Accessorizing qipao (cheongsam) with hats and gloves is a great way to dress qipaos up, or just to mix up the look a little
As Shanghai officially moves into spring (both temperature-wise and pollen-wise!), I thought it would be the perfect time to start having some fun with qipaos (cheongsams). After all, back in the 30s and 40s, women wore all different types of accessories with their qipao, and it was those beautiful outfits that I fell in love with. And what better time than now, when the air is just warm enough to not need a thick jacket, but still cool enough for some great hats and gloves!
The qipao I picked for these photos is a long sleeve and ankle length thick cotton qipao. It is another floral qipao (for those of you who have read some of my other posts, you’ll know that I love florals), but more muted in colour, allowing the accessories to shine. The hats and gloves that I picked are a mixture of vintage and new items, so again I am cheating a little bit and mixing up the vintage treasure series with my regular qipao posts.
Qipao (cheongsam) accessory #1: Vintage wrist gloves
I bought these pastel salmon gloves from my once favorite vintage store in Sydney 6 or 7 years ago. They are a very versatile colour, and the perfect length. Simple, but still with finger detailing (see how the front and back are not directly sewn together, but connected with another piece in the middle?), and three little loops at the back of the wrist for decoration. They are easy to wear and add an instant elegance to all these outfits.
Qipao (cheongsam) accessory #2: Parisienne bucket hat with netted veil
I brought this dark brown bucket hat all the way back from Paris back in 2011. I picked it up from a small street stall outside Galeries Lafeyette (…I think…) because the veil caught my eye. I love netted veils on hats, it adds such an air of mystery and glamour with such minimal effort. It makes the hat a little bit dressy, but still wearable with the simple shape.
I would wear this outfit for something in the afternoon I think, since the veil is too serious for the morning. Maybe a weekend afternoon tea.
Qipao (cheongsam) accessory #3: Vintage 40s tilted hat
This was another purchase from the same Sydney vintage that I bought the gloves, also bought at around the same period. It is a very classic 40s hat with the tilt, and adds a quirkiness (if not naughtiness) to an outfit. The navy is also incredibly versatile, and I have worn this hat with a whole range of things from jeans to… well qipaos!
I think this outfit is more wearable as an all day outfit. Maybe a wedding or weekend brunch.
Qipao (cheongsam) accessory #4: Wide brimmed hat
I love this hat. I bought it the winter before, and it just adds an instant class to any outfit. I love wearing it slightly tilted so that one eye peers from just underneath the brim of the hat. It’s great from the side as well. The only downside is that for practical purposes it does need to be taken off if sitting down for a meal, otherwise you’ll just keep bumping into everyone around you!
This is a little bit more dramatic. With this particular dress I wouldn’t wear the gloves, just the hat is probably enough of a statement. I would… probably actually wear the whole thing with some flats and do a weekend coffee with a chic friend.
For ideas of how to accessorize for the winter time with something warmer, check out this post with my vintage fur coat and hat.