Chinese Cultural Revolution: Fashion

Figure 1.--Here we see two boys with their Mao badges standing before the Mao statue some time during the Cultural Revolution. We are not sure where in China this photograph was taken. Perhaps one of our Chimese readers will know.

Mao had initiated the Cultural Revolution in 1966 when he addressed cheering Red Guards at Tian-An-Men Square wearing his military uniform, Mao suit, and armband. Girl students who saw him cut their long queues into two brushes. They put on military uniform, leather belts and Liberation Shoes, virtually the same as the boys were wearing. Military uniform were the most popular and considered suitably revolutionary. They were admired by everyone. Red Army style uniforms became very popualar for boys. Military uniforms became a symbol of revolution and as a result was the most popular style of clothing. Western clothing and qipao in the 1950s and early 60s might still be seen in China, especially on formal national holidays, such as Chinese National Day and Labor Day. As a result of the political reforms of the Cultural Revolution, western clothing entirely disappeared in China. It was dangerous to have such clothing in your home. let alone wear it. People wore tunic suits and cadre suits as their standard dress. This was for everyone, without destinctions of profession, social status, or even gender. This included children as well and boys and girls wore the same outfits. Even ranking army officers stoped wering well tailored uniforms and insignia of rank because they were preceived as impairing communication between officers and enlisted men. Mao's wife Jiang Qing in the early 70s designed the Jiang-qing skirt for females of all ages. She recommended it as standard clothing for women, but it did not prove popular. She did not have the same ability to inspire as her husband. [Chang]


Chun Chang, January 14, 2002


Related Chronolgy Pages in the Boys' Historical Web Site
[The 1880s] [The 1890s]
[The 1900s] [The 1910s] [The 1920s] [The 1930s] [The 1940s] [The 1930s] [The 1940s] [The 1950s] [The 1960s] [The 1970s] [The 1980s]

Related Style Pages in the Boys' Historical Web Site
[Long pants suits] [Knicker suits] [Short pants suits] [Socks] [Eton suits] [Jacket and trousers] [Blazer]
[School sandals] [School smocks] [Sailor suits] [Pinafores] [Long stockings]

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Created: 4:57 AM 6/18/2010
Last updated: 4:57 AM 6/18/2010