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Style Glossary: Cheongsam


A body-hugging one-piece Chinese dress for women. Also referred to as a mandarin gown. Some waitresses and receptionists in Chinese restaurants over the world wear cheongsam uniforms. They are usually long, often foot-length or floor-length. They have slit high to the waist or hip, usually no sleeves or cap sleeves. They are often made of brightly-colored silk or satin with rich Chinese embroidery.

Embrace the exotic in this Oscar de la Renta Cheongsam-inspired Floral Dress ($5,990).

Join The Conversation
Susanna Susanna 9 years
I love qipao (Cheongsam in Mandarin). Traditionally they were looser and longer (past knee-length). It wasn't until the 1930s (in Shanghai) when they began to be cut more tightly, and them hemline was raised.
suyen suyen 9 years
I'm part-Chinese and I'd love to wear a custom made cheongsam at some point! The fit is nice but very unforgiving.. haha... you really have to workout to fit this beautifully. (I think...)
myystque myystque 9 years
I've always loved this type of dress (although I never knew the official term). They are so gorgeous.
hyzenthlay20 hyzenthlay20 9 years
Simply gorgeous.
hoiza hoiza 9 years
If you do a bit of research, cheongsams were never meant to be super body hugging, but modest and slightly baggy. It was the whole Suzy Wong Madama Butterfly-esque fantasy make them sexy - for better or for worse. But nothing beats a tailor-made cheongsam, even in a simple linen-cotton / cotton fabric.
RosaDilia RosaDilia 9 years
I remember the temporary trend, maybe 5-6 years ago. I love the fitted look.
nicmic113 nicmic113 9 years
thats gorgeous
violinladyfreak violinladyfreak 9 years
I own 3 of these dress myself...they really make me feel like a woman
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