Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Choosing the Cheongsam

Simply put, I need a cheongsam/qi pao/Chinese dress to wear at both our receptions.

Unsimply put, I haven't really started looking for one yet.

Obvious, right? Go to Chinatown and buy one. Well, I sort of tried. But I got lost in the chaos by myself. Plus I'm deathly afraid of the store owners since a) I don't speak the language b) I kind of, uh, don't know what the heck I am doing, and c) I read on Yelp that they criticize you if you're fat. Well, okay, because of letter "a", I probably wouldn't know they were criticizing me, but still!

So bring my mom with me, then? Well, she doesn't speak Mandarin/Cantonese/etc. either. My plan was to bring my grandmother. Her answer? Ask your aunt. Urgh. Apparently no one else wants to deal with this either.

However, she also advised me to draw out what I wanted in a gown beforehand, so I'd know what to look for. Okay, I can do that!

1) Must be red. Aside from being one of our wedding colors, it's also considered lucky. Not that I believe in color-luck, but that's besides the point.
2) Must be the floor length 1-piece kind. You know, the kind with the sexy thigh-slit up the side?
3) Dragon and phoenix print is preferred. Cause who doesn't love dragons? Plus they are traditional wedding symbols.
4) Must not be super expensive. Nothing more costly than my wedding dress, so that means a less-than-$300 budget.
5) Must be the sleeveless halter style. The traditional look with the sleeves makes this wide-shouldered-penga look like a big brocaded box! Not so fun.

Something like this, only imagine that there's a big gold dragon on it somewhere:

So now I turn to you, readers. Help? Where can I find this? Do I *have* to go to the scary-dress-shop-ladies? Does anyone want to go with me and hold my hand? Is it okay to buy online, or is that too risky? Should I just buy a pre-made dress and alter it myself?

Any other half-Chinese girls out there looking for a dress but too afraid that your not-so-petite torso won't fit in the tight silk? Erm, that's a little specific. I'll try again:

Anyone else wearing a traditional cultural dress? How did you and your dress meet?


  1. Beautiful drawing! I can't help, but I wish you the best of luck on the hunt. And trust me, after my stomach was spilling out all over the skirt of my sari, I feel your pain ;) But we'll both look beautiful because our bridal glows will cover any imperfections. And they are always bigger in our own minds anyhow.

  2. I can't help (due to: a) lack of communication (read: nada) in Chinese b) lack of Chinese heritage c) no experience in Cheongsam shopping and d) failure to live on your side of the world) BUT I will definitely be a cheerleader...

    COME ON PENGA! Rally your Aunt (maybe even your mama too), bring your inspiration with you and be ready to smack (figuratively) anyone who tries to call you fat. You have worked so hard to look so hot and I know this dress will be awesome on you!! GOOD LUCK!

  3. I can't help, but wish you all the luck on finding the perfect dress !!!
    Those images look great !!


  4. @ppg - true true! and you did look beautiful in your sari! i don't know what stomach spillage you are talking about! :P

    @gator - hehe, you are one awesome cheerleader! and i can't believe you're online right after your wedding, don't you have that big amazing trip to pack for, eh?

    @lilian - thanks! :)

  5. Bah. Packing is for the birds! Plus were stuck in washngton-dulles airport right now so why not blogstock ;)

  6. Why don't you just sew it yourself? I'm sure you can buy the pattern and fabric online and make it at home.