Chinese Woman's Jacket, c. 1900s


History San José

History San José

Everyday clothing for the working Chinese was unadorned and simple, dark in color and made of cotton. For some women however, their best holiday garments could be very colorful and decorated. For a night out at the opera, women may have worn jackets such as this one, revealing bright colors, delicate embroidery and collar and cuff detailing. Unfortunately for men, their good clothes were much like their everyday clothes--rather uninspired, simple black jackets and pants. In fact, many Chinese men adapted to Western clothing in towns like the Woolen Mills more quickly than in San Francisco, which was a more insular and closed community. On display at the Chinese American Historical Museum at the Ng Shing Gung, History Park.

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  • Title: Chinese Woman's Jacket, c. 1900s
  • Date: 1890/1910
  • Location: San Jose (Calif.)
  • Physical Dimensions: Embroidered silk
  • Provenance: Anonymous donor, Chinese Cultural and Historical Project Collection