1910's - 1920's

With the success of the Revolution in 1911, the women forerunners of political activities liked simple and plain clothes.  They usually wore calf-length upper garments with chin-high collars. Later, women's suits, also called "free- styled suits", came into fashion.  As for men's wear, the change was not as drastic as that of women's.  Other than cutting their pigtails, men's wear was basically the same as the old days.  Compradors and intellectuals, however, began wearing western-styled suits on some occasions.

The outbreak of the May Fourth Movement in 1919 led to an influx of new cultures and new thoughts.  A lot of students studying overseas returned to China and acted as pioneers in blending the Chinese culture with the Western.  Clothes became more westernized.  Besides, western dress-making methods became the trend of that time.  Based on the styles of western clothes, the patterns of cheungsams, in particular, underwent continuous changes and improvements.  The modified cheungsams first appeared in the 1920's and were commonly seen in big cities such as Shanghai and Beijing in the 1930's.

Chinese and Western Clothing of the last century.


A republican robe and a suit of blouse and skirt of the 1910s.