The world is filled with a wide array of traditional dresses that vary from culture to culture. Learning about some of these traditional outfits gives you a feel of the aesthetic fabric, historical ties, and overall cultural aspect as to why they exist in the first place. Read on to learn more about the Tangzhuang, which draws its origin from China.
What does Tangzhuang mean?
In general, the word Tangzhuang when translated directly means ‘clothes in the Tang Dynasty, which reigned from 618 to 907BC, and the name came from the overseas Chinese. Regardless of the literal definition of the world, it is used to describe the Chinese style of dress in the late Qing dynasty. Developed from the Magua jacket, it is an aesthetic traditional Chinese coat that was commonly worn by men in the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) and at times, women too.
The Tangzhuang is very similar to the Magua, which was the Manchu horse jacket strictly worn by Manchu horsemen. The Tangzhuang became a mandatory dress for all Han officials during the Qing Dynasty. As time went by, the Tangzhuang slowly evolved from a distinctive dress for the men who served as Han officials to an item of Chinese fashion. After the Xinhai Revolution, which ended the reign of the Qing Dynasty and the Chinese Civil War, the Mao suit became the new style known in China. There was a revival of Chinese traditional clothing, and the Tangzhuang became popular again. From the mid-1990s, new variants of the Tangzhuang flooded the clothing industry. It has influenced the clothing style of various cultures such as Japan, Vietnam, and even Korea.
The Tangzhuang jacket comes in a variety of colors, which include gold, red, dark blue, and black. In addition to that, Tangzhuang jackets feature Chinese characters in their design. These characters are considered a means of spreading good luck and good wishes to the wearer. The Tangzhuang jacket has a Standing/Mandarin collar drawn from the traditional dress worn by the Mandarins back then in Imperial China. It also comes with a doujin, which is Han and Tang-dynasty inspired, and a knob that has been formed from intrinsically knotted strings. Currently, it is known as the Pseudo-Tangzhuang.
The Tangzhuang shirt is almost similar to the Tangzhuang jacket in terms of design. However, the main difference is that it is made from a slightly lighter material. It features the same Mandarin collar, a few buttons, and a frog, which is the knob formed from knotted strings.
Ideally, the aesthetically pleasing Tangzhuang is often considered menswear. However, the modern-day design of the Tangzhuang has been designed to accommodate female wearers.
To date, Tangzhuang remains a common Chinese traditional costume that is often worn as both formal wear and casual wear by everybody in the country. They are worn by overseas Chinese during the Spring Festival annually, and more young people are starting to embrace the Tangzhuang outfit.