Qipao vs Cheongsam
Qipao and cheongsam both refer to a one- or two-piece dress of Chinese origin. As a garment, it is designed mostly for women. It is often seen as the quintessential Chinese national dress.
The main difference between the two words is their linguistic origin. Cheongsam is the English version of the Cantonese cheuhngsaam (which means long dress). The Cantonese cheuhngsaam is used in the southern part of China while the qipao is used in the northern part of the country. Eventually, the Cantonese cheuhngsaam came to Shanghai and evolved into the English cheongsam. Another English term for this dress is “mandarin gown.”
Both cheongsam and qipao originated from the dress of Manchurian women. The dress is characterized as made by silk with a high or low mandarin collar. The dress can have a range of sleeve lengths. It can be sleeveless, long sleeves, short sleeves, or quarter-length sleeves. The costume can have high or low slits on either or both sides of the skirt. The slits can go up to the waist or hip. The dress has a diagonal opening from the neck to the right armhole. The garment is designed to be closed by fastening frog closures or buttons to the right front side of the clothing.
The cheongsam or qipao have a variety of designs and patterns. Embroided or plain fabric can be used with a wide range of patterns. Patterns can range from a variety of floral designs, symbolic designs like fish, dragons, or phoenixes. Colors can range from two colors to multiple depending on the fabric and design. The dress can be accented with accessories and embellishments.
The original cheongsam or qipao is a wide and loose type of garment that only shows the head, hands, and tips of the toes. It became modern and evolved into a revolutionized design with a tighter shape and more conformed to the female form.
Today, the modern cheongsam or qipao is often worn at Chinese-themed functions and festivities. In many Chinese stores and offices, the cheongsam or qipao is worn as formal wear or as part of the uniform.
1.The words “qipao” and “cheongsam” both refer to a Chinese dress for women characterized by a front, right-side opening, mandarin collar, sleeves, and a skirt length of varying lengths with or without slits on the sides of the dress. It can be worn by opening the side opening and fastening it with frog closures and buttons.
2.The main difference between qipao and cheongsam is the origin of the words. “Qipao” is basically a Mandarin Chinese name for the dress while “cheongsam” is an English derivation from the Cantonese name “cheuhngsaam.” The word “cheongsam” originated in the south of China and eventually in Shanghai. The other term, “qipao,” is used in the Northern part of China.
3.The dress originated from Manchurian women and remained until the Chinese Revolution. The original cheongsam or qipao was a loose and wide garment. During the Chinese Revolution, Chinese tailors fled to Shanghai and revived the dress. The tailors gave it a more modern look. The modern cheongsam conforms and accentuates the female body.
4.The dress is considered to be the distinct Chinese dress. The dress can be made from a variety of fabrics and is considered to be a very versatile garment. It can be plain or embroidered. It can be worn with or without accessories. The dress can also include some patterns and designs in the form of floral and symbolic designs. Some designs can feature Western influences in terms of patterns, fabrics, or accessories.
5.The modern cheongsam or qipao is used as formal wear in many Chinese and normal celebrations and festivities. It is also used as a standard uniform in many Chinese and Chinese-themed companies and schools.