We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.
Culinary

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

What are the Different Types of Tai Chi Clothing?

By Zeus Tyrone Mendoza
Updated: Feb 26, 2024

The type of Tai Chi clothing a person wears can be just as important as mastering the Tai Chi form itself. According to Tai Chi teachings, the clothing has a direct correlation with the state of mind and spiritual energy to the chi flowing through the body’s meridians. Clothing such as jeans and jackets, and even tightness of fabric will restrict chi flow in the body as it moves during the martial art. In Tai Chi, it generally is recommended that a person wear clothing that is soft, light, and supple, such as clothing made of loose linen, cotton, or silk. A key characteristic among linen, cotton, and silk clothing for Tai Chi is that they do not impede the martial art movements.

One of the marked differences from the linen type of Tai Chi clothing versus the cotton or silk kind is its ability to regulate body temperature. Linen is also good for its durability and strength, since it usually is able to resist any wears or tears that might happen during Tai Chi exercises. These attributes are what make linen Tai Chi clothing generally suitable for an experienced practitioner of the martial art.

Cotton and silk, on the other hand, typically is better worn on warmer days, such as during the summer. Historically, silk was abundant in China and this generated plenty of silk-style uniforms. Many Tai Chi masters still traditionally will wear silk-type uniforms. Silk and cotton share