In Chinese culture, specific types of dress and colors are worn at specific times. There are three main types of Chinese traditional clothing: the pien-fu, the ch'ang-p'ao, and the shen-i.
Pien-fu is an ancient type of Chinese dress worn at ceremonial events by both men and women. It has two pieces: a tunic-like top that comes to the knees and a skirt that reaches the ankles.
The Ch'ang-p'ao or long robe is a one-piece garment that reaches from the shoulders down to the heels. It is a traditional dress for women and is often made in silky fabrics with elaborate embroidery.
The shen-i type of clothing is a combination of the pien-fu and the ch'ang-pao. The shen-i has a tunic and a skirt or trousers, just like the pien-fu, but the tunic and the skirt are sewn together and thus become one piece like the ch'ang-pao. The shen-i style is the most common style worn.
Traditionally, darker colored clothing, accented with embroidery and woven tapestry designs, are used for ceremonies, while lighter colors are worn around the house. The Chinese also associate certain colors with the seasons. For example, red is worn for the summer.
Besides embroidery designs, the Chinese often accessorize their outfits with ornaments, shoulder pads, bodices, openings, fancy stitched seams, belts, hair ornaments, pockets and more.