Hanbok vs Qipao: Comparison

As a tourist in another country or an admirer of a tradition, putting on their outfits for picture sake, or even just to try it out, and familiarize yourself with it, is a great idea.

Various countries design outfits that pertain to them; these outfits could be casual, strictly for weddings, or for people who occupy different positions in society. As you read further, you will get to know about a few.

Difference Between Hanbok and Qipao

Hanbok and Qipao are beautiful traditional costumes. While Hanbok is peculiar to the Korean culture, Qipao is used among the Chinese people.

Hanboks are designed in two different parts: the top and skirt. The tops are made without collars. On the other hand, qipaos are designed as gowns for women. This means they do not have top and skirt cuts; they have high collars.

Hanboks and Qipaos are made in diverse and attractive colors. When a person puts on a Hanbok, the color or type of material used to design the dress signifies the person’s social or marital status, but for Qipao, there is no restriction as to who should wear them or not wear them. The dress is open to all.

Hanbok’s History

Hanbok VS Qipao

Hanbok is a type of Korean traditional apparel. For over 1600 years, they put on Hanbok as everyday wear, not until recently. Its major design and distinguishing factors are its elegant colors and gorgeous shape.

The hanbok was and continues to be a prized garment passed down through generations of Koreans. It originated in the era of Joseon around the 19th century.

Before now, Hanbok was a staple of daily clothing, but with time they were made in different colors, forms, and with diverse fabrics to conform to the 21st-century look.

The dress was in use in Northern Korea, Northeast of Chua and in Mangola from (57BCE) to (668CE). Its aim was to make movement easier. 

They are designed in short and long patterns, but in any case, they are fashionable and classic in design. Every Hanbok you pay for gives you maximum value.

The materials are dyed to look beautiful, with nice prints and no obvious loose threads on them. After packaging, they reach the customers in a nice condition.

If you love Korean contemporary lifestyle wear, you may consider getting a Hanbok in your wardrobe to add to your style.

In most cases, this elegant outfit is made with portable purses and sparkling hair accessories. They are designed in two main parts, the top, and skirt, which are both easy to slip on.

Hanbok VS Qipao


  • Georgous shades.
  • Simple designs.
  • Nice patterns.
  • Easy to put on.
  • Not as extravagant as petticoats.


  • The material is slippery.
  • Hair accessories may not be comfortable.

Qipao’s History

Hanbok VS Qipao

Qipaos were very popular among Chinese women from the 1920s down to the 1960s. They portrayed elegance and were super Oriental in feminity.

Qipao can be traced to the 20th century when there was social unrest in China. Qipao is also known as Cheongsam. It evolved from the Manchu long gown of the Qing Dynasty from 1644-1911.

It was the official formal outfit during that era, and in Hong Kong, Qipao serves as the school uniform. When worn by Qipao, it is called Changdgan in Mandarin. 

With time, Qipao evolved into iconic figure-snug dresses with side slits and cylindrical collars. The patterns on the traditional wear are symbolic of liberation, and the silhouettes show the evolution of tides in Chinese society.

 Manchu people were identified by their clothing between 1644 and 1912. The male counterparts wore Changpao or long robes, while the women wore loose-fitted gowns made of silk called Qipao.

The Qipaos are designed to hide a woman’s whole body, they have slits on the sides for easy movement and a comfortable feeling on horseback.

To protect their legs, women in Manchu usually put on trousers underneath their gowns. They are embellished with beads, floral embroideries, and gemstones.


  • Airy.
  • Light.
  • Sleek.
  • durable.
  • sturdy
  • Absorbent.
  • colorful patterns.


  • Stiff.
  • Snug.
  • It wrinkles easily.

Hanbok vs Qipao: Head-to-Head Comparison

Hanbok VS Qipao

Hanbok and Qipao are beautiful traditional outfits. The differences between them are glaring. Using the bullet points underneath, you will get to know what makes them apart. 

  • Aesthetics
  • Brand
  • Design And Style
  • Material
  • Stitching
  • Size And Fit
  • Quality


Hanbok’s framework is centered around the Korean fondness for blessings and supernatural protection.

The outfit has embroidery with a tie-like material around the neck. While Qipao wedding outfits made of silk usually have dragon and phoenix patterns on them to signify good luck. 

On some of Qipao’s outfits, there are attractive floral designs. They also have Pankou knots, which are also called frog buttons. Qipao has about 100 diverse styles of frog closures or knotted buttons.

