Best Tang Suit for Men: A Guide to Chinese Fashion

In today’s world, where fashion trends are flourishing, many people still have a strong sense of nostalgia, as evidenced by the popularity of modified Qipao and traditional Chinese clothing with mandarin collars.

Let’s explore the history and charm of traditional Chinese clothing, often referred to as “Tang suit.”

modern tang suit

Exploring the History and Charm of Tang Suit

Tang suit, representing traditional Chinese clothing, have a rich and ancient history deeply intertwined with Chinese culture even before the Tang Dynasty. However, the name “Tang suit” doesn’t directly relate to clothing from the Tang Dynasty.

Origin of the Name “Tang Suit”

The term “Tang suit” doesn’t originate from the clothing of the Tang Dynasty. In fact, its name has a unique historical background. During the height of the Tang Dynasty’s prosperity, China’s reputation spread worldwide, and various countries referred to the Chinese as “Tang people.”

In Chinese communities in the United States, Southeast Asia, Europe, and other places, they were also referred to as “Chinatown” due to this. Overseas Chinese themselves habitually called themselves “Tang people.” Behind this term lies pride in the glorious ancient civilization of the Tang Dynasty. Hence, calling the traditional Chinese clothing worn by those in Chinatown “Tang suit.”

However, in mainland China, the definition of “Tang suit” is broader, encompassing traditional Chinese attire from the late Qing Dynasty to the early Republic of China. According to Ms. Yu Ying, the chief designer of the “Tang suits” worn by the leaders at APEC meetings, “Tang suit” should be a general term for Chinese clothing.

Characteristics of Tang Suits

The precursor of Tang suits can be traced back to the Qing Dynasty’s magua, which is still evident in some details such as side slits, rolled gold edges, and mandarin collars.

One notable feature of Tang suit, compared to other clothing, is their suitability for wearers of all ages. Wearing a Tang suit can make you look both elegant and graceful while maintaining a sense of modesty.

Nowadays, the fashion world is filled with clothing designs incorporating Chinese elements, and more and more people choose to wear Tang suits in their daily lives, adding elegance to their lifestyles.

The Modern Significance of Tang Suits

Although the name “Tang suit” isn’t directly related to the Tang Dynasty’s clothing, it represents the essence of Chinese traditional clothing culture. Tang suits play a significant role in today’s fashion world, serving as both custodians of traditional culture and a part of modern fashion. Their unique designs and elegant styles have attracted the attention of numerous fashion enthusiasts, making them a timeless and modern fashion choice.

In summary, while Tang suits are not from the Tang Dynasty, they continue to shine in the modern era. Despite their unique name, they represent the outstanding charm of traditional Chinese clothing and will continue to lead fashion trends worldwide, preserving the treasure of Chinese culture. Whether for special occasions or daily life, Tang suits remain a timeless fashion choice.

Unique Features and Design Elements of Tang Suits

As traditional Chinese clothing, Tang suit have their unique charm. Compared to Western suits that have a more structured appearance, smooth lines, and comfortable wear, Tang suits have certain distinctive features and design elements:

Mandarin Collar (Stand-up Collar)

The collar is one of the iconic features of Tang suits. It is designed with a central opening in the upper garment, forming a stand-up collar, distinct from traditional Western-style collars.

The origin of the mandarin collar can be traced back to the Ming Dynasty, initially used in women’s clothing but later incorporated into men’s clothing during the Qing Dynasty. The design of the mandarin collar is still widely used in modern Tang suits, giving them a unique charm.

Frog Closures (Knot Buttons)

Frog closures are another distinctive feature of Tang suits. They are a type of button typically made from fabric strips folded and sewn, as opposed to hard materials like traditional buttons.

Frog closures come in various designs and are sewn on both sides of the Tang suit’s front and fastened together. There is a wide variety of frog closure styles, adding decorative flair to Tang suits.

Types of Frog Closures

There are various types of frog closures, including butterfly frog closures, bud frog closures, silk frog closures, and more. While they all serve the same function of fastening, they convey different fashion statements when added to different styles of clothing.

