Bespoke Cheongsam: A Step-by-Step Guide

Tailoring a cheongsam allows you to create a garment that reflects your style and fits you perfectly. If it is your first time customizing an outfit, it might feel daunting without knowing where to start. To help you with the process, here is a detailed guide to give you more ideas before booking an appointment:

Consider Your Purpose and Style

Before diving into the specifics, think about the purpose of your cheongsam. Is it for a formal event, such as a wedding where you are dressing up as the main character, or a casual outing or celebration such as the Lunar New Year? Understanding where and how you plan to wear it will influence many of your choices.

We often ask our brides how likely they would be re-wearing their cheongsam, and how important the wearability after their specific event would be. As the bride, it is important to stand out more than the guest, however, that would also mean that the outfit might have to look more glamorous and would be harder to reuse. It can be helpful to know your priorities, whether it is for the event itself, or the usability of the outfit.

Choosing Your Fabric and Color

The fabric and color you choose are crucial in determining the overall look and feel of your cheongsam. Some things that could be a consideration would be your skin tone, the occasion, the theme if any, the venue, and the setting of the event such as day or night. 

A classic choice is satin, it often comes in plain color with a shiny finish. It is a popular choice for brides and for evening wear, as it creates a luxurious feel with its sheen. Tweed fabric has more structure, with visible weaving and unique designs that add depth to your piece. Tweed is more recommended for a fitted silhouette, as it can hug your body shape well. For someone who prefers patterns and intricate details, jacquard gives you an ornamental look. It often comes with rich colors, fancy details, glitter, and unique patterns. Jacquard has a stiff quality, so it is a fabric that is good for volume such as A-line. There are many more fabrics to explore, depending on your needs and style!

As fabric and color will affect a substantial part of the look, it is important to choose them carefully. Different fabrics will result in various kinds of drape and flow, so it is important to match them with the type of silhouette that you're going for. After deciding on the fabric that works for you, it would be best to select colors that works for both your skin tone and the purpose of the cheongsam. You can also read more about the colors for your skin tone here.

Deciding on the Neckline

The neckline is a defining feature of the cheongsam and can dramatically affect its style. For a classic sleeveless cheongsam, there are many ways to explore with the cutting of the neckline; from your straight sleeveless, slight halter, to deep halter neckline. The overall silhouette, as well as how much shoulder or skin you show will change according to the neckline.

There are also different designs to give uniqueness to the piece; such as keyholes, illusion necklines, scallop design, and many more. For our clients who prefer a modest look, you can add sleeves such as cap sleeves, flutter sleeves, and many more.

Determining your Silhouette

The silhouette and fit of your cheongsam will determine how it accentuates your body. 

A fitted cheongsam hugs the body and highlights your natural silhouette, offering a classic and elegant look. They are versatile and easy to repurpose as you can cut the length accordingly. How fitted they are can be determined accordingly, so don't hesitate to let our stylist know on your preference!

For those who appreciate more flair on their outfit, mermaid is the one for you. This silhouette is fitted through the hips, and it will flare out from around the lower thigh giving the dress flow at the bottom. It is the perfect silhouette to pair with a train, and hence the most popular for brides. This silhouette also allows you to forgo the slit openings.

For something more airy and modern, you can opt for an A-line silhouette. The bodice will still be fitted, and it will flare out naturally from the waist down. Depending on the fabric and design chosen, this silhouette can have different kinds of skirt volumes.

Adding the final touches

The final touch of a cheongsam could be as important as its base, as it is often the element that would make it as unique. You can personalise your piece with different kinds of buttons, piping, and/or embroidery! These additions are often optional, something that you can have more fun with, as these are the (not so) little things that can make your cheongsam yours.

There are a lot of ways to create magic with your cheongsam, as long as the colors and elements work well together, to create something that you love. We would recommend exploring colors to help with the selections of these customizations! You can read more about them here. If you are unsure, feel free to ask for recommendations from our stylist as well!

If you'd like to see more examples of our cheongsam designs, follow us here on our Instagram,, and like us on FacebookYou can also book for a styling session by clicking here. For more questions or inquiries, you can contact us at +65 8742 6863, and we would be happy to assist you.