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Zhongshan suits make comeback

By Gan Tian and Pu Zhendong | China Daily | Updated: 2014-03-24 08:13

President's attire shows pride in Chinese culture

<EM>Zhongshan</EM> suits make comeback

President Xi Jinping shares a toast with Dutch Queen Maxima during a state banquet with the Dutch royal family at the Royal Palace in Amsterdam on Saturday. KOEN VAN WEEL / AFP VIA ANP

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President Xi Jinping appeared at Saturday's state banquet hosted by the Dutch royal family in a formal traditional Chinese suit, which experts say displayed the leader's national pride and confidence in Chinese culture.

The eye-catching dark blue suit, slim-cut with a standing collar, is a simplified and redesigned "Zhongshan suit", or "Mao suit" - a typical formal garment for Chinese men.

Zhou Jiali, a diplomatic protocol expert from China Foreign Affairs University, said Xi's attire not only meets international diplomatic norms, but also manifests China's ethnic style.

"President Xi's outfit at the banquet is not strictly a Zhongshan suit, which normally has four pockets. Instead, it is a type of modified Chinese standing-collar outfit," Zhou said in an interview with a Chinese newspaper.

"The entire design goes with Chinese style, but some subtleties are tinged with a modern tailoring spirit. For example, a Western-style pocket square was designed at the left chest," she said.

Lu Peixin, former acting head of the Protocol Department of the Foreign Ministry, said the decorative color of Xi's suit pockets matched the embroidery color of first lady Peng Liyuan's traditional overcoat.

"In addition to exhibiting the beauty of Chinese culture, the outfits of Xi and Peng also create a harmonious and vivid impression of a 'lovers pack'," Lu said.

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