The qipao is a type of Chinese clothing that first showed up when the Manchu were in charge during the Qing Dynasty. The word “qipao” means “banner gown.” It was essentially one big piece of fabric with holes for arms and legs, worn wide and loose. Qipaos as they are thought of today didn’t show up until the 1920’s in Shanghai where they became more slender and form-fitting and with a high cut.
So it went from this.
To this. Much better, am I right?
Oddly enough, the women who started wearing it the modern way were high-class courtesans and celebrities. After the Chinese Civil War, the communists tried to put a stop to the party but the fashion was spread to Hong Kong, an area outside China’s reach, by Shanghainese immigrants and has since spread back into mainland China where it’s usually worn as a party dress.
There’s even a lingerie version! Score!
There was a guy who wrote a post about how much he liked qipaos and he got flamed off the face of the planet which is unfortunate because they really do look good on ladies. A good qipao can make an ugly woman look decent, make a decent woman look beautiful, and make a beautiful woman look spectacularly beautiful. Enjoy the pics!