Do bijia come in different styles? If so, what are some of them?
Hi, thanks for the question!
Bijia/比甲 is a sleeveless jacket with side slits (although depending on the cutting, it may seem to have a tiny sleeves when worn). You can think of it as the “vest” of traditional Chinese hanfu. It’s typically worn over Aoqun/袄裙. It became a common hanfu style during the Song dynasty, when it was known as Beixin/背心. Later, during the Ming dynasty, it became commonly known as Bijia. Below – depictions of Bijia in Ming-Qing historical art:
Bijia does come in different styles – namely, different types of collars and different lengths. Its length can reach the hips/buttocks, the knees, all the way to one foot off the ground. In addition, it may or may not have buttons. Below – long parallel-collar Bijia:
These are the collar variations for Bijia:
1. Cross-collar (交领/Jiao Ling):
3. Square-collar (方领/Fang Ling):
4. Round-collar (圆领/Yuan Ling):
The Bijia’s versatility allows it to be easily incorporated into modified hanfu and hanfu-inspired fashion (hanyuansu):
For more pictures and resources, please see my Bijia tag.
Hope this helps!