Guide of the Ming Dynasty Shan/Ao Types for Girls

The Ming Dynasty Hanfu has always been known by Hanfu lovers for its dignity and elegance.

Compared to the Tang and Song dynasties, Ming Hanfu has a large number of excavated artifacts, heirloom paintings, and costumes to serve as references. Therefore, we can have access to a great variety of Hanfu styles from the Ming Dynasty.

 

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Common types of Ming style Shan/Ao

The different Ming Dynasty Shan/Ao styles are mainly composed of the elements of collar, bodice, sleeve shape, and length of the clothing.

  • Ling (领, collar): Zhi Ling (直领, straight collar), Yuan Ling (圆领, round collar), Li Ling (立领, stand collar, also known as Shu Ling), Fang Ling (方领, square collar).
  • Jin (襟, bodice): Da Jin (大襟), Dui Jin (对襟), refers to the intersection of the neckline of the clothes, and also refers to the chest part of the clothes.
  • Xiu (袖, sleeve type): Zhai Xiu (窄袖, narrow sleeves), Zhi Xiu (直袖, straight sleeves), Pipa Xiu (琵琶袖, pipa sleeves), Da Xiu (大袖, wide sleeves).
  • Yi Chang (衣长, length of clothes): Chang Shan/Ao (long), Duan Shan/Ao (short).
Guide of the Ming Dynasty Shan/Ao Types for Girls

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Guide of the Ming Dynasty Shan/Ao Types for Girls

We will introduce several classic Ming Hanfu styles for girls, based on different collar styles.

 

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Zhi Ling

Guide of the Ming Dynasty Shan/Ao Types for Girls Guide of the Ming Dynasty Shan/Ao Types for Girls

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Zhi Ling Da Jin = Jiao Ling

Let's start by introducing the style of the Zhi Ling Da Jin Shan/Ao (直领大襟衫), commonly known as Jiao Ling (交领) Shan/Ao.

Guide of the Ming Dynasty Shan/Ao Types for Girls Guide of the Ming Dynasty Shan/Ao Types for Girls

[Structure & History]

Jiao Ling (交领, cross collar) usually refers to the crossing of collars formed by the overlapping of the plackets. In the excavated artifacts, the left placket is usually pressed against the right placket, showing the "y" character, which is the so-called Jiaoling Youren (交领右衽), as shown in the picture, the right placket is significantly smaller than the left placket.

Guide of the Ming Dynasty Shan/Ao Types for Girls

Guide of the Ming Dynasty Shan/Ao Types for Girls

Guide of the Ming Dynasty Shan/Ao Types for Girls

[The Occasion of Dressing]

The Ming Dynasty Jiao Ling Shan/Ao is usually worn with Mamian Qun (马面裙). The occasions for wearing it varies according to the pattern of the fabric and the Buzi (补子).

The Jiao Ling Shan/Ao with gold-woven Yunjian (云肩) or Buzi is usually worn on formal occasions. The narrow sleeves Jiao Ling Shan/Ao is more likely to be worn as intimate wear or for daily use.

Guide of the Ming Dynasty Shan/Ao Types for GirlsGuide of the Ming Dynasty Shan/Ao Types for Girls

The court lady in the picture is wearing the Jiao Ling Ao with cuffs decorated with white sleeve edges. Some may be decorated with gold-woven Yunjian and Tongxiulan (通袖襕) decorated.

 

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Yuan Ling

Guide of the Ming Dynasty Shan/Ao Types for GirlsGuide of the Ming Dynasty Shan/Ao Types for Girls

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Yuan Ling Da Jin Shan/Ao

[History and Structure]

Yuan Ling Da Jin Shan/Ao (圆领大襟衫/袄) is one of the informal dress styles, and you will often find it in relics.

It is Jiaoling Youren (交领右衽, wrapping the right side before the left) in general, with a button near the right shoulder to secure the lapel. The sleeve width of the Yuan Ling Da Jin is usually larger and has no hem.

The Yuan Ling robe of the same collar shape will almost always have a hem, usually an inner hem, with the top of the hem starting at the vents.

Guide of the Ming Dynasty Shan/Ao Types for Girls

Yuan Ling Da Jin's relics are also frequently decorated with Buzi.

