Chinese Casual wear of Shan (Long Gown)

 Shan evolved from Shenyi, was worn by scholars of Wei and Jin Dynasties (220-420). Gradually it became the general term of unlined upper clothing. Shan was made of light and thin gauze. It had loose sleeves falling straight down. The opposite front pieces were fastened either with sash or without sash. Because this material had good performance for dissipation, it’s suitable for summer wear.


Affected by Hu dress of Northern and Southern Dynasties (420-589), the number of people who wore Shan gradually reduced. However, it came into style again during the late Tang and Five Dynasties. Shan wore by Scholars of Tang Dynasty was called “Lanshan”, which was different from Shan worn by ordinary people. Shan for common people was called “Queku Shan”. It extended above the knees for the convenience of labor work. Besides men, women in Sui, Tang, and Five Dynasties also liked wearing shan. Loose shan was in fashion in summer.

Following the costume institution of Tang Dynasty, scholars in Song Dynasty (960-1279) wore Shan. Women wore gauze Shan but it tended to be conventional compared with open style of Tang Dynasty. Women wore Shan with underlinen. It had loose sleeves in Song Dynasty, hence its name. Shan became female formal attire in Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). With its later development, the term Shan meant in general clothes.



Plain gauze garment with large sleeve

It was popularized among grandee dames in Song Dynasty (960-1279). With laced edge and extended sleeves it was an over gown. The extra pieceson sleeves make it a long-sleeve dress. Even the joint seam was nicely embellished. This is a scarce unearthed garment made of single layer of plain guaze. The front part is 120cm long ad back part 121cm long.

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