China's Clothing Culture from a Gender Perspective

 August 15, 2018
China's Clothing Culture from a Gender Perspective
After 1978, clothes with monochromatic gray, blue and green were abandoned and those with bright colors and evident feminine features were popular. Diversity became the major characteristic of the clothes in that period. [Shanghai Observer]

 

As a form of non-verbal communication, clothing not only realizes its practical function on warmth retention, but reflects the social status, aesthetic taste and personal disposition of the dresser.

Since China's reform and opening-up policy was introduced, people's clothing has gradually broken through a single style and shown much variety. The changes in women's clothing during the past 40 years reflected women's improved confidence andgender consciousness.

After 1978, clothes with monochromatic gray, blue and green were abandoned and those with bright colors and evident feminine features were popular. Diversity became the major characteristic of the clothes in that period.

In the late 80s, women turned to clothes which featured female traits and the popularity of leggings reflected their confidence.

In the late 90s, attractiveness became a common goal pursued by all.

The booming underwear market also showed the self-identification and self-care of Chinese women.

The clothing style presented an interlaced situation in this period.

On the one hand, popular aesthetic was still affected by traditional thoughts to some extent. Women with traditional feminine traits such as kindness, gentleness, tolerance and patience were more popular.

On the other hand, as women became more educated and commonly worked in companies, business suits came into vogue. These clothes highlight women's competence and strong personalities.

The end of the 20th century has witnessed the rapid development of Chinese style clothes.

People turned their attention to Chinese ethnic costume, and the combination of modern design with traditional styles became a hit. Many indigenous costume designers appeared and they created some famous and popular original brands.

Since the 21st century, a more diversified clothing market emerged. Multi-style clothes showed colorful female images and met all kinds of women's needs.

To be unique becomes a goal for Chinese women when they choose their clothing. The phenomenon marked women's self-recognition and promoted development of China's haute couture market and many outstanding designers and studios.

At that time, Chinese ethnic costumes swept the international fashion circle and foreign brands entered the Chinese market.

In recent years, gender-neutral style has become popular in fashion world, which reflects people's aspiration to break up gender boundaries and shape their identity in turn.

Female images vary greatly from prudish to elegant and competent and the clothing style also ushers an evident change. Women's clothing can contain masculine elements, while men's clothes can also have feminine elements, which can fully meet the inner needs of the dresser.

At the 2017 Milan Spring/Summer Fashion Week, a designer from Gucci merged their menswear and womenswear show and it won warm applause. Another fashion brand Burberry did the same thing in 2017.

Over the past 40 years, clothes have changed their roles from representing gender difference to showing off personalities. Gender-neutral designs are increasingly popular, showing the public's acceptance of gender awareness and presenting social progress.

(Source: China Women's News/Translated and edited by Women of China)

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