Guide of the Ming Dynasty Shan/Ao Types for Girls

Guide of the Ming Dynasty Shan/Ao Types for Girls

[Occasion and Matching]

Yuan Ling Da Jin Shan/Ao is formal outerwear and is not usually worn on a daily basis. When wearing it, the skirt is paired with the Mamian Qun with bottom woven gold decoration. The choice of hair accessories (Diji, 䯼髻) is also relatively formal.

Guide of the Ming Dynasty Shan/Ao Types for Girls Guide of the Ming Dynasty Shan/Ao Types for Girls

A cute hairstyle with the right hair accessory is also suitable for a Yuan Ling Da Jin Shan/Ao.

Guide of the Ming Dynasty Shan/Ao Types for Girls Guide of the Ming Dynasty Shan/Ao Types for Girls

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Yuan Ling Dui Jin Shan

[History and Structure]

Yuan Ling Shan (圆领衫), also known as a collarless Shan (无领衫). The collar edge of a round collar Shan is very narrow, usually about 1 cm, which is equivalent to a border.

The Yuan Ling Shan is mostly parallel opening, fastened with a button or tie. The sleeve width is usually narrower and the sleeves are shorter. Compared to regular outerwear, it is worn for the home or inside.

Let's take a look at some Yuan Ling Shan artifacts.

Guide of the Ming Dynasty Shan/Ao Types for Girls

Guide of the Ming Dynasty Shan/Ao Types for Girls

The Yuan Ling Shan unearthed are basically plain-woven or jacquard fabrics, with little or no other complicated techniques, such as embroidery. The Yuan Ling Shan worn by the tomb owner was usually in the innermost layer.

Guide of the Ming Dynasty Shan/Ao Types for Girls

[Occasion and Matching]

As mentioned above, the round collar Shan is more commonly worn at home, the equivalent of a basic undershirt for daily wear, and can be worn alone or layered.

Guide of the Ming Dynasty Shan/Ao Types for GirlsGuide of the Ming Dynasty Shan/Ao Types for Girls

It is more suitable for summer, and can be layered for spring, fall, and winter to provide color variation. Due to the lack of decoration, Yuan Ling Shan is not suitable for formal occasions.

Guide of the Ming Dynasty Shan/Ao Types for Girls Guide of the Ming Dynasty Shan/Ao Types for Girls

 

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Li Ling

Guide of the Ming Dynasty Shan/Ao Types for Girls

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Li Ling Dui Jin Shan

[Structure & History]

Li Ling (立领, stand collar) first appeared in the mid-Ming Dynasty and were especially common in the late Ming Dynasty. There are some differences between the Ming Dynasty Li Ling and the modern stand collars.

Ming dynasty Li Ling had square corners, usually without decoration, and were usually fastened with one or two pairs of buttons. The part of Jin is usually fastened with a button or tie.

Several pieces of Li Ling Dui Jin Shan have been found in artifacts excavated from Ming tombs. It has been recorded that: "Four Da Shan, yellow, Dui Jin, high collar, wide sleeves, short tunic with cuffs. There are gold buttons on both sides of Jin, seven pairs each. Each pair consists of two butterflies, one with a hollow chrysanthemum on the head, and the other one with a jewel inlaid in the head, which when fastened together becomes a stamen."

Guide of the Ming Dynasty Shan/Ao Types for Girls

The traditional Li Ling Dui Jin Shan appeared around the end of the Ming Dynasty. Portraits and pictures of ladies testify to the existence of this form of the style.

In the Qing dynasty, Chinese women's dress continued this feature of the Ming dynasty, which was especially popular.

Guide of the Ming Dynasty Shan/Ao Types for GirlsGuide of the Ming Dynasty Shan/Ao Types for Girls

[Occasion & Matching]

In the early Ming Dynasty, Li Ling Dui Jin Shan was more often worn as an underlay for round-necked robes informal occasions. Those decorated with Buzi or woven with Longmang (龙蟒) or Feiyu (飞鱼) patterns were more often worn as regular clothes.

Guide of the Ming Dynasty Shan/Ao Types for Girls Guide of the Ming Dynasty Shan/Ao Types for Girls

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Li Ling Da jin Chang Shan

[Structure & History]

The Da Jin, or Xie Jin (斜襟), was widely circulated in the late Ming period. The Li Ling Da Jin Chang Shan (立领大襟长衫) artifacts generally have several features: a stand collar, wide sleeves, lacing at the right armpit, and a relatively long garment length. Take the following costumes as an example, they are all over 120cm long.

 

Guide of the Ming Dynasty Shan/Ao Types for Girls

Guide of the Ming Dynasty Shan/Ao Types for Girls

[Occasion & Matching]

The Li Ling Da Jin Chang Shan is usually worn with a Mamian Qun as a whole. Depending on the pattern of the fabric, there are different occasions to wear it.

Guide of the Ming Dynasty Shan/Ao Types for Girls

The plain Li Ling Da Jin Chang Shan can be worn as daily wear. In the paintings of the late Ming and early Qing dynasties, ladies are often seen wearing this style with wide robes and big sleeves, appear exceptionally soft and beautiful. It can also be used for more formal occasions with a relatively formal hairstyle hair accessory.

Guide of the Ming Dynasty Shan/Ao Types for Girls

If the Li Ling Da Jin Chang Shan has a more ornate pattern or is decorated with Buzi, it is usually worn as formal attire for ceremonial occasions.

Guide of the Ming Dynasty Shan/Ao Types for Girls

Guide of the Ming Dynasty Shan/Ao Types for Girls

 

More fashionable ways to wear the Li Ling Da Jin Chang Shan:

Guide of the Ming Dynasty Shan/Ao Types for Girls Guide of the Ming Dynasty Shan/Ao Types for Girls

 

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Fang Ling

[Structure & History]

Fang Ling (方领, square collar), as the name implies, the collar is a square shape. Among the unearthed costumes at the Ming Dingling Mausoleum, there are many Fang Ling costumes, mostly with short sleeves (half-sleeves).

Guide of the Ming Dynasty Shan/Ao Types for Girls

For example, the following relics are the Hundred Flowers Ao with 163cm sleeves; Hongfu Qitian Ao with 170cm sleeves.

Guide of the Ming Dynasty Shan/Ao Types for Girls

Hundred Flowers Ao

Guide of the Ming Dynasty Shan/Ao Types for Girls

Guide of the Ming Dynasty Shan/Ao Types for Girls

Hongfu Qitian Ao

Fang Ling short-sleeved (half-sleeved) garments were also excavated from the tomb of Wang Luo in the Ming dynasty, both of which were mainly made of plain silk. There were two Fang Ling clothing with plain silk as the main fabric in tomb No. 1 and one Ao with plain silk as the main fabric in tomb No. 2. These garments have a different placket from the main fabric, with two fasteners and a tie for the placket, and the sleeves are less than 130cm.

Guide of the Ming Dynasty Shan/Ao Types for Girls

From the shape of the sleeves and the width and length of the sleeves on these pieces, it can be inferred that the half sleeves Fang Ling were usually worn as outerwear.

[The Occasion of Dressing]

The Fang Ling Shan, decorated with patterns, could be worn on ceremonial occasions. Plain colors are usually used for daily use.

The Fang Ling is used as an outer garment, and the inner garment can be worn as a Li Ling Dui Jin Ao or Jiao Ling Ao.

Guide of the Ming Dynasty Shan/Ao Types for GirlsGuide of the Ming Dynasty Shan/Ao Types for Girls

Let's take a look at some historically based Fang Ling wears.

Guide of the Ming Dynasty Shan/Ao Types for GirlsGuide of the Ming Dynasty Shan/Ao Types for GirlsGuide of the Ming Dynasty Shan/Ao Types for Girls

The above is the guide to the Ming dynasty Shan/Ao types. For more information about Ming dynasty Hanfu:

Guide of the Ming Dynasty Shan/Ao Types for Girls
Guide of the Ming Dynasty Shan/Ao Types for Girls

Guide to Hanfu Types Summary & Dress Codes (Ming Dynasty)

Guide of the Ming Dynasty Shan/Ao Types for Girls
Guide of the Ming Dynasty Shan/Ao Types for Girls

What You Need to Know About Ming Dynasty Clothing

Guide of the Ming Dynasty Shan/Ao Types for Girls
Guide of the Ming Dynasty Shan/Ao Types for Girls

What is the Ming Dynasty Hanfu Clothing?

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