The cheongsam or qipao has remained an iconic and beloved dress through the centuries. Commonly known as the quintessential Chinese dress, cheongsams are usually red in color and made of silk, characterized by a high or low mandarin collar. The original cheongsam or qipao is a loose dress that only shows the head, hands, and tips of the toes. Over time, it became modernized with a more form fitting shape and is made in a variety of colors, fabric, and styles.
We know red is the luckiest color and brings good fortune and prosperity, making it the most common color in Chinese culture. While traditional Chinese dresses are red, modern cheongsams have expanded to a multitude of colors and styles.
Get inspired by these dresses to create your own colorful cheongsam dress.
White Cheongsam Dresses
White Chinese dresses have become wildly popular due to the influence of western culture over time. Traditionally, the color white is worn at Chinese funerals and therefore represents mourning. In stark contrast, white is typically worn in western wedding ceremonies and festivities, embodying harmony and purity.
Over the years, wearing white cheongsams have not only been accepted, but have become typical in Chinese weddings. Popular styles such as our White Marilyn Dress, Lulu Dress, Jade Dress, and Celeste Dress keep Chinese elements of traditional cheongsams such while adding a modern spin with a form fitting bodice and the option of adding a train.
Blue Cheongsam Dresses
The color blue represents immortality and growth in Chinese culture. Blue cheongsams have become one of the most popular alternatives to the traditional red or white Chinese dress. It is considered a feminime color, often in combination with green. Blue Chinese dresses have become popular in fashion and home decor as it is thought to bring harmony and longevity.
Gold Cheongsam Dresses
The color gold is similarly perceived in Chinese culture as it is in the West—a symbol of wealth and nobility. Combinations of gold and red are commonly seen particularly on special occasions, such as weddings and Chinese New Year. Gold or yellow dresses have become popular to wear, especially at events. The word for gold or yellow in Chinese is huáng, similar to the word for emperor or royalty.
Purple or violet traditionally symbolize nobility and divinity. In ancient Chinese myths, fairies and other mystical creatures often dressed in purple. High level officials also wore purple uniforms in Ancient China to identify their noble status. Today, purple has become a romanticized color worldwide as well as a popular alternative to the traditional red cheongsam.
Green Cheongsam Dresses
The color green has similar symbolism in both Chinese and Western culture. It represents wealth, growth, and pureness. Emerald green has become a commonly worn color, especially for special events and Chinese New Year. The Esmé Dress is a fan favorite for more casual events and gatherings, maintaining traditional elegance with a modern edge.
Pink Cheongsam Dresses
If you are looking for a softer, more feminine touch to your Chinese wedding dress, consider a pink cheongsam. Our Amelia dress comes in a soft pink—perfect for that ethereal look in your wedding photos.
Cheongsams have been worn since the 16th century, proving that cultural elements can endure the test of time and be inherited across generations and cultures. Today, the modern cheongsam is often worn at Chinese events and wedding festivities. There are endless varieties of the modern cheongsam, from fun patterns and styles to different fabrics and fits. With so many options and colors to choose from, there certainly won’t be a shortage of dream worthy dresses for your special occasions!
More to Love
- Get more inspiration from these 30 gorgeous cheongsam details.
- Learn about the 5 traditional elements of a qipao.
- Read these 7 tips on how to choose the right qipao for you.