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Chinese Doll in Tangzhuang Suit


A plastic Chinese girl doll, wearing a red and blue two piece Tangzhuang Suit

Cultural notes


A Tangzhuang is a variant of a traditional Chinese jacket. The tangzhuang is sometimes translated as a Tang Suit or Jacket.

The Tang Suits basic style includes a Mandarin collar, front opening and knotted Chinese buttons.  Shoulder pads are inserted for better fit.

Tang suits are made in different colours, most commonly red, dark blue, gold and black. One common design is the usage of Chinese characters to spread good luck and wishes.

While the name suggests the Tangzhuang originated in the ‘Tang’ period of Chinese History, the name was actually intended by the designers to mean a “Chinese Outfit”

Historically, the Tangzhuang was worn in a dark blue colour by Manchu horsemen, but then became mandatory for Han officials under the Qing empire. Over time, it evolved in to an item of Chinese fashion.

In modern Chinese culture, the Tang Suit are a common formal dress for men in many occasions.

Suggested activities

Books/ Story time:

Group/ Circle Time: 

  • Share the doll with the children, discuss the differences and similarities between the dolls and us e.g. clothing. Discuss the clothing and its history. Borrow tangzhuang suits and allow children to try them on.
  • Read through ‘The Clothes we Wear’, borrowing items of clothing to reflect those discussed in the book. Discuss the differences in the clothing, touching on the climate in each country, materials, cultural beliefs etc. Discuss children’s favourite items of clothing and why this is their favourite.

Art & Craft:

  • Use Chinese designs e.g. Dragons as a provocation for drawing and artworks. Paint on black paper or cardboard using traditional Chinese colours – red, yellow, gold

Dramatic Play:

  • Include a range of cultural dress ups in your home corner year round
  • Set up a Chinese restaurant using placemats, chopsticks, tablecloths, bamboo steamers and Chinese food sets
  • Ensure your doll corner always has a range of different dolls that represent a variety of cultures. This ensures that children have a sense of belonging within the environment
  • Include some fabric and materials with your dolls, so children can create their own clothing

Puzzles/ Games:

  • Borrow Chinese puzzles that depict the clothing the children are wearing

Community Engagement:

  • Invite a parent to share their cultural heritage with the children – reading a cultural story, sharing the similarities and differences or cooking with the children.

External Links

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The research for this resource was made possible through a grant from the Central Coast Council.