Author: Chinese Garden

Do bijia come in different styles? If so, what…

Do bijia come in different styles? If so, what are some of them?

Hi, thanks for the question! 

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Fouryearsofshades has a good write-up about Bijia here. I’ll reiterate what she said, with additional comments and pictures.

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:

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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:

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These are the collar variations for Bijia:

1. Cross-collar (交领/Jiao Ling):

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2. Parallel-collar (直领/Zhi Ling or 对襟/Dui Jin):

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3. Square-collar (方领/Fang Ling):

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4. Round-collar (圆领/Yuan Ling):

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The Bijia’s versatility allows it to be easily incorporated into modified hanfu and hanfu-inspired fashion (hanyuansu): 

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For more pictures and resources, please see my Bijia tag. 

Hope this helps!

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