Cheongsam Inspired Dresses

Today, I am taking an Asian twist to the vintage style! Do you love cheongsam dresses? In fact, the cheongsam, also known as qipao, became quite popular in the 1920s to 1940s. Hence, it is a very vintage dress. It is a tight-fitting Chinese women’s dress that traditionally reaches ankle length. The Chinese already wore this dress in the 17th century Qing dynasty.

The Mandarin Gown

The cheongsam is also know as the mandarin gown. During the 1920s and 1930s it was modernized by upper-class Shanghainese women. Celebrities back then enjoyed wearing this kind of dress. For instance, Madame Wellington Koo (Oei Hui-lan), who was a former First Lady of China and also an ambassadress in World War II, made this gown famous.

Madame Wellington Koo (photo (Small)

Madame Wellington Koo (photo

I very much love the cheongsam. Since I am a half-Asian myself, I feel it suits me quite well. I own one true vintage satin qipao in pink which I thrifted at an Oxfam shop over a year ago. I guess my dress is a typical modern cheongsam in short style above the knee.

Sirinya wearing pink cheongsam

Sirinya wearing pink cheongsam

The cheongsam is originally a dress for special occasions and festivities like weddings and the Chinese New Year. However, today there are qipao inspired dresses that can be worn casually on a daily basis. What is more, they are quite elegant and special.

Portrait with qipao dress

Portrait of Sirinya Vintage with qipao dress

Traditional Dresses

I have always been a fan of folklore and traditional dresses. Hence, on my other blog (Sirinya’s Thailand) I’ve written about traditional Thai dresses and a phenomenon called The Siamese Fashionista. I don’t own a complete Thai traditional dress but I have a Chiang Mai style long silk skirt with the typical elephant print. I style this skirt with a high collar white blouse to emulate the vibe of a traditional vintage Thai dress.

Sirinya Vintage wearing Thai traditional dress

Sirinya Vintage wearing Thai traditional dress

I have one cheongsam ispired dress by Vive Maria that can be worn casually. It has the vibe of a traditional qipao but still it is a modern everyday dress. I love the comfort of this dress since it is made from viskose.

Sirinya wearing Vive Maria cheongsam inspired dress (photo @goldmariefotografie)

Sirinya Vintage wearing Vive Maria cheongsam inspired dress (photo @goldmariefotografie)

Asian Vintage Vibes (photo @goldmariefotografie)

Asian Vintage Vibes (photo @goldmariefotografie)

Of course, I style such a dress in various ways! I like to wear it with a colourful cardigan like this turqouise one by King Louie, for instance.

Sakura (photo @goldmariefotografie)

Sakura by Sirinya Vintage (photo @goldmariefotografie)

In a nutshell, I find it a great idea to have traditional and folklore inspired dresses that can be dressed up or down. I think it is also an awesome way to incorporate some Asian vintage vibes and to makes these types of dresses available for everyone. Do you like folklore dresses? Let me know in the comments below!


Hi there! My name is Sirinya. I'm a passionate vintage blogger and I love to share with you my vintage fashion inspirations. I've started my journey into vintage about a year ago and I am still in the process of building a vintage inspired wardrobe. I also share a lot of style inspo on Instagram.

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