12 ways to make your Chinese wedding dress a modern Qipao

12 ways to make your Chinese wedding dress a modern Qipao

Nowadays, more and more Asian American brides want to honor its traditional culture, and get inspired by their mother's or grandmother’s old Qipao, but hope to modernize the design, but to keep the authenticity.

But how to make a Chinese wedding dress a modern wedding Qipao?

There are 10 ways that you could personalize and modernize your Qipao or Cheongsam to make it more contemporary for wedding or events.

Make a mermaid style Qipao/Cheongsam:

Keep the classic qipao silhouette with a high collar, fitted bodice, and a slim, form-fitting shape. However, modernize it by incorporating a slightly flared or mermaid-style skirt for a touch of contemporary elegance. This will make your dress a more contemporary and flattering look.

Use modern art as an inspiration when it comes to hand embroidery, and the thread colors, instead of the traditional red and gold. Use a shade of lace could also be a great idea that complements your overall style and adds a touch of femininity and luxury to the modern qipao.

Birth Zodiac Hand Embroidery

Sheer or illusional panels

The sheer can be on the side of your waist, the keyhole back, or sleeves, water drop neckline to create a subtle and alluring effect. Intricate hand embroidery can also be added to the sheer fabric, which requires a lot of years of experience from the artisans. 

Laurinda Ho Chinese Wedding Dress 2-Pieces

Source: Drama Panda

Use modern fabrics

You can use sheared organza, satin, crepe, and even organic cotton with print. These fabric will give you more of a movement and enhance the look more like an evening gown. 

Modern Cheongsam White Organza | Madam Shanghai

Modern Cheongsam White Organza | Madam Shanghai

Modern Cheongsam White Organza With Black Embroidery | Madam Shanghai

Modern Cheongsam Printed Silk | Madam Shanghai

Source: Vogue Shanghai

Unique colors

choose a color which is not red. You might even like blush, champagne, green, peacock blue or pastel colors, or go bold with jewel tones like fuchsia red, emerald green or royal blue. A decorative Pankou can be added to pay homage to the traditional Qipao style. 

Modern Cheongsam Mint Green Silk Qipao Dress

Modern Cheongsam Mint Green Silk Qipao Dress


Cutouts are getting more and more popular for the white wedding dress. Cutouts can only be placed in certain places to avoid the wrinkles when sitting down or moving around. Strategically placed cutouts or illusion fabrics can create unique visual interest while maintaining the overall elegance.

Back Design

Experiment with the back design of the qipao. Consider incorporating a deep V-back, keyhole cutout, or even an open back to add a modern and alluring element to the phoenix dress. Madam Shanghai can incorporate colorful hand embroidery on the layer of sheer silk organza to give you the breathtaking look.


Include a thigh-high slit in the skirt of your qipao-inspired gown with a mermaid shape of a skirt. This adds a contemporary flair and allows for ease of movement while walking and dancing. The hand-binding trim will add really nice touch to the flare.

Modern Neckline

Instead of a high collar, choose a modern neckline for your gown. Options like an off-the-shoulder, sweetheart, or halter neckline can infuse a fresh and romantic touch to the traditional qipao style.

Minimalist Details

Embrace a minimalist approach by focusing on great fabric, clean lines and subtle details. Avoid excessive embellishments or overly elaborate designs, and instead let the simplicity of the qipao silhouette shine through.


Complete your modern qipao look with modern accessories. Consider pairing it with contemporary jewelry, stylish shoes, and a modern headpiece or veil that complements the overall aesthetic.

Go Custom

Write your family story through designing a custom wedding Qipao. Every symbol represents an important moment of your life, a Pankou or print from your grandmother’s dress, a monogram of family name and dates, your pets and etc. Also you can do a custom piece jumpsuit, two pieces and etc.