Gown-style dress with length below knees was common to wear after the Warring States Period (476B.C.-221B.C.).
The biggest different between the gown-style dress of Warring States Period and Shenyi was that the full front and back of the gown were straight, whereas Shenyi were curvilinear. Compared with sleeves of Shenyi. Sleeves of the gown were narrow. In addition, Shenyi had a looser width of a hem than that of the gown. However, they remained something in common. Both were a one-piece garment with crossed collar and right-buttoned. Initially the gown was taken as the underwear covered with an overcoat. In Han Dynasty (206B.C.-220A.D.), people wore it at home. Gown-styledress had become an essential wedding dress for all brides disregarded social status in Eastern Han Dynasty (25-220).
As men’s popular costume in Tang Dynasty (618-907) usually was right-buttoned with round collar, had decorative border on collar, cuff and foreparts. The gown had two types of sleeves: wide and narrow. Official’s casual wear were made of dark clothe with dim flower pattern. The ranks could be distinguished by color. There always was a joint beam at the lower end, near knee part of men’s gown, known as “another piece added to the robe” documented in historical records.
Ever since the gown was dressed as outwear, it’s popular from the emperor down to all officials. It was used as formal attire and daily dress for the emperor, officials and ordinary people.The main features of the gown were crossed collar, crossed front prices falling straight down, loose sleeves in arc shape and tight cuffs, which was for the convenience of body moving. Decorative rims were added on the collar, cuffs, front pieces and back of the gown to make the clothes durable.