The Tang jacket is one of Shanghai Tang's most signature and revered styles and amongst the legendary ranks in Chinese heritage fashion. Originally worn by the upper class towards the end of the Qing dynasty, the Tang jacket is rich with history. Being the Manchu official's surcoat and the Han Chinese hip-length 'ma-hwa' jacket worn over long robes, this stylish frog-buttoned jacket quickly became the standard for formal dressing in the 1940's.
The Tang jacket, although adapted and modernised from its original traditional look, remains the same in two aspects: its mandarin collar
and the five frog buttons
. Sometimes referred to as the Chinese collar, the mandarin collar is a shirt or jacket collar based on the traditional Manchurian dress or Mongol-influenced Asian garments. Very classic and Chinese thanks to its historical roots, but also very modern, the mandarin collar was adopted by Shanghai Tang as a hallmark and a lifestyle. The mandarin collar is featured across our Tang jackets, Tang shirts as well as qipaos, cardigans and polo shirts.
The frog buttons on the Tang jacket, also known as Chinese frog closures, frog fasteners or mandarin buttons
, are made of intricately knotted strings, the name 'frog' deriving from the shape of this kind of button evoking two kissing frogs. This ornamental braiding is used to fasten the front of the garment and is a decoration at the same time. By using frog buttons in our collections, Shanghai Tang preserves and adapts this long-standing tradition of ornamental closure.
Our Tang jackets are a modern spin on this iconic Chinese jacket, crafted from a variety of materials including our most famous silk crepe, luxurious velvet
as well as more everyday fabrics such as cotton chambray, cotton poplin, felted wool
and stretch twill
. One of the most iconic features of Shanghai Tang's Tang jackets, along with the mandarin collar and frog buttons, is the thoughtfully paired contrast lining
, which is a work of art in its own right. The lining is often made of pure silk or patterned jacquard in contrast colours to the shell, offering a playful pop of colour peeking through at the cuff.
The Shanghai Tang Tang jacket can be easily dressed up or down for any occasion. A pioneer of modern Chinese fashion, Shanghai Tang has reimagined this iconic frog-closure jacket in many different forms and patterns adaptable to everyone and anyone. Besides the most classic five-button jacket style, we've also turned the Tang jacket silhouette into cosy cashmere and wool cardigans with easy zip front closures which you can find here
. For a more lightweight option, we recommend the Tang shirt jacket
, which can be worn either as a shirt or jacket.Back to Top