Choosing a Cheongsam

Simply put, I need a cheongsam/qi pao/Chinese dress to wear at both of our receptions.


Unsimply put, I haven’t really started looking for one yet.

Obvious, right? Go to Chinatown and buy one. Well, I sort of tried. But I got lost in the chaos by myself. Plus I’m deathly afraid of the store owners since a) I don’t speak the language b) I kind of, uh, don’t know what the heck I am doing, and c) I read on Yelp that they criticize you if you’re fat. Well, okay, because of letter “a”, I probably wouldn’t know they were criticizing me, but still!

So bring my mom with me, then?

Well, she doesn’t speak Mandarin/Cantonese/etc. either. My plan was to bring my grandmother. Her answer? Ask your aunt. Urgh. Apparently no one else wants to deal with this either.

However, she also advised me to draw out what I wanted in a gown beforehand, so I’d know what to look for. Okay, I can do that!

  1. Must be red. Aside from being one of our wedding colors, it’s also considered lucky. Not that I believe in color-luck, but that’s besides the point.
  2. Must be the floor length 1-piece kind. You know, the kind with the sexy thigh-slit up the side?
  3. Dragon and phoenix print is preferred, ’cause who doesn’t love dragons? Plus, they are traditional wedding symbols.
  4. Must not be super expensive. Nothing more costly than my wedding dress, so that means a less-than-$300 budget.
  5. Must be the sleeveless halter style. The traditional look with the sleeves makes this wide-shouldered-sewing look like a big brocaded box! Not so fun.

I’m looking for something like this, only imagine that there’s a big gold dragon on it somewhere:

So now I turn to you, readers. Help? Where can I find this? Do I *have* to go to the scary-dress-shop-ladies? Does anyone want to go with me and hold my hand? Is it okay to buy online, or is that too risky? Should I just buy a pre-made dress and alter it myself?

Any other half-Chinese girls out there looking for a dress but too afraid that your not-so-petite torso won’t fit in the tight silk? Erm, that’s a little specific. I’ll try again:

Anyone else wearing a traditional cultural dress? How did you and your dress meet?


Mrs. Sewing

San Mateo, CA/Honolulu, HI
Wedding Date:
July 2010
My First Bridal Shower: Fun, Friends, and Family
True to My Name
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  1. Guest Icon Guest
    jienany, Guest @ 4:36 am

    How about the red cheongsam on Maybe you’ll like it! Have a look!

  2. Guest Icon Guest
    Eleven, Guest @ 3:49 am

    wonderfull dress i’ve ever seen.

  3. Guest Icon Guest
    siew yuen, Guest @ 11:07 am

    lovely dress es I like these too!!

  4. Guest Icon Guest
    siew yuen, Guest @ 11:19 am

    @siew yuen:
    Can you post your cheongsam pics?

  5. Member
    AquaSands 270 posts, Helper bee @ 2:54 pm

    This looks almost like what you’re looking for…

  6. Guest Icon Guest
    Ma xia, Guest @ 2:04 am

    Thanks for your sharing, I have just get my cheongsam dress from, it is just my dream wedding dress.

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