Five Categories of Peking Opera Costume

Paraphernalia include:costume, hat, shoes and accouterment. It is called“Xing Tou” in professional terms. Peking Opera costumes are, by and large, modeled after garments popular during the Ming dynasty (1368-1644) and, at the same time, absorbs the elements of garments of the preceding dynasties. Chinese Opera costumes fall into five categories: mang, pei, xue, kao and yi.

Mang: Official robes. It is the general costume for the emperor and nobles. Pei: Informal garments for members of the imperial family and aristocrats. Xue:
Informal garments for everybody. Kao: Stage armors. Yi: Clothing other than those of the other four categories.


Headpieces: Various caps characters wear in traditional operas. Generally can be divided into four categories: guan, kui, jin and mao. Waistcoat: Sleeveless jacket. Long white sleeves: Actor's long sleeves in classical operas.