These handmade buttons take around two days to construct. The frog closure rubs from the collar down to the right underarm and the upper right thigh. A typical classic Qipao has an “S” closure.

The buttons hold the dress to the body. According to the Chinese costume, every knotted button is ‘living’. When the slit is high, the dress looks sexier. Tall people should go for Qipao with higher slits for a nice look.


Hanbok VS Qipao

A Hanbok is a Korean costume made with simple and high waistlines. Putting on Hanbok grants you free access to the palace and Korean temple free as an indigene or not.

Tourists that appreciate Korean culture are permitted to wear Hanbok too. The vibrant colors used to design the Hanbok correspond to the Korean yin-and-yang theory.

The white represents metal, the red signifies fire, the blue expresses wood, while the black and yellow represent water and earth respectively.

During ceremonial celebrations, the color of the Hanbok a person puts on tells his/her marital status and position in society. 

Unmarried women put on yellow tops and red skirts. Matrons wore green tops and red skirts, while women with male children put on navy tops and red skirts.

The working class people wear white Hanbok with shades of light pink, green, grey, and even charcoal during special events.

People in the upper class wore plant-based clothing known as woven ramie and a special Hanbok material made of cotton.

The distinction in Hanbok’s construction differs according to the different classes of people in society. Every piece of Hanbok is a mix of creativity, nice colors, elegant, sophisticated design, and emotions.

However, there are no restrictions on who can wear a Qipao. Anyone in China, no matter their age or status, can wear the Cheongsam/Qipao outfit. Qipao means “represents overly elegant.” It is an influential Chinese clothing style.

They show the woman’s body line. They have 6 parts; a collar, Pankou, Bulton, slit by the side, edging sleeves, and slit by the length.

Some students said putting on a Qipao during examination days made them feel relaxed. Other teachers acknowledge its physiological effects.

Qipao and Cheongsam are synonymously used to describe the same dress. While Cheongsam is used to describe the dress in the Southern part of China, qipao is used in the Northern area.

In Chinese culture, Qipao. Qipao is the sexiest dress because it portrays a sexual attitude.

Design and Style

Hanbok VS Qipao

Hanboks are structurally elegant. They are made in short jackets called Jeogaro with a full skirt known as Chima for women, while for men, Hanbok is made in short sleeves called ‘Baeja’ and pants known as ‘Baji’.

While the contemporary varieties of Qipao are made in diverse colors, some of their styles include Beijing or Ying Pai, which are designed with sophisticated aesthetics and are much more attractive than the rest.

The Shanghai styles are more popular they look smart and are designed in thin shapes for young women.

The last is the Hong-Kong style, which is shorter than the rest.

Their designs are much simpler too. The designs made for weddings are usually red in color, which in Chinese culture signifies good luck.

Modern-day Qipao is a combination of the Western style of tailoring and traditional dress like the Machu flag outfit.

The modernized version is slender and tight in fit with high cuts. Red-colored Qipaos are made for weddings.

The colors of a standard Qipao deepen as a woman gets older. Lotus represents purity while Peony signifies wealth and honor.


The fabrics used to design Hanboks depend on one’s social status. They are high-quality fabrics, plain and patterned silk materials. 


Silk is a sturdy natural textile derived from a natural process. It is soft and can be found in mulberry trees.

Silk gives Hanbok an elegant and pleasant aura and a perfect blend of colors. They are dyed naturally to give other shades.


This chemically organic material is much more durable than silk. They are very absorbent and dry up in no time. The cotton component in the Hanbok makes it comfy.


Known as China Grass, ramie is a sturdy natural fiber that becomes stronger when damp. It prevents the outfit from wrinkling and makes it maintains its shape.

Ramie makes the Hanbok look lustrous. When blended with wool, it reduces shrinkage to the barest minimum.

Then again, the fabric used to construct Qipao outfits varies, this makes it very important to pick the best fabric type that suits your body type. There is silk and a brocade variety of Qipao.

Luxurious varieties of Qipao dresses are made of silk for a smooth and sleek texture. The most fashionable varieties of Qipao are constructed with silk since they can be dyed in different colors with ease. Also, they give this sophisticated look.


This is the most common variety used to design most Chinese outfits. When it comes to quality-made Qipaos, Brocade is great. In ancient China, they were used to describe nobility and wealth.

