Slim women in South China, especially those in Shanghai, favored the cheongsam for its unique shape.
In the 1930s, the upper class in Shanghai enjoyed luxurious lives and pursued fashion with an unprecedented appetite. They admired Western culture, including swimming, riding, dancing and golfing, which required pretty and more suitable clothes. At that time, a slender waist was popular in the West, which made the cheongsam more slim and tight. It represented the ideal image of women in the 1930s, both attractive and strong.
Shanghai style and the cheongsam soon spread across China, making the garment more mainstream
The improved cheongsam adopted Western-style tailoring, such as set-in sleeves, shoulder pads and zips, to make the gown modest instead and practical. People wore cheongsam with both exotic high-heel leather shoes and Western-style costumes.
Ladies wore cheongsam with a scarf matched with a Western-style coat, fur-lined coat, wool shirt,. First, the tall collar cheongsam was in fashion. The taller the collar was, the more popular it was. Even in the midsummer, the cheongsam, which was thin as a cicada's wing, was worn with a tall collar reaching up to the ears. Gradually, lower collars came into popularity. The lower the collar was，the more modern the garment was. People wore cheongsam without collars when the collar could not be lowered any further.