Qipao or Cheongsam?

Updated: Feb 25, 2021

We get these questions pretty often:

• What is the difference between 'Qipao' & 'Cheongsam'?

• How about our brand name - 'Chipao'?

First of all, 'Qipao' & 'Chipao' are referring to the same word from the Chinese character '旗袍' but our brand founder - Lydia Jiang got the name 'Chipao' due to an easier pronunciation of 'Chi' as compared to 'Qi' from English spelling perspective.

Both 'Qipao' & 'Cheongsam' are referring to Chinese traditional one-piece or two-piece dress with mandarin collar. 'Cheongsam' derives from the word '长袍' (Chinese pinyin - 'Changpao', but in Cantonese dialect, it is pronounced as 'Cheongsam'), which literally describe the daily outfit - A long robe for both men and women of Manchus (One of the Chinese ethnic, '满族') during the Qing dynasty in China. They are also known as the 'Banner People' '旗人', pronounce in Chinese pinyin - 'Qiren', therefore we have the name for their dress as 'Qipao'.

The original design is a straight A-line loose dress with a mandarin collar, covering the full body. According to Wikipedia, cheongsam was always worn with trousers but many people replaced trousers with stockings during the Nanjing decade (Around 1927-1937). The side slits were re-purposed into aesthetic design reaching the top of the thigh to reflect a new fashion trend. By the 1940s, trousers had completely fallen out of use and replaced by different types of hosiery.

Together with Wisdom Foundation charity, we have organised the "100 Years of Qipao History Exhibition & Qipao Show Contest" in 2017 (Refer to Bournemouth Daily Echo news & China Press). Leave us a comment here if you are one of the contestants and wish to be featured on our website.

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