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Lesson 36 Chinese-style Clothing

Chinese Lover

































Xue Mei: This market is great. There’s such a wide rage of items.

Cousin: Yes. Foreigners like the things here very much. You can come often.

Xue Mei: I’ve been to Liulichang. I remember the salespeople there all spoke foreign languages, some could even speak several languages. It makes shopping so much easier.

Cousin: It’s the same here. The salespeople all speak a few foreign words.

Xue Mei: That’s terrific. Then I’ll come here often.

Cousin: There’s a great variety of Chinese style clothing here. Look, what about that jacket?

Xue Mei: I think the collar is a bit high. It might be uncomfortable to wear.

Cousin: These are all improved versions of Chinese style clothing.

Xue Mei: Improved versions?

Cousin: I’ll give you an example. You know the traditional Chinese qipao dress?

Xue Mei: Yes. The qipao used to be the traditional dress of women in the Qing dynasty.

Cousin: Yes, but the qipao of today is far different to the qipao in the past. There have been changes to the sleeves, collar, shoulders, and lower hem.

Xue Mei: Oh, I get it. As people’s lives change, clothing styles change, too.

Cousin: You’re absolutely right. But whatever the changes,Chinese clothing is still unique.

Xue Mei: Hey,I think this red one is pretty.

Cousin: This is called Tang Zhuang or a Chinese style jacket. It’s pretty popular these days.

Xue Mei(to salesperson): Could you please give me that red jacket so I can have a look.

Clothing vendor: This is 100% silk. What size are you? I’ll get one for you to try on.

Xue Mei: I don’t know that much about clothing sizes in China.You decide.

Clothing Vendor: Then try this one. I think it should be OK.

Cousin: Actually the fit is pretty good.

Xue Mei: Will it shrink in the wash?

Clothing Vendor: Don’t worry about that. The material was pre-shrunk.

Cousin: I still think it would be better to get a larger size.

Clothing Vendor: Then I’ll get you a larger one to try on. Which one do you like?

Xue Mei(tries on jacket)This is good. It’s looser than the other one.

Cousin: This jacket looks better in a bigger size.

Xue Mei: How much is it?

Clothing Vendor: 320 yuan.

Xue Mei: I’ll take one.

Clothing Vendor: Here you are. Take care. Come again.




Following the development of the Internet, it's much more convenient now for people to contact each other.


As people's income increases, more and more people are buying cars.

Sign Posts

Qi Pao

Today we heard about 旗袍, often just called qipao in English, or sometimes known by the Cantonese word cheongsam. In Mandarin we would say 长衫, long gown. This style of dress actually comes from the Manchu nationality. The rulers of the last dynasty, the Qing, were Manchus, so nobility often wore Manchu style clothing. The qipao is a one-piece dress with a high neck. It is usually fairly tight fitting, with a slit up one or both sides. Of course, there are many variations, but this is a very elegant, feminine gown.

Another style we heard today was 唐装. This is what I'm wearing now. It's a little like a 中山装, a Chinese tunic suit often referred to in English as a Mao suit. 中山装 refers to Sun Yat-sen, in Chinese 孙中山, who founded the Republic of China in 1911. In the west, this suit is perhaps called the Mao suit because it became the most popular form of dress after the founding of the People's Republic of China in 1949. But the 唐装 is slightly different. 唐装 are usually made with silk and have traditional Chinese patterns. They are much more fancy and stylish than the plain 中山装. Again, there are many variations on this style.

When world leaders came to Shanghai for the APEC summit in 2001, they all had a group photo wearing red and blue 唐装. There is a famous photo of US President Bush and Chinese President Jiang Zemin both wearing 唐装. Many people see this as evidence that traditional Chinese clothing styles have been making a strong comeback in recent years.

Substitution and Extension

1)多少……点儿 at least there is a minimum amount


At least I know a little bit about this thing.

2)你看着……吧 it's up to you


I can eat anything. You pick what you like.