A lot of contemporary Qipao outfits are made with brocade too. This material makes Qipao fabrics sturdy.

Their smart and striking styles and intricate patterns with symbols and golden or silver threads on them. Qipaos made with brocade materials are great outfits for winter.


Lace is employed as materials overlayed in contemporary Qipaos. They were first used in the 16th century, and since then, they have been in use since then.

Many contemporary Qipao styles in China are made with laces on them to give the fabric a tight fit. Also, laces give Qipaos an open, elegant look and a romantic feeling.


Cotton is a renowned material used to design Qipaos. Cotton is used because of its accessibility and lasting component.

Also, cotton is absorbent, has a soft feeling, and is breathable. Cotton-made Qipao is both practical and fashionable for everyday wear. They are highly absorbent and nice for summer.


Tulle is not burdensome. It has a great composition rich in color and looks sheer. Tulle is a sturdy material that can withstand embroidery designs, especially floral embroideries. Tulle brings out the ethereal contour of a woman.


This is a stretchy fabric made from a combination of cotton and rayon. On the surface, there is a tiny fluff that feels soft.

The shiny surface gives Qipao a luxurious feeling. Velvet gives the woman an elegant look to compliment her figure. They are light in weight but warm.


The top has edge stitches and darts topstitch. There is no backstitching at the 4-5 inch hand. Hanbok’s collar has bottom stitches and a stitched line around the skirt with hems.

For Qipao, the two pieces of material for the front and back parts of the dress are stitched from top to bottom till the hems.

The top half of the back pieces are sewn on a zipper using an over-lock stitch. On the sides of the dress, there are slits made with top stitches and the collars are stitched with edge stitches.

For Qipao, the two pieces of material for the front and back parts of the dress are stitched from top to bottom till the hems.

The top half of the back pieces are sewn on a zipper using an over-lock stitch. On the sides of the dress, there are slits made with top stitches, and the collars are stitched with edge stitches.

Size and Fit

Hanboks are true to size if the wearer is measured properly before the attire is sown. Tourists, who want to get one, get to try the dress in a separate room to know if it fits well or needs to be changed.

The Korean size chart is valuable when you get a pair of Hanbok. Since Qipaos are designed as skintight dresses, they have slender figures. The modern Qipao is made to idealize the silhouette, so they are made in standard sizes.

Before a traditional Qipao is designed, it requires around 24 obvious measurements to ensure accuracy.


The quality of every Hanbok is determined by the quality of the bow pattern, the sleeve’s curve, the git on the fabrics, and the fabric’s band around the collar and the front part of the Jeogori.

Hanboks are made with quality materials, which last for a long period of time since their materials are delicate with intentional combinations.

The quality of Qipao is determined by the materials used to design them. As a result, the materials used to design Qipao are sturdy and tend to last longer since they are composed of cotton.

Qipao is lighter in weight than Hanbok and rips more easily.


Hanboks are more expensive than Qipaos. The average price of a Hanbok is $400. However, a standard laced Qipao ranges from $42.90 to $55.90.

While a  handmade Qipao which takes an average of 15 days to design, sells for between $250 and $265.


Hanbok can be used as everyday wear, wedding dresses, or Korean clothing for dramas. On the other hand, Qipao is elegant and great for formal occasions.

They are nice costumes for weddings or family photos. You can also wear them for weddings, dinners, and birthday parties. Students can wear them as uniforms. Qipaos are comfortable for everyday wear.

Final Verdict

If I were to pick between a Hanbok and a Qipao, I will go for a Hanbok. I love decency and outfits that keep me stable and confident during outdoor events, and Hanbok gives me that flexibility and decent look.

Also, when I wear a Hanbok, I do not feel overly conscious of my dressing or try to pull my clothes up or down for convenience because the Hanbok outfit keeps me feeling secure, unlike a Qipao, which may need to be adjusted time and time again.

Lastly, I do not feel so comfortable wearing tight-fitted clothing like Qipao, I prefer dresses which I can freely move in, like Hanbok.


In recent times, it is difficult to take a tour of Korea and not rent or buy a Hanbok. This ancient outfit is known for its elegant looks and beautiful designs. They are worn on special occasions and during drama presentations.

As a newbie, when you go to rent a Hanbok, you will be assisted by the staff at the shop on how to wear the outfit properly and you will be offered a complimentary hair styling service.


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