Once favored only by more traditional brides, the Chinese ceremonial qun kua (裙褂), also referred to in short as kua, is now making a comeback among Chinese brides who wish to inject some classic style into their wedding attire.
Unlike Western wedding gowns that follow unpredictable fashion trends, the kua never goes out of style. It is an elegant symbol of Chinese culture and tradition, and has a timeless look that is flattering for most brides.
Traditionally worn as the main wedding gown by Chinese brides, the kua is now usually donned by brides for the tea ceremony as the outfit goes perfectly with the traditional nature of the ceremony. The two-piece jacket and skirt combo is used to symbolize good fortune and blessings for the happy occasion due to its striking red color and the auspicious embroidery of dragons and phoenixes, which represent the groom and bride respectively.
If you are planning to wear a kua for your wedding, here are some things to take note of!
The perfect kua shouldn’t too loose or too tight, but should be slightly tapered to accentuate the waist. Given the loose-fitting nature of the outfit, try to make sure that you wear the correct undergarments to accentuate your figure. Steer clear of strapless or stick-on bras as they will not provide enough support. Also, the sleeves of the kua should end about three inches above the wrist to reveal part of your hands.
2. Hair and accessories
When wearing the kua, try to style your hair into an updo to show off a slender neck. For instance, the classic chignon will be very suitable in presenting a demure and ladylike appearance. With its intricate beading and embroidery, the kua is already quite elaborate and eye-catching on its own. Hence, there is no need to go overboard with other accessories. Understated gold jewelry such as a simple bangle and earrings would go well with the kua. As for your shoes, red, champagne, or cream colored heels would be a good match, or you can also opt for the traditional embroidered shoes to tie the whole look together nicely.
Wearing a kua is like wearing a piece of art so make sure the quality of the embroidery is up to par when buying or renting your kua. The dragons and phoenixes on the kua should be hand-embroidered and realistic-looking, and the beads should not look like they are falling off. Bear in mind that a regular kua needs at least 1 to 2 months for the embroidering to be done, whilst the more elaborate ones can take half a year or longer to be completed.