Choosing The Right Traditional Chinese Groom Wear: What Are Your Options?

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In the grand tapestry of Chinese wedding traditions, the groom’s attire is a canvas that reflects rich cultural history and symbolism. “Modern couples looking to highlight their individuality by merging contemporary tastes with ancestral roots, can easily do so, thanks to the accessibility of the online Chinese marketplace.” Here we explore four classic styles for the groom, each encapsulating a distinct era and style.

Chang Pao Ma Gua (长袍马褂)

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At the pinnacle of traditional Chinese groom wear is the Chang Pao Ma Gua (长袍马褂), a sophisticated ensemble that pairs the Chang Pao (长袍)—a long robe—with the Ma Gua (马褂), an ornate jacket. This attire is most often crafted from luxurious silk. The colours typically seen in this outfit are black, red, or gold, each a harbinger of good luck and joy in Chinese culture. Occasionally, contrasting colours are used to enhance the visual appeal of the Chang Pao (长袍) against the Ma Gua (马褂).

The ensemble is not complete without its accessories. A traditional hat, adorned with gold-plated ornaments, and a bright red sash, to which a red ribbon ball (披红) is tied at the front, complement the outfit.

Complement brides wearing: Qun Kua

Tang Zhuang (唐装)

Photo by Arch and Vow Studio wwwtheweddingnotebookcom
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For grooms favouring a less formal but equally traditional outfit, the Tang zhuang (唐装) offers a perfect alternative. This style is a modern iteration of the Ma Gua (马褂) and is known for its Mandarin collar, symmetrical lapels, and the distinct pan buttons that fasten the front. The Tang zhuang (唐装) is frequently adorned with Tuan hua (团花) pattern embroidery. Available in a variety of colours, the Tang zhuang (唐装) can be paired with Kung Fu pants or sleek slacks, creating a look that is both timeless and effortlessly stylish. This outfit choice is ideal for the groom who wishes to strike a balance between ceremonial significance and comfortable practicality.

Complement brides wearing: Qun Kua, Cheongsam or Qipao

Zhong Shan Suit (中山装)

Photo by Louis Loo Photography wwwtheweddingnotebookcom
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Emerging in the early 20th century and quickly adopted by political figures in China, the Zhong Shan suit (中山装) represents a fusion of Eastern tradition and Western sensibility. This suit is characterized by its Mandarin collar and overlapping lapels, which are typically secured with five buttons. Though modern versions of the suit often omit the traditional four front pockets to maintain a sleeker profile, it remains a distinguished choice for grooms. Worn over a white shirt with a similar neckline, the Zhong Shan suit (中山装) is the epitome of formal elegance and is often chosen for official functions, making it a splendid choice for a wedding.

Complement brides wearing: Qun Kua, Cheongsam or Qipao, Sangit

Han Fu (漢服) 

Credit: Anson Photography

Recently revived by the popularity of period dramas, the Han Fu (漢服), especially from the Song/Ming Dynasty, is making a comeback at weddings. This elaborate outfit consists of a long, fitted inner robe and a loose outer robe, both richly embroidered. To wear Hanfu is to make a statement—it’s not just an outfit but a full regalia that includes matching headwear, belt, and traditional shoes, perfect for those who wish to embrace the dramatic flair and historical depth of Chinese culture on their special day.

Complement brides wearing: Han Fu

Selecting the perfect wedding attire is a key part of the celebratory preparations. For grooms wishing to honor their Chinese heritage, the Chang Pao Ma Gua, Tangzhuang, Zhongshan suit, and Hanfu offer diverse styles that cater to different personal tastes and the formality of the occasion.

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