  • Straight Frog Closure (Single-Knot Closure):

The straight closure is the simplest type of frog closure. It consists of a button knot made from a fabric strip and a matching loop made from another folded fabric strip. The button knot and loop are sewn on either side of the garment and fastened together.

  • Floral Frog Closures

This category includes various designs such as the pipa knot (resembling a pipa musical instrument), square knot, phoenix knot, flower basket knot, tree branch knot, flower bud knot, leaf knot, chrysanthemum knot, butterfly knot, and bee knot, among others.

  • Decorative Closure

Some frog closures are purely decorative and do not have a functional counterpart. They can be categorized as solid (with the center filled by fabric strips) or hollow (with a hollow center or filled with different fabric).

Unadorned Shoulder

In contrast to suits and other garments that require shoulder pads and embellishments, Tang suits typically have naturally flowing shoulders with minimal adornment. This design makes Tang suits more loose-fitting and comfortable, reflecting the traditional Chinese clothing emphasis on a natural, relaxed fit.

Distinction Between Raglan and Set-in Sleeves:

Tang suit sleeves typically come in two main types: raglan sleeves and set-in sleeves.

Raglan sleeves: These sleeves are seamlessly integrated into the garment without a shoulder seam, primarily utilizing flat cutting. Raglan sleeves are designed to fit more snugly around the arms and shoulders.

Set-in sleeves: Tang suits with set-in sleeves have sleeves that are attached to the garment with a shoulder seam, creating a looser fit. This design makes Tang suits suitable for various occasions and seasons.

In conclusion, Tang suits showcase the charm and diversity of traditional Chinese clothing through their unique features and design elements, including the mandarin collar, frog closures, unadorned shoulder, and various sleeve types. These characteristics keep Tang suits popular in the modern era, offering a fashion choice that combines traditional elegance with contemporary style.

Moreover, modern Tang suits have incorporated elements from Western clothing, introducing styles such as knitwear, outerwear, and trousers. This fusion of tradition and modernity allows Tang suits to adapt to different fashion trends, making them a new landscape in street fashion. This blend of tradition and modernity adds to the versatility of Tang suits, providing people with more clothing options.

Types of Fabrics Used in Tang Suits

Tang suits can be made from various types of fabrics to suit different occasions and preferences. Some common fabric choices for Tang suits include:


Silk is one of the most common fabrics used in Tang suits. It offers a glossy, soft, and comfortable feel, making it suitable for creating elegant Tang suits. However, silk fabrics can shrink, so it’s essential to inquire whether the garment has undergone pre-shrinking treatment to prevent post-wash shrinkage.

Brocade Satin

Brocade satin is a luxurious fabric often used to create exquisite Tang suits. It features unique textures and patterns and is frequently employed in crafting Tang suits for festive and formal occasions. Tang suits made from this fabric shimmer in the light, making them highly eye-catching.


Denim is a suitable choice for men, as it exudes a rugged and casual feel. Tang suits made from denim are more appropriate for everyday casual wear, adding a touch of modernity to the traditional attire.


Leather fabric can also be used to craft Tang suits, especially for those who want to showcase a bold and rugged style. Leather Tang suits are often paired with intricate frog closures, creating a luxurious feel. However, leather Tang suits may have a relatively coarse texture and are better suited to certain men’s fashion preferences.

When selecting the fabric for your Tang suit, consider your personal style, the occasion, and the season. For younger individuals, fabrics like silk and lightweight materials often provide a more modern and airy feel. Meanwhile, older wearers may prefer comfortable and loose-fitting fabrics for ease of wear. Ultimately, the choice should align with individual preferences and the desired style.

Styles of Tang Suits

Tang suits come in various styles, allowing individuals to choose based on their preferences and the occasion:

Full Traditional Style

This style adheres closely to the traditional Tang suit design, incorporating elements such as brocade satin, frog closures, and embroidery. It is suitable for special occasions like weddings or festive events. This type of Tang suit offers an authentic experience of ancient Chinese aesthetics and is also popular among foreigners.

Ethnic Style

This category of Tang suits falls within the realm of Chinese clothing but incorporates ethnic elements. It combines traditional Tang suit features with ethnic motifs, such as Chinese characters or poetic verses. These Tang suits often use natural fabrics like cotton and linen, merging modern materials with traditional craftsmanship. This style can be found in both traditional and casual Tang suit designs.

Fashionable Style

Fashionable Tang suits exude a modern feel by blending traditional lines with contemporary elements. For instance, they may use modern fabrics like silk and feature small mandarin collars and central fasteners. This style appeals to fashion-forward individuals as it retains traditional elements while incorporating modern fashion characteristics. Printed fabrics and unique designs are common in this category.

When selecting a Tang suit style, consider your personality, the occasion, and your fashion preferences. Whether you’re drawn to traditional elegance or contemporary chic, there’s a Tang suit style to suit your taste.

How to Shop for Tang Suits

Shopping for men’s Tang suits involves considering factors such as style, fabric, size, and personal style. Here are some tips for shopping for men’s Tang suits:

Explore Different Styles:

Begin by familiarizing yourself with various styles of men’s Tang suits, including changshan (long robe), magua (short jacket), Zhongshan suit, and more. Different styles are suitable for different occasions, so choose accordingly.

Consider the Occasion

Determine where you plan to wear the Tang suit. For formal occasions like weddings or important events, opt for more formal styles and colors. For everyday wear, you can choose a more casual style.

Fabric Selection

Fabric choice is crucial. High-quality fabrics provide better comfort and elevate the overall feel of the Tang suit. Common options include silk, brocade satin, cotton, and linen. Select a fabric that suits the season and your preferences.

Ensure the Right Fit

Ensure that the Tang suit you choose fits your body well. Tang suits are typically loose-fitting, but make sure the shoulders, sleeve length, and pant leg length are appropriate for your size.

Coordinate Colors

Consider how the color of the Tang suit complements your skin tone and personal style. Neutral colors like black, white, and gray are versatile and suitable for various occasions, while brighter colors may be reserved for special events.

Pay Attention to Details

Examine the details and decorations of the Tang suit, including the collar, buttons, and embroidery. These details can add personality and character to the outfit.

Set a Budget

Establish a reasonable budget and look for Tang suits within your price range. Don’t solely focus on price; also consider quality and style.

Shop Online and Offline

You can choose to shop for Tang suits both online and in physical stores. When shopping online, read product descriptions and user reviews. Shopping in-store allows you to try on the Tang suit to ensure a proper fit.

Consider Customization

If you’re looking for a truly unique Tang suit, consider customization. This way, you can ensure that the Tang suit aligns perfectly with your preferences and needs.

Most importantly, when shopping for men’s Tang suits, consider your personal preferences and needs to ensure that you feel confident and comfortable. Tang suits represent a traditional form of attire with rich cultural significance, and choosing one that suits you well can showcase your taste and style.

Tang Suit Female

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is a Tang suit?

A Tang suit, also known as a Tangzhuang, is a traditional Chinese outfit characterized by its Mandarin collar, frog closures, and unique design. It has a straight-cut shape and can be worn as both formal and casual attire.

Who can wear a Tang suit?

Tang suits are versatile and can be worn by people of all ages and genders. They are popular among those who appreciate traditional Chinese fashion and cultural heritage.

Are Tang suits formal?

Yes, Tang suits can be formal. There are traditional Tang suits designed for special occasions like weddings and important events. However, modern variations of Tang suits are suitable for casual wear as well.

What types of fabrics are commonly used for men’s Tang suits?

Common fabrics for men’s Tang suits include silk, brocade satin, denim, and leather. Silk is the most traditional choice, while denim and leather provide a more contemporary look.

What do you wear with a Tang jacket?

Typically, you can wear a Tang jacket with matching pants and a shirt. For a more formal look, add a silk tie or an ornate brooch. Footwear like traditional Chinese shoes or modern dress shoes complements the outfit.

Why do Chinese leaders wear suits?

Chinese leaders wear suits as a symbol of formality and professionalism, particularly when representing their country on the international stage. It’s a common practice among leaders worldwide to wear suits during official events and meetings.

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