Song Dynasty Clothing – Traditional Chinese Hanfu

Song Dynasty clothing mainly refers to the Song Dynasty Hanfu clothes, including the popular clothing in the Northern Song Dynasty and the Southern Song Dynasty, which is a pearl in the development of clothing history.

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Brief of Song Dynasty clothing

In the beginning, the function of clothing is to shield the body from the cold, but with the development of society, clothing has gradually been given other meanings, which has become a class manifestation of different levels. In feudal society, the dress system has always been an important system of monarch’s administration. Different classes and occasions wear different clothes, which cannot violate the regulations.

Song Dynasty Clothing - Traditional Chinese Hanfu

ancient paintings in the Song Dynasty

Moreover, clothing can reflect the characteristics of the times. The political, economic, and cultural prosperity of the prosperous Tang Dynasty, in such a social background, has formed a majestic, open, and magnificent clothing characteristics, while the Song Dynasty is different from the prosperous Tang Dynasty in the strength of the force, its emphasis on culture and light military, advocating the social trend of thought of Neo Confucianism, making the Song Dynasty clothing changed the magnificent atmosphere of the previous dynasty, became simple and elegant, conservative and introverted, but also formed its own distinctive characteristics.

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Characteristics of Song Dynasty clothing

Basic style and color

The dress features popular in the Northern Song and Southern Song Dynasty are suitable for the body. No matter the dignitaries or the common people, they are all popular with a kind of dress with a straight collar and Duijin(对襟), the color is mainly elegant.

On the basis of inheriting the costumes of the Tang Dynasty, the Song Dynasty clothing is better integrated with tradition. The economy, culture, and politics of the Song Dynasty are all in a period of prosperous development. In the family of officials in the Song Dynasty, the clothes are generally very luxurious, and the clothes of ordinary people are also very exquisite. The dress of the court officials followed the Tang Dynasty, and the dress specifications and colors of the family members of the officials changed with the grade of the officials.

Song Dynasty Clothing - Traditional Chinese Hanfu

Song Dynasty clothing from TV series Royal Nirvana

For ordinary people, because of the superb dyeing and weaving technology in Song Dynasty, they can make fabrics with low saturation, the color matching of clothes is different from the habit of red-purple and green in the Tang Dynasty. Various light colors are mostly used, such as black-purple, green-white, and silver-gray.

Material

The development of the textile industry in the early Song Dynasty is amazing. The silk manufacturing in the Song Dynasty is far more than that in the Tang Dynasty, which is inseparable from the strong support of the government and the rapid economic development at that time. The output and variety of silk in the Song Dynasty are obviously increased compared with that of the previous generation, and the shape, pattern, quality, and style of silk fabrics are greatly innovated.

There are many kinds of silk fabrics in Song Dynasty, such as Ling (绫), Luo(罗), Duan (缎), Zhijin (织锦), Sha (纱), Juan (绢), Kesi (缂丝), etc.

Song Dynasty Clothing - Traditional Chinese Hanfu

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Song Dynasty classic Hanfu style

In the early Song Dynasty, due to the prosperous life of the Tang Dynasty and the chaos and depression of the war, the whole style of clothes in this period was relatively simple and elegant.

Paoshan (robe, 袍衫)

Paoshan is common clothes of men in the Song Dynasty, mainly two kinds, one is the big sleeve Paoshan, the other is the tight Paoshan.

Song Dynasty Clothing - Traditional Chinese Hanfu

  1. Big sleeve Paoshan

The big sleeve Paoshan has a front Jin (襟, the front part of the chest), and the waist is usually tied with a belt, which looks dignified. Big sleeve Paoshan is generally divided into round-collar Paoshan and Fangxin curved collar Paoshan:

