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the difference between Ao Dai and Cheongsam/Qipao by lilsuika the difference between Ao Dai and Cheongsam/Qipao by lilsuika

A while ago I was asked about the construction of the Vietnamese Ao Dai and Chinese Cheongsam/Qipao. I had a few dresses at my disposal and figured it would be fun to do a compare and contrast. Due to the relatively small collection, I was only able to photograph a few samples (all tailored circa 2000s, except one I'm sure…). This basically just covers the “classic” tailoring styles of Ao Dai and Cheongsam/Qipao... which may or may not be followed by the latest fashion trends. 

NOTE: For simplicity’s sake, I primarily used the word Cheongsam (Cantonese) instead of Qípáo (Mandarin) because its wider use as an English loanword. 

I’m not a tailor or have any sewing ability whatsoever so please don’t ask me about patterns, darts, etc. ^^;

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:iconmarchjn:
Marchjn Featured By Owner Nov 2, 2014
Well Cheongsam does have long sleeves... sometimes
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:iconsassanik:
sassanik Featured By Owner Jul 15, 2014
Thank you for the write up and explanation! 
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:iconsoverybad:
soVeryBad Featured By Owner Jun 15, 2014
so does anyone know the differences between a Cheongsam and a Kimono? (´ヘ`;)
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:iconestelledusk:
EstelleDusk Featured By Owner Jun 23, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
Well, for one, a kimono is multi-layered and tends to be fastened shut by an obi (belt) and little else. And they look NOTHING alike. There's a short of V-neck high collar that dips to reveal the back of the neck. Sleeves are normally to the wrist and then the length of the fabric hanging was supposed to show whether a woman is married or nor. Of course these are for traditional kimono.
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:iconsoverybad:
soVeryBad Featured By Owner Jul 8, 2014
oh, thanks, that was a little silly of me to confuse the two facepalm 
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:iconestelledusk:
EstelleDusk Featured By Owner Jul 8, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
*pat pat pat* It's okay, for years, I thought all Asian outfits looked the same, then I found out it was only the underwear that was about the same
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:iconvideom983:
Videom983 Featured By Owner Jun 14, 2014
these are very useful do they come in poster form?
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:iconyagamiseven:
Yagamiseven Featured By Owner Jun 14, 2014
I love this!
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:iconstarrhia:
Starrhia Featured By Owner Jun 11, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
This is such a useful source! Thanks for explaining the difference.
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:iconshanamceris:
ShanaMcEris Featured By Owner Jun 8, 2014
Very informative and specific. This is really helpful for illustrations, designing, and sewing!!
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:iconpeaniko:
Peaniko Featured By Owner Jun 7, 2014  Student Digital Artist
Really? I always called it a Qpo and the first time I heard Cheongsam I was so confused, I had never heard them called that before! The more you know! Lovely clothes!
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:iconfoxy-yazoo:
foxy-yazoo Featured By Owner Jun 7, 2014
Thanks for all the details!  I had no idea of all the differences.
Reply
:iconwxzhenghoppytruffles:
wxzhenghoppytruffles Featured By Owner Jun 7, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
awesome!

where did you get pictures?
Reply
:iconalloci:
Alloci Featured By Owner Jun 7, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Awesome and very informative! I don't think I've ever seen a Qipaos/Cheongsams (I dunno why it's called "cheongsam". In my opinion, its more accurate as "cheungsam" XP) made of thin fabric, so I believe it is safe to say that they're made of thick materials like silk (they're a torture to wear in summer D: ).
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:iconsheapsheap:
SheapSheap Featured By Owner Jun 7, 2014
Yes
Reply
:iconnelanequin:
NelaNequin Featured By Owner Jun 7, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
This was very educatice. Thanks ^^
Reply
:iconkphillips702:
KPhillips702 Featured By Owner Jun 7, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Just learned something new, koo!
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:iconamelodyofthememories:
AMelodyOfTheMemories Featured By Owner Jun 6, 2014  Student Digital Artist
thank u so much for doing this! Hug 
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:iconmareefletcher:
mareefletcher Featured By Owner Jun 6, 2014
I learnt a lot from this. Thanks :)
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:iconardwynna-morrigu:
Ardwynna-Morrigu Featured By Owner Jun 6, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you for sharing this!
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:iconraving-psychotic:
Raving-Psychotic Featured By Owner Jun 6, 2014
I always wondered about the differences between these two. I only know that the Ao Dai had a longer slit and therefore needed to be worn with pants. I was not aware of all the other intricate details, though. A very good read and comparsion!
Reply
:icondain-siegfried:
Dain-Siegfried Featured By Owner Jun 6, 2014  Student Writer
What a coincidence, I was just reading about the Cheongsam.
Reply
:iconmu-cheer-girl:
MU-Cheer-Girl Featured By Owner Jun 6, 2014  Student Digital Artist
Wow! This is really cool to know!
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:iconsilaeralin:
Silaeralin Featured By Owner Jun 6, 2014
Thank you it answered a lot of questions i had.
Reply
:iconkura-ou:
kura-ou Featured By Owner Jun 6, 2014  Student Digital Artist
Thank you so much! This helps me learn a bit about my own culture's clothing ;u;
Reply
:iconcarcarchu:
carcarchu Featured By Owner Jun 6, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
interesting read! i love qipaos but the high slit makes them a bit embarrassing to wear ahaha
Reply
:iconkaiyaaquamarine:
KaiyaAquamarine Featured By Owner Jun 6, 2014  Hobbyist
Wow, I learned a lot from this. Thank you for adding this :)
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