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Ultimate Guide to Choosing a Qipao Wedding Dress

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Are you considering a qipao wedding dress for your special day? This traditional Chinese dress, also known as a cheongsam, has become increasingly popular among modern brides who want to embrace their cultural heritage or simply stand out in a unique and elegant way. In this ultimate guide, we’ll dive into the history of the qipao, explore various styles, and provide tips to help you choose the perfect qipao wedding dress for your big day.

The History of the Qipao

The qipao, which means “banner gown,” originated in the 1920s in Shanghai. It evolved from the traditional Manchu clothing worn during the Qing Dynasty (1644-1912). The modern qipao is a form-fitting dress that accentuates the feminine silhouette, featuring a high collar, short sleeves, and a side slit. The dress is often made from silk or brocade and adorned with intricate embroidery or lace.

Throughout the 20th century, the qipao gained popularity among Chinese women as a symbol of elegance and sophistication. It was worn by celebrities, socialites, and everyday women alike. Today, the qipao has become a popular choice for weddings, as it combines traditional beauty with modern style.

Styles of Qipao Wedding Dresses

When it comes to choosing a qipao wedding dress, there are several styles to consider:

1. Traditional Qipao

The traditional qipao is characterized by its form-fitting silhouette, high collar, and side slit. It is typically made from silk or brocade and features intricate embroidery or lace. This style is perfect for brides who want to embrace their Chinese heritage and exude classic elegance.

2. Modern Qipao

Modern qipao wedding dresses often incorporate contemporary elements, such as off-the-shoulder necklines, illusion sleeves, or mermaid silhouettes. These dresses may also feature unique embellishments, like pearls or crystals. A modern qipao is ideal for brides who want to blend traditional and contemporary styles.

3. Fusion Qipao

Fusion qipao wedding dresses combine elements of the traditional qipao with Western bridal styles. For example, a fusion qipao may feature a sweetheart neckline, a ball gown silhouette, or a detachable train. This style is perfect for brides who want to honor their Chinese heritage while incorporating modern bridal trends.

4. Two-Piece Qipao

A two-piece qipao consists of a cropped top and a skirt, often with a high waist. This style is a great option for brides who want a more versatile look, as the pieces can be worn separately after the wedding. A two-piece qipao also allows for more customization, as brides can mix and match different tops and skirts.

Tips for Choosing the Perfect Qipao Wedding Dress

  1. Consider your body type: Qipao wedding dresses are known for their form-fitting silhouettes, so it’s essential to choose a style that flatters your body type. If you have a rectangular body shape, look for a qipao with a defined waist to create curves. If you have an hourglass figure, a classic qipao will showcase your natural shape.

  2. Think about fabric and color: Traditional qipao wedding dresses are made from silk or brocade in red, gold, or other auspicious colors. However, modern qipao dresses can be found in a variety of fabrics and colors, including white, ivory, and pastel shades. Choose a fabric and color that complement your skin tone and personal style.

  3. Pay attention to details: The beauty of a qipao wedding dress lies in its intricate details, such as embroidery, lace, or beading. When selecting your dress, look for high-quality craftsmanship and attention to detail. These elements will elevate your bridal look and make your qipao truly special.

  4. Find the right fit: A well-fitting qipao is essential for both comfort and style. Look for a dress that fits snugly but allows for ease of movement. If you’re ordering a qipao online, be sure to take accurate measurements and consult the size chart provided by the retailer. If possible, have your qipao tailored to ensure a perfect fit.

  5. Accessorize thoughtfully: When it comes to accessorizing your qipao wedding dress, less is often more. A simple pair of earrings, a bracelet, or a hair accessory can add a touch of elegance without overwhelming your look. Consider incorporating traditional Chinese elements, such as a jade pendant or a gold hair pin, to complement your qipao.

Where to Find Qipao Wedding Dresses

Now that you know what to look for in a qipao wedding dress, where can you find one? Here are a few options:

  1. Online retailers: There are many online retailers that specialize in traditional Chinese clothing, including qipao wedding dresses. Some popular options include East Meets Dress, Qipology, and Modern Qipao. These retailers offer a wide selection of styles and sizes, and often provide customization options.

  2. Etsy: Etsy is a great resource for finding unique and handmade qipao wedding dresses. Many sellers on the platform offer custom-made qipao dresses, allowing you to work directly with the designer to create your dream dress.

  3. Local bridal boutiques: If you prefer to shop in person, check with local bridal boutiques to see if they carry qipao wedding dresses. Some boutiques may have a selection of qipao dresses, while others may be able to order one for you.

  4. Tailors in China: If you’re planning a trip to China, consider visiting a tailor to have your qipao wedding dress custom-made. This option allows you to choose your own fabric, style, and details, ensuring a one-of-a-kind dress that perfectly fits your vision.

Caring for Your Qipao Wedding Dress

Once you’ve found your perfect qipao wedding dress, it’s important to know how to care for it properly. Here are a few tips:

  1. Dry clean only: Most qipao wedding dresses are made from delicate fabrics that require professional cleaning. Be sure to take your dress to a reputable dry cleaner who has experience with traditional Chinese garments.

  2. Store it properly: When not in use, store your qipao wedding dress in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. Use a padded hanger to maintain the dress’s shape, and consider storing it in a garment bag to protect it from dust and moisture.

  3. Handle with care: When putting on or taking off your qipao wedding dress, be gentle to avoid snagging or tearing the fabric. If your dress has a zipper, be careful not to force it, as this can cause damage.


A qipao wedding dress is a stunning and meaningful choice for brides who want to honor their Chinese heritage or simply embrace a unique and elegant style. By understanding the history of the qipao, exploring different styles, and following our tips for choosing and caring for your dress, you’ll be well on your way to finding the perfect qipao for your special day.

Remember, the most important thing is to choose a qipao wedding dress that makes you feel confident, comfortable, and beautiful. Whether you opt for a traditional silk qipao or a modern fusion style, your dress should be a reflection of your personal taste and style.

With a qipao wedding dress, you’ll not only look stunning on your big day but also carry a piece of Chinese culture and history with you as you begin your new life as a married couple. So, embrace the beauty and significance of the qipao, and let it be a cherished part of your wedding day memories.

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