Chinese dress

blue brocade

sample of brocade cloth

A cheongsam (or qipao) is an article of Chinese clothing made from rich brocades, or hand tailored in luxurious silk, even cotton. There is also the consideration of added embroidery and beadwork.

Some call the dress modest or demure – is it the high neckline?

But I demur…

It may have started as modest, being long and unshaped; covering everything but face, hands and feet.

A few things have changed.  Those hip-high double slits flash a lot of leg and the dress is form-fitted (mostly at the waist).

There was even a time when it was everyday wear in China and also a symbol of gender equality. China is a patriarchy, Confucian-based (Confucian views were quite confining about women’s place and expected behavior).

I know relatives who have some in their wardrobe.   They are beautiful clothing pieces. By nature, I lean mostly towards wearing jeans and a t-shirt as opposed to dresses (though I do like a good corset now and then).

if I had to choose a cheongsam to wear, I’d make it mini dress length. I’d wear leggings and boots under them …not so sure how well that will go over with mom, who loves her pretty dresses from her years in 50’s and 60’s Hong Kong. [shrug]

As for the issue of culturally appropriate clothing, etc.: I believe that if a person genuinely resonates with cultures different than their nationality/family background, they shouldn’t be shamed for expressing it. From the reincarnation aspect, it’s possible that a person resonates with cultures other than their birth/family cultures for a reason(s).