  • Round-collar Paoshan
    • Round-collar Paoshan is usually fixed with Futou (幞头, a headdress for men) and boots, which are mainly clothes worn by government officials in the Song Dynasty.
  • Fangxin curved collar Paoshan
    • Fangxin curved collar Paoshan (方心曲领, Fangxin curved collar: a kind of ornament set on the clothes, the upper part is circular and the lower part is square, it is the most remarkable feature of the Song Dynasty clothes.), second only to Mianfu (a formal dress worn by the emperor at a major ceremony.). Later, Fangxin curved collar Paoshan was set up as a uniform, which must be worn in any major court meeting or ceremony. This system has been used until the Ming Dynasty.
Song Dynasty Clothing - Traditional Chinese Hanfu

Song Dynasty clothing from TV series Royal Nirvana

  • Dongpo scarf
    • In the period of Su Dongpo (1037-1101 A.D.), the most remarkable characteristic collocation was the Dongpo scarf, which was named after Su Dongpo’s frequent wearing. People take this opportunity to show their love for rural landscape and nature, showing a calm and elegant style.

2. Tight Paoshan

Just as the name implies, it is tight to wear, with a small waist, small cuffs, and slit on both sides, which is convenient to move. This kind of dress is more or less affected by some Hu suits.

Big sleeved shan (大袖衫)

“Big sleeved shan” is the most commonly used clothing of the ladies in the Song Dynasty, because its two sleeves are wide, so it gets its name. And ordinary women usually wear Beizi instead of this kind of clothing.

Song Dynasty Clothing - Traditional Chinese Hanfu

Wear Big sleeved shan, must be accompanied by gorgeous and delicate jewelry, including hair accessories, face accessories, ear accessories, neck accessories, and chest accessories.

Beizi (褙子)

Beizi in the Song Dynasty is a dress that can be worn by all the people, regardless of men, women, old and young. There are elegant belts under the armpit and behind to decorate it, so it looks freer. Men usually wear them as casual clothes, mainly like this kind of clothes relaxed, comfortable and casual.

Song Dynasty Clothing - Traditional Chinese Hanfu

Beizi is very popular in women’s wear. The style is mainly Duijin, opening and closing from the middle. The length of the dress is more than knee length, and the neckline and front are embroidered with simple and beautiful lace. In the early Song Dynasty, it was a little short, and then developed into a standard pattern with the same length as the skirt.

Moxiong (抹胸)

The Moxiong worn by women in the Song Dynasty is one of the ancient underwear and also a kind of Hanfu. After wearing the “Moxiong”, the whole chest and abdomen are covered and can be tied with buttons or belts. In the Song Dynasty, women used to wear brassiere as part of their outerwear. The costume of “Beizi + Moxiong” was very popular at that time.

Song Dynasty Clothing - Traditional Chinese Hanfu

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A great wealth of Hanfu

Generally speaking, the style of the Song Dynasty clothing is mainly plain and elegant, which is not as colorful as that of the Tang Dynasty. Maybe this is the most real and simple appearance of the Song Dynasty, which fully embodies the characteristics of ancient Chinese traditional clothing, and is also the great heritage left to the world by the Song Dynasty.

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Song Dynasty Clothing - Traditional Chinese Hanfu
Song Dynasty Clothing - Traditional Chinese Hanfu

3 Chinese Hanfu Fashion Items from Song Dynasty Literati

The recent hot TV series "Held in the Lonely Castle (清平乐, Qingping Yue)", which depicts the time of Renzong in the Song Dynasty, was a time of many talents. The concentrated portrayal of the many literati in the play is a rare phenomenon in dramas, and the Hanfu costume props in the play are exquisite. Today, take a brief look at how the Song Dynasty scribes at the forefront of fashion by pairing their Hanfu item together! 1. Jin (巾, scarf & hat) Since the end of the Eastern Han Dynasty, Jin was an important garment for men, mostly used by scholars and commoners. The Song and Ming dynasties were the periods when the development of Chinese hats and scarves flourished, and there were many different styles. Take the literati attire shown in Held in the Lonely Castle as an example, most of them wore a scarf with reference to a…
Song Dynasty Clothing - Traditional Chinese Hanfu
Song Dynasty Clothing - Traditional Chinese Hanfu

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