Hakka Clothings revisited, Men’s upper clothing

Hakka clothings

The Hakkas are traditional and conservative in their values and habits, thus when it comes to clothing, even till now in a modern society, they are still stubbornly sticking to their tradition costume.  This is probably because they are living in the rural mountainous which allow minute influences to seep into their culture.

Men’s  upper Clothing

对襟短衫 ( front button chinese short jacket)

The Hakka males called this wear the 唐装 ( Tang Costume). It is the common wear for the Hakka males be it for working outdoors or indoors. There are little changes to the style of the clothing. The structure of the wear is simple. Thhe top part is narrow and the bottom part is wide. The height of the clothing is short. It is either collarless or having short collar.  It is formed halved at left and righted, the elbow and wrist cloth  are separate cloth that attached to the main 1/2 structure. The back of the left right halves are joined at the spine by sewing. 9 cloth buttons connects at the front.


Prior to the revolution, this clothing is very popular for  the Hakka males, however during the revolution the “Sun Yat Sen wear” took a dominant role. Despite of this, this wear is still wore by the olden male generation, especially in the rural mountains. Two distinctive qualities of the wear, first the material of the wear is sturdy,  the material is hand weave cloth from cotton and ko-hemp. It is lacked of decoration and is  able to withstand against washing, friction and wearing. Secondly, the structure is simple and thus could be easily hand sewn by the women of the hakka community. Be it for tall or short , fat or skinny man ,  the measurements for this cloth functuates only a little, thus is almost a one size fits all. This make creation and mending of the clothing easy. Thirdly, the clothing’s adaptability is  strong.  It is wore by the youths to the elders and also could be worn in many occasions.

The colour design of the wear is often in blue, grey and black. There are little changes to the form and style. For the poorer families,  this wear could be passed down from generations or generations,  mended over and over again.

中长对襟衫 ( medium long chinese jacket)


This garment is also called the 唐装外套 ( Tang overcoat). The style of the garment is similar to the 对襟短衫 ( front button chinese short jacket) .The difference is the width of this wear is wider and the height of the clothing is taller.  The lower part of the wear spreads out  like a fan like shape. This wear is wore in all seasons except in the summer. It is wore as a outer clothing which protect the wearer from cold.  Not only does it protect the wearer from the cold , it also protects the inner wear from getting dirty. The colours is also limited to blue, grey and black, like the 对襟短衫.

马褂 (mandarin jacket)


This clothing is usually wore as an outer coat. It is usually seen wore by the gentry and scholars who reside in the villages as well as the cities. This garment is always coupled with the 长袍 (long gown). The height of the jacket is very short and its length reached at the waist level and up. It overlaps the 长袍 (long gown) at the waist area, wearer having two layer of clothing at the waist.   The material , structure and color of the 马褂 (mandarin jacket) is similar to the 对襟短衫 ( front button chinese short jacket)

长袍 (long gown)


The 长袍 (long gown) is the everyday wear for  the intellects and the gentries. The workers and commoners will not wear them. Some times it is seen as a one piece wear connecting the the upper garment with the lower gown (long dress). The buttons are side right.  The materials used to make the clothing is usually grey and black cotton. The wear gives the wearer a steady outlook.

短褂(背心) singlet


These sleeveless  singlets are wore by the commoner class of the hakkas, those who work outside.  There are typically 2kinds, the front buttoned (对襟) and the side buttoned(大襟). The constructs of the wear is simple,  simple to make, usually made from white and grey cotton. It can be wore in sunny and rainy weather, also it shows the masculinity of the hakka men.  If the weather is cold, it could be worn as a inner garment.

Untitled-4 ( outer double layer singlet)

The design of the garments is very similar with the 短褂(背心) singlet. It is however an outer wear. It is two layered. Outer is usually black or blue in colour,  inner is grey and white color.  Cotton is optionally fitted in between the layers as padding. It is wore during not so cold conditions. It is also worn as an outer clothing covering long sleeve shirt. It makes the wearer look unrestrained and stylish.

短棉袄,  短皮袄 (short cotton lined jacket, short fur lined jacket)


This wear is wore to kept warm from the extreme cold weather. It is dual layer like the  Untitled-4 ( outer double layer singlet).  the colours could be inner black outer grey or vice versa. It could be wore indoors as well as outside . To prevent from getting dirty,  one could wear 中长对襟衫 ( medium long chinese jacket). The buttons could be the front buttoned (对襟) and the side buttoned(大襟).

直襟中长棉袄, 皮袄 ( straight medium cotton lined jacket, straight medium fur lined jacket)


This piece of garment is evolved from the 短棉袄,  短皮袄 (short cotton lined jacket, short fur lined jacket). The height of the garment is taller and the width is wider. It is constructed in similar ways too.  The unique part is about the placement of the buttons with is placed at 1/4 from from the right.  There are two slits at the side of clothing  is to made as pockets as well as to provide protect of the exposed hands from the cold climate. It is usually worn for travelling and sometimes visiting friends and relatives, It is not worn for working . There is also a slight collar. This garment is suitable for the varied age group of guys.

长棉袄, 皮袄 ( long cotton lined jacket, long fur  lined jacket)


This jacket is mostly been worn by the older generation. It is usually worn in colder places and climate. It looked like the 长袍 (long gown) . The buttons are usually constructed at the right and less in the middle.  The method of profuction is similar to the 短棉袄,  短皮袄 (short cotton lined jacket, short fur lined jacket).


2 responses to “Hakka Clothings revisited, Men’s upper clothing

  1. Your means of describing all in this post
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    Thanks a lot.

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