The qipao is recognized by most people as the classic Chinese garment for women. Qipao is a Mandarin word which means Manchu banner robe. Judging from its name, the qipao originates from Manchu dress of the Qing dynasty. It was a simple garment, essentially made from two pieces of cloth cut to follow the form of a woman's body, with slits at the sides to allow for ease of movement. It was an extremely versatile garment that could be made from any sort of fabric, to different lengths and with long or short sleeves. Many people will be more familiar with the Cantonese term for the garment which is cheongsam, meaning long shirt.

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