Ming Dynasty Costume Dump

Posted in Ming Dynasty on September 15, 2011 by chinesecostumes

The Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) was the first native Chinese dynasty after centuries of foreign rule under the Yuan (Mongol) dynasty. It was during the Ming dynasty that most of the Great Wall of China as we know it was constructed. It was also during the Ming era that bombs, muskets, and rockets became standard weapons of war. But because of the rise of the west, and China’s inability to keep up technologically, the Ming dynasty was also China’s last great Dynasty.


Pleated skirts became very popular for both men and women during the Ming dynasty.


Ming officials are distinguished by their short-eared caps and robes with buzi or embroidered insignia on the torso.

Buzi insignias differed according to rank. There were nine insignias for civil officials, nine for military officials, and four for eunuchs. Below are the nine civil insignias.

 Casual dress for officials and scholars



Ming cavalryman

Heavily armored commander

Elite guard


Ming Generals and noblemen

Ming rocketeers


Sung Dynasty Costume Dump

Posted in Sung Dynasty on March 1, 2010 by chinesecostumes

The Sung Dynasty (960 AD-1279AD) was a time of great cultural and technological progress in China ( It was during this period that China first started developing the first bombs and firearms, as well as the printing press and many other inventions ). Fashions were more modest and conservative than those of the preceding Tang Dynasty.


Wealthy ladies playing a game.

Poor woman spinning yarn.

Another poor woman spinning yarn

Sung era servant girls.

Special gown worn only by royal ladies




Sung dynasty government officials are instantly recognizable because of the unusually long “ears” on their wusha caps. Legend says the these long eared hats were created to keep ministers from whispering in each others’ ears.  The robes of Sung government officials were either purple, red, green, or blue depending on the rank of the official. Their design was relatively plain.

Portrait of a Sung emperor in official garb.

Diagram of a government official’s robe and undershirt.

High-ranking ministers

Chinese Costume Chart

Posted in General on February 28, 2010 by chinesecostumes

For beginners here’s a handy chart showing the general costume styles of the major Chinese Dynasties.

Tang Dynasty Costume Dump

Posted in Tang Dynasty with tags on February 28, 2010 by chinesecostumes

The Tang Dynasty (618 AD – 907 AD)  is considered China’s  golden age, and the extravagant costumes of the time reflect that.


Tang ladies wore very decorative costumes and hairstyles. They also showed more skin than the women of other dynasties and made very liberal use of cosmetics (examples of Tang make-up styles below).



Government officials of Tang times, like officials of most Chinese dynasties, were distinguished by their government robes (which usually had some kind of insignia on them that displayed their rank) and their “rabbit ear” caps, called Wusha hats, which were made of black stiffened gauze.  The Wusha hats of Tang times had “ears” that drooped downward.  This style of Wusha cap continued to be popular among scholars even after the Tang dynasty.

Tang emperor Taizong in government official dress.

Tang Emperor Gaozu in government official garb

A high ranking military official of Tang times.