Over the years there has been a rise in the revival of Hanfu clothing, and more and more people are trying to wear it. Perhaps the first reaction to the mention of Hanfu will be that it is the clothing of the Han Dynasty, but in fact, Hanfu does not refer to Han Dynasty clothing alone, Hanfu is the short form of traditional Han national costume. In the thousands of years of history, it has carried the aesthetics of Chinese people’s life, showing classical, subtle, light, and elegant to the fullest.
There are more and more channels for us to learn about Hanfu, but I believe that many people were first introduced to Hanfu in Chinese historical dramas or movies. In recent years, the costumes and props in dramas and movies have become more and more exquisite, and many people have become interested in Hanfu in the process of watching the dramas.
Today, we will get to know the classic female Hanfu costumes from the Tang, Song, and Ming periods through stills from several classic Chinese historical dramas.
There are two types of Hanfu: (礼服, formal dress) and Changfu (常服, daily dress). The Lifu is worn on important occasions such as rituals and weddings and is both dignified and elegant. The Changfu are the ones worn in daily life.
Take women’s clothing as an example, Hanfu has evolved over the years, showing unique charm and lasting for thousands of years with different characteristics depending on the dynasties, among which, the costumes of the Tang, Song, and Ming dynasties are the most graceful.
丨Classic Female HanFu in Tang Dynasty丨
The Tang Dynasty was one of the more liberal dynasties in history, woman is beautiful in plumpness. So it is especially popular to wear loose skirts. Among them, the Qixiong Ruqun is the most classical of the Tang dynasty Hanfu.
Qixiong Ruqun is wide and long, the skirt tied to the chest, and even tied in the armpits, walking up the road looks particularly elegant. And Tang Dynasty women often wear a layer of yarn when going out, to cover their faces, creating a hazy beauty, giving people a sense of elegance and mystery.
In addition, the costumes of the Tang dynasty had a great influence on neighboring countries, for example, the colors and forms of the Kimono and the Hanbok were largely drawn from the essence of our Tang dynasty. This is the reason why those who are new to Hanfu will get confused between Hanfu, Kimono, and Hanbok.
丨Classic Female HanFu in Song Dynasty 丨
Song dynasty women’s Hanfu clothing still inherited the Tang dynasty’s legacy system, with Shan (衫, shirts), Ru (襦), Ao (袄, jacket), Beizi (褙子), Qun (裙, skirts), Pao (袍, robes), as the main items.
However, unlike the Tang dynasty, there were variations in the style of top, most of which had the parallel opening and standing collar, no belts or buttons, and overlapping sewn collar protector on the outer edges of the neck. Also on the edge of the collar, the sleeves, and the placket, the waist and hem areas are edged or embroidered with decorative motifs, using woven gold, embroidered and painted techniques, and decorated with floral motifs such as peonies, camellias, plum blossoms, and lilies.
Compared with the Tang Dynasty, the biggest change in women’s clothing in the Song Dynasty is that women prefer to wear Beizi, which is closely related to the conservative folk culture and the pursuit of simple and simple aesthetic ideas.
Women in the Northern Song Dynasty pursue the aesthetics of implicit but openness. The undergarments are slightly exposed between the two packets of Beizi, making the woman’s skin more tender and invisible. In the Southern Song Dynasty, Beizi was worn with Moxiong (抹胸), which was subtle but not overt, sexy but not nude, making women more confident to show their skin posture. For Song women, the Beizi not only fit the needs of life, but also catered to their aesthetic tastes.
丨Classic Female HanFu in Ming Dynasty 丨
In contrast to the Song dynasty, the Ming dynasty was a gorgeous dynasty, with flamboyant clothing material, colors, and decorations. There was also a great contrast between the women’s costumes of Ming and Tang. Ming women’s blouses were lengthened, and collars changed from the Song Dynasty’s parallel opening to mainly round collars.
Compared with the Song Dynasty, women in the Ming Dynasty preferred to wear skirts, the most classic of which was the Mamian skirt. The most remarkable feature of the horse-faced skirt was the pleated skirt on both sides, with a section of glossy surface in the middle, and the wide edges of the skirt at the bottom and knees were decorated with patterns, called “Lan (襕)”, which was also the unique style of the Ming skirt. The Mamian skirt with the various long or short Ao also formed the classic Ming dynasty women’s dressing style of wearing an Ao on top and a skirt on the bottom, which has been used for generations to come.
Another feature of the Ming Dynasty women’s clothing is the buttons. Buttons can be described as a powerful tool in women’s clothing, made of metal or jade, with the standing collar, making the clothing style is very rich. The modern Hanbok and Vietnamese clothing in the standing collar, button elements are deeply influenced by the Ming costume.
Exquisite Hanfu has brought more and more people to this traditional garment and with the popularity of Hanfu revival events, more quality Chinese historical dramas and movie appearing, and more Hanfu activities being held, there will be a deeper understanding of the history and culture behind Hanfu and it will make Hanfu culture more popular.
Hanfu is now becoming more and more normalization, but the occasions and times it appears are still dominated by scenic spots and holidays. The revival of Hanfu culture caters to the spiritual needs and self-expression of today’s young people, and it’s a good thing that the boundaries of Hanfu culture are being constantly widened.