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Costume in the Yuan Dynasty

The Yuan Dynasty (1279-1368) was the amalgamation age of ethnic groups in China's history, and the dresses and personal adornments of the time also fully represented this feature. The following dress code (Zhisunfu code) was just formulated in 1321 during the reign of Yuan Emperor Yingzong by referring to ancient systems: upper and lower short garments were pieced together; folds were added to the waistline, and big beads were hung on shoulders and the back. Emperors and officials in all ranks wore such garments, and the Han people called them as the Yiseyi garments or Zhisunfu garments. This dress code combined the garment characteristics of the Han people and Mongol ethnic minority.

As to this dress code, whether the clothes were coarse or fine in quality was used to distinguish the ranks of officials. Men's casual garments in the Yuan Dynasty mainly followed those of the Han people, and a jacket with short sleeves was worn over the casual garment. Women also dressed in this way, which was called Ruqun (upper jacket and lower skirt) and Banbi (half sleeves).

Women's garments of the Yuan Dynasty included aristocratic type and common-people type. Aristocrats were often the Mongols. Their national costumes were fur coats and fur caps. The garments made of marten and sheepskin was very common, and most garments were robes with narrow cuffs and loose sleeves.

Ordinary women of the Yuan Dynasty wore Ruqun (upper jacket and lower skirt), and garments of Banbei (half sleeves) were also popular. In addition, influenced by people of Koryo in the neighboring country, the aristocrats, queens and imperial concubines in the capital city imitated the custom of Koryo women's attires.

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