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Why Plus Size Hanfu is so Popular in Ancient China

Why Plus Size Hanfu is so Popular in Ancient China

What is the meaning of plus size hanfu in China? And why did the ancient Chinese people like to wear wide robes and big sleeves outfit?

I believe many readers are similarly confused about the fact that traditional Chinese clothing in the East is usually in loose designs, as opposed to the tighter dressing style of the West.

Why Plus Size Hanfu is so Popular in Ancient ChinaIn fact, this is a misunderstanding, perhaps because of the influence of hot costume TV series and martial arts movies, we see on the screen mostly loose hanfu dress (because it wants to reflect the role’s dashing, freedom of character). And if you take a closer look at the passers-by or peasants in the movies, you’ll find most of them are wearing tight-fitting han fu clothes, which means that not all ancient costumes are designed in oversized sizes.

Obviously, the plus size hanfu clothes are not conducive to normal activities and work, so in ancient times the hanfu system could be divided into formal hanfu and working hanfu, while what we see on the TV is mostly formal style (after all, these actors and actoress are not required to work in the farm fields).

3 Tips to know the meaning of Plus Size hanfu

So why did the olden days like this loose, wide hanfu dress design?

1. The thinking of Taoism and Confucius

In ancient China, the idea of the unity of heaven and man was held in high esteem, meaning that the mind of a man should be as broad as the sky and the ocean. Under the influence of this idea, the patterns of traditional Chinese costumes tended to be looser; not only the robes became larger and larger, but also the sleeves became wider.

Why Plus Size Hanfu is so Popular in Ancient China

Li (etiquette), is the most important part of Chinese culture. The plus-size hanfu is particularly elegant and dignified when exercising ancient protocol. Therefore, on many important traditional occasions, like family rituals and cultural ceremonies, it is only proper to wear formal Han clothing for etiquette.

That’s why plus size hanfu was an essential part of ancient lives, just as today everyone has to own at least one formal suit or dress.

2. Symbols of Power and Status

The style of clothing is a symbol of status and power, which is the same all over the world.

The larger and longer garment, with more detailed hanfu patterns and embroidery, means the higher status of the person wearing it. Not only in China, but also the history of the West, the Kings’ gowns and the Queens’ dresses were invariably made with large wide designs.

Why Plus Size Hanfu is so Popular in Ancient China

Particularly in the ancient Chinese official system, there were 9 ranks, meaning 9 different designs. The more senior level, the more intricate totemic patterns will be used, naturally requiring plus size hanfu robe to accomplish this request.

3. Hanfu Pockets

Vintage clothing is not like modern clothing, with pockets sewn into the pants. Most of the pockets in Hanfu were designed on the inside of the collar at the chest (similar to the interior pockets of a suit top) and the inside of the sleeves.

In ancient times, the pockets of Han Chinese clothing were fairly large due to the size of daily items, such as notebooks, folding fans, coins, paper bills, and keys. The wider design of the Hanfu top made it possible to create bigger pockets, which allowed people to carry more objects. As a result, people used to choose to make hanfu clothes in plus sizes, even though it may cause mobility problems.

Why Plus Size Hanfu is so Popular in Ancient China

Still today, people need larger pockets to ensure that mobile phone and wallet won’t fall out easily if you’re not planning on carrying a backpack when you go out.

Regular Size Hanfu

Not all hanfu patterns have wide sleeves and large robe; regular and tight-fitting sizes are much more common in the lives of the public.

Why Plus Size Hanfu is so Popular in Ancient China

The Duanda is a typical tight-fitting hanfu style with a very close fitting top design with a belt and pants that are similar to modern ones. This was a standard garment for peasants in ancient China, and you can also see the same style in movies for soldiers and Shaolin disciples. In fact, this type is still worn in many remote areas of China today.

The other type, the Songku hanfu pants set, is super popular with today’s young girls, casual, light, cute, and especially suitable for weekend and summer holiday.

Why Plus Size Hanfu is so Popular in Ancient China

The design of the wide robe and big sleeves of the Hanfu Clothes was in line with the characteristics of the time, which corresponded to the special aesthetics of the people at that period. It is difficult for modern people to understand that because we do not exist at the same time and space, and we are infected by different social and cultural factors and have our own unique aesthetic characteristics.

Although the ancient costumes are the products of the old times, their exquisite design and manufacture technology are still the unsurpassed objects of today, and the plus size hanfu is the benchmark for us to learn.

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