What is Ruqun?August 2, 2020
Ruqun can also be divided into Jiaoling Ruqun and Zhiling Ruqun as the pattern of the collar.
The Style of Ruqun Hanfu
The style of ruqun is “shang yi xia chang“. Man’s ruqun was also called Yi Chang. Ruqun was worn by ordinary people (especially women) for more than 2,000 years until the end of Ming Dynasty and the beginning of Qing dynasty.
Compared with other clothing, the ruqun has an obvious feature: short shirt with long sleeves and long skirt, which reflectes the requirements of the golden section and shows the connotation of aesthetic about Chinese traditional clothes.
History of Ruqun Hanfu
It is said that the prototype of the ruqun was first appearing in the period of Yellow Emperor, however, people find that the earliest ruqun came into being in the Warring States Period by archaeologizing.
It is generally accepted that ruqun disappeared from the “Shave Hair Change Costumes” in the early Qing Dynasty. In fact, Han women in the Qing Dynasty still wore ruqun of hanfu style, but because of the policy of Manchu that ruqun gradually lost their original style.
In the Han Dynasty, due to the widespread popularity of Shenyi, the number of women who wearing Ruqun gradually decreased. So some people believed that ruqun did not exist at all in the Han Dynasty, and it just revived in the Wei, Jin, Southern and Northern Dynasties.
In fact, the women of the Han Dynasty did not abandon Ruqun, and there were many descriptions about Ruqun in Han Yuefu poems. In this period, the shirt of Ruqun was short but the skirt was very long, which was sagging to the ground.
Wei, Jin, Northern and Southern Dynasties
The style of Ruqun in Wei, Jin, Northern and Southern Dynasties was the same as Han Dynasty, which was consisted of upper skirts and lower skirts.
The upper hem is more versatile (similar to a modern cardigan). The collar and sleeves are preferably colored with embroidery. The cuffs were narrow or wide. The waist is called an “embracing waist” with an outer ribbon. Colorful.
With the rise of Buddhism, lotus, honeysuckle and other decorative patterns appeared on Ruqun. Women’s skirts People paid more attention to the materials, colors, and patterns of Ruqun’s skirts. But white Ruqun without any decoration were still popular. During the Wei and Jin dynasties, the height of skirt-waist was taller, the shirt was shorter, and the sleeve was narrower than before. Later, it went to the other extreme with the sleeves widening to two or three feet.
Sui, Tang and Five Dynasties
During the Sui, Tang and Five Dynasties, short skirts, half-arms and shawls were the most important part of Ruqun at that time. In Sui Dynasty, narrow sleeve was fashionable.
In the middle of Tang Dynasty, there were varieties of collars for Ruqun, especially the popularity of Tanxiong Ruqun that dinsincted the prosperity of economy and the liberation of people’s thinking.
The Pijian evolved from a narrow and long shawl and gradually became a streamer that was worn on the arms and waved on the front and back. Pijian was a typical costume of ancient Chinese Hanfu, it was popular among the Tang Dynasty to the Five Dynasties.
In this period the materials of skirt was silk fabrics. The color of the skirt was bright, including crimson, ochre purple, moon green, grass green, etc.
The combination of the short robe and the shawl showed the both dignified and graceful of woman in the Tang Dynasty.
In the Song Dynasty, under the influence of Cheng Zhuxue’s ideology of “saving the nature and destroying the desire of the people”, the clothing in this period was against the glorious colors of the Tang Dynasty and formed an elegant and quiet style.
At this time, in addition to the Ruqun, women liked to wear a Beizi with silk ribbon around the waist and a skirt that were made up of “thousands of pleats” and “hundreds of layers”. The color of skirts were usually brighter than the shirts of Ruqun. Most of the skirts were made up of leno and decorated with embroidery or jade.
The streamer(飘带) in the middle of the skirt was often hung a jade ring ornament called “Yuhuanshou“, which was used to suppress the skirt that people would not lose their elegance and dignity when moving.
In the Yuan Dynasty, the style of Ruqun inherited from the Song Dynasty basically , but the color of which was dimmer than before.
Aoqun, a skirt evolved from Ruqun, was popular in Ming dynasty. Jiaoling Ruqun was the informal dress of ordinary people such as slave girls or peasant women. Ruqun in this period was consisted of a short shirt with collar and long sleeves and a skirt with trouser.
The color of the Ruqun was light at first, although it was textured but not obvious. In the early years of Chongzhen, white skirts were the mainstrain of Hanfu system. In the late Ming Dynasty, the decoration of skirts became more and more sophisticated.
Etiquette of Wear Ruqun
Ruqun can be worn alone, or with a crickets, tube tops as inner clothes, etc. You can also wear a ruqun with a coat such as Banbi, Beizi, Bijia and so on. Ruqun is a informal dress in Hanfu, so it is suitable for weekdays.
Ruqun can also worn by men, which consisting of upper blouse and lower skirts with collar too. Compared with women’s Ruqun, men’s Ruqun are more rustic in style and pattern. Although there were less people wearing Ruqun because of the appearance of Shenyi and Zhiduo, but Yichang was still the highest-standard dresses for official until the demise of the Ming Dynasty.
Difference Between Ruqun and Hanbok
Ruqun is a type of Hanfu. However, Hanfu was forcibly strangled in the early Qing Dynasty, so the dress of the Manchu was not Ruqun.
Hanbok was originated from the Ruqun of women in the Ming Dynasty, which was consisted upper shirt and lower skirts as Ruqun. But the Koreans developed their own skirts based on their nation, so it is hard to call Hanbok a Ruqun.