One of the least favorite kinds of hanfu has been the qixiong ruqun, the chest-high ruqun. Is it because it doesn’t look good, or because it’s not as suited to most people? No, in fact, it can be one of the most beautiful kinds of hanfu of all, calling to mind the Tang dynasty ruqun and the beautiful variations from that time period. But the reason why a lot of people don’t wear it is just because they can’t figure out how to keep it up—the skirt band is notorious for slipping down, even when it’s worn correctly. Well, there are solutions to this dilemma! Read on for some ways to keep your chest-high ruqun from slipping.
1. Wearing the Qixiong Ruqun Correctly
Of course, the first step would be to make sure that you’re wearing it right! There are a lot of different kinds of qixiong ruqun, some with two pieces each tied around the torso and some with just one, but in any case you have to make sure that you’ve put it on tight enough to stay but not so tight that it’ll hurt you.
In either case, the trick is to not let the ribbons slip on your skirt while you’re securing a knot, since sometimes they can loosen slightly while you’re trying to tie the knot and end up looser than expected. After adjusting the skirt to be tight around your chest while half-exhaled, cross the two ribbons and then pull them back towards where they came from so that each ribbon is ‘hooking’ the other, and pull them tight. Then you can continue making your usual knot, making sure to keep tension on the ribbons as you go.
After you’ve tied your ruqun (I recommend twisting the ribbon back on itself several times around to ensure enough friction to keep it in place), make sure that you can inhale fully without too much trouble, and then exhale fully to make sure that the skirt won’t slip when your lungs are deflated. If they do slip, just exhale normally and then retie the skirt around your chest, then inhale again to make sure you can breathe. Give it a little wiggle just to be sure, and you should be set!
2. Buying Sets with Shoulder Straps
If you’re worried because you’re on the flatter chested side, or you just can’t seem to make them stay, you sure aren’t alone, and a lot of hanfu manufacturers know that! That’s why there are a number of hanfu sets out there that have shoulder straps.
These are the easiest way to solve the problem: they function essentially the same way that a sleeveless dress with shoulder straps would, just slip them over your shoulders and then tie everything in place as usual. Straps are usually either made to complement the skirt or to blend in with the top, so you won’t have to worry about them standing out and messing up the outfit.
3. Attachable Suspender Straps
Fell in love with a set but it doesn’t have shoulder straps? That’s okay! Try some attachable straps instead! These straps are usually clear so that they don’t stand out too much and have pretty strong metal clips at both ends. They’re super cheap on Taobao and can be a great solution, especially since you can use them with whatever set you want.
Just take the strap after you put the skirt on as usual, open the clips, attach one end to the front top hem and the other end tot he back top hem of the skirt. That way you can convert any skirt into a skirt with straps! The only downside of this is that you may be able to see the metal clips and they might stand out a bit, but they’re small enough to not be super noticeable. If your skirt is much too heavy this method also might not work as well, but the clips are usually pretty strong—as long as the skirt isn’t weighted down by like six layers and a ton of beading, they should hold up pretty well.
4. Fashion Tape
Don’t want anything visible to clash with your outfit? Try fashion tape! It’s cheap, versatile, and safe to use use on skin, usually made of medical grade adhesive. Not only can you use it for hanfu, fashion tape can be used to keep any kind of clothing where you want it in the shape that you want it: just stick one side on a piece of fabric, and then use that to stick the fabric to either your skin or another piece of fabric. It won’t damage the fabric, won’t leave any residue on your skin, and does a surprisingly good job at keeping up heavy fabric—you can always add more strips of tape for added friction.
To use fashion tape with qixiong ruqun, you can either tape the head of the skirt directly to your skin, or you can tape it to your top, which should be pretty securely on your shoulders. Just stick one side to the inside of the skirt head and then press it to either your skin or your top. I recommend using 3-4 strips of tape, two on the front and one or two on the back—these tapes really pack a punch and are super easy to gently peel off later.
5. Lighter Skirt
Lastly, if you really don’t want to add anything or buy anything extra to your outfit, or you’ve tried all the methods and it’s still not working out, look for a lighter skirt. Heavy fabric can weigh down your skirt, making it harder to keep above your chest as it drags down with more force. Fabrics like tulle and chiffon are typically lighter and less burdensome, so look for those—things like thick cotton or a lot of embroidery or beading will be a lot heavier. You can also look for skirts with only one layer instead of two, which can cut down on weight significantly.
Ready to start experimenting with chest-high ruqun? Hope that you have better luck wearing these now!
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