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Costume in the Northern and Southern Dynasties

Costume in the Southern Dynasty (386-589) were mainly short jackets and skirts. Ladies in skirts were especially regarded as orthodox, and those in trousers were regarded as impolite. Women wore white scarves decorated with blue silk ribbons at the time. Their long and narrow sleeves were decorated with gold-wrapped patterns. Dancers wore long gowns and very long ribbons.

Costume in the Southern Dynasty also included robes and sleeveless jackets. Fur coats, especially marten coats, were very rare at that time. Trousers were favored by the youth.

By and large, the dressing style of the Southern Dynasty inherited that of the Wei and Jin periods. Because of chaos caused by war and frequent changes of emperors, the dressing style changed accordingly. The clothing in the south of the Yangtze River was smaller and shorter than that in the north, but the dressing style of a small hat and an overcoat was popular.

The court dress of the Southern Dynasty was still Xuanyi (black garment), whose materials were specified as follows: officials below the third rank were not allowed to wear costume made of motley silk material, those below the sixth rank could only wear costume made of seven-color silk materials, not made of damasks.

As to the dressing style of the Northern Dynasty, eunuchs wore red unlined garments at formal situations. Informal dresses and military uniforms mainly included trousers. Ordinary women always wore short jackets and coats.

Woolen carpets, gunny clothes and silk clothes were popular products during the Northern and Southern Dynasties.

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