beyond.