Early Days of Hong Kong

When Hong Kong was first opened up as a port, Eastern culture and Western culture remained separate even though both Chinese and foreigners were living together.  They each had their own customs and ways of life.  At that time, Hong Kong Chinese mainly followed the traditions of the Cantonese.

At that time, Hong Kong people were mostly workers, farmers and boat dwellers.  Their clothes, simple and coarse, were all loose fitting garments with wide sleeves.  The front of the upper garments was open on one side which were called "large front clothes".  Since Hong Kong was a fishing port occupied mainly by boat dwellers and local inhabitants of the New Territories, the clothes that women wore were called "Hakka suits" whereas those worn by men were usually without collars and made of coarse black cotton or "black satin" for a better quality.  At that time, the clothes were tailored for practical purposes only and showed no particular style.  To men from the upper class, they liked wearing robes and long gowns while loose fitting cheungsams were the favourites of ladies.

Casual wear of the early male residents in Hong Kong


Hakka style clothing of the early residents in Hong Kong