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The story of the tunic suit

2007-10-25

The tunic suit has dominated Chinese fashion for many years and is known to Westerners as the "Mao tunic"or "Mao suit". It is a mistake, however, to associate the style with Mao Zedong.

For it is called by the Chinese themselves "Zhongshan Zhuang"or "Zhongshan suit"as it was a uniform that Dr. Sun Yat-sen(better known among the Chinese as Sun Zhongshan)liked to wear and recommended to the people of the country.

It was customary in ancient times to changes the styles of the people's clothes whenever a new dynasty replaced an old one. The 1911 Revolution led by Dr.Sun Yat-sen overthrew the Qing Dynasty and founded the Republic of China.Members of his Nationalist Party proposed to change the national costume.During the discussions, Dr.Sun favoured the casual dress prevalent in Guangdong Province but proposed certain modifications. A designer worked on his ideas and produced the tunic with four pockets and a turned-down collar, closed all down the middle with five buttons.It looked simple and tasteful and gave an air of sedateness. From then on Dr. Sun set a personal example by wearing the tunic suit on various occasions. It did not take long before the style became fashionable all over the country.

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