aoku (Pants)

About this object

History of use

Everyday wear. This style of woman's pants, part of a suit (aoku), originated with the Manchus, a northern nomadic tribe who ruled during the Qing dynasty (1644-1911). Both men and women wore the same style of suit until men stopped wearing the overlapping top. Women continued to wear this style until the mid-to-late 19th century. Originally worn as a robe over matching pants; later replaced by a skirt by the middle and upper classes.


Sold through a consignment store in Vancouver, by a great-grandchild of the original owners.

Physical description

Hand-sewn, blue-black, straight cut suit pants with centre panel on bias. Braided edges along the bottom cuffs and a wide waistband of blue fabric. (Pants are part of a suit, with robe, 2506/2 a.)