In modern society, everyone is equal. There is no difference in clothing. What you want to wear is optional. But in ancient times, there was a very strict hierarchy, which clearly stipulated that emperors, nobles, officials, rich people, ordinary people, servants, people of different identities had relevant dress regulations on different occasions. So what are the Chinese peasants wear?
As early as the Xia and Shang Dynasties, the hierarchy of clothing has been initially established. In the Zhou Dynasty, a set of the more complete hierarchical system was established, and the form, texture, color, pattern, and ornament of clothing were specified in detail, which became an important part of the etiquette system of the Zhou Dynasty.
Peasants, as the largest part of the ancient Chinese common people, mostly wore Duan Da (短打) clothes that could do farm work. Duan Da is a kind of ancient Chinese Hanfu, made of coarse cloth, include with top and lower trousers, the length of the coat is generally above and below the hips and knees. Duan Da is also called “Shu He (短褐, 裋褐)”, the word “He (褐)” refers to clothing woven from hemp fabric or animal hair. So, the original meaning of the Shu He was coarse clothes woven with hemp fabric or animal hair.
Of course, no only Chinese peasants wear Duan Da, such easy-to-move and work clothes were also often worn by martial artists, and were also used as training clothes in ancient times when soldiers trained. Later, officials who wore formal clothes every day gradually discovered the benefits of the Duan Da, which was not only cool and comfortable to wear, but also overall had no excess parts to affect physical activity, and when the weather was hot, they took off their official clothes and often changed into the Duan Da in informal settings as well.
In ancient times, there are different types of Chinese clothing such as formal dress and daily dress, formal dress to Shenyi as a representative, wide robes with large sleeves, elegant, size requirements are strict, usually worn on important occasions. During the Qin and Han dynasties, men from wealthy families often wore clothes made of brocade. Due to their different economic levels, the poorer people do not wear wide robes with large sleeves when they work, but instead, choose the Shu He.
In the current Chinese Hanfu movement, Duan Da is mostly covered by the gorgeous aristocratic costume, mainly to serve as an accompaniment, but Duan Da gives people a sense of simplicity, calmness, and heaviness, and in ancient times was widely used, it represents not only a costume Chinese peasants wear, but also an image of hard work, we should not forget it.