Qipao for Me

A while back, I was trying to figure out how a Chinese person could wear a qipao (also known as a cheong sam – traditional Chinese dress) without looking like a waitress or someone in fancy dress.  Then I saw Eurobrat’s post on trying on a Cavalli S/S06-esque qipao dress from Zara which then prompted me to do a further search into the possibility of wearing a qipao that doesn’t look hokey or cheap.  Of course, for people living in countries with the luxury of affordable tailors, the best option would be to choose a tasteful fabric and have a qipao made up for you – a service that I haven’t really taken advantage of even when I’m in Hong Kong.

So then, I came across these sweet dresses from Hong Kong Soho boutique May May King that are available to order internationally.  I vaguely remember passing this store since it’s practically on my doorstep but never had a chance to peek inside, so it’s great that it has a very pro-looking website (so many boutiques in Hong Kong don’t!).  These qi pao’s in less than conventional fabrics, come in a variety of other fabrics too.  From the website, I gather that they’re quite flexible so I think asking them for fabric samples might not be a problem.  I’m really loving the qipaos in black crochet and the 18th century English woodcut fabric too – definitely not getting any ‘hostess/waitress’ vibes from them!     

9 Replies to “Qipao for Me”

  1. Such beautiful qi paos. The noir lace one looks like it is waiting for Gong Li!
    ** thank you for the correct terminology! I had been calling them cheongsams.

  2. We Chinese women are *shaped* for qipaos – I find they accentuate my (non-existent) curves. I’ve also worn them over jeans or trousers in winter!

  3. After watching all those gorgeous Chinese movies, I decided to make a qipao for myself (since my grandmother’s don’t fit my taller body) but alas the big hips and bottom aren’t helping out in this close fitting dress. You can get one tailored to you in Shenzen, China for very little. My grandmother always goes there to get her clothes custom made.

  4. qipaos are indeed hard to wear especially if you’re asian and living in the western world. people stare at you and sometimes mistake you for a hooker! still can’t bring myself to wear one just for that reason. instead i favor the victorian inspired shirts with the mandarin collars.

  5. thanks SO much! this website, mostly ur comments help me with my report on chinese fashion i do not know where i would be without ur help!

  6. I am a fan of qipao, or say cheongsam too! It’s so incredible that it makes the body shape of women looks both elegant and sexy at the same time! I found this blog introducing how to choose the right size for western people. http://bit.ly/1qIuHsa Hope it will help. 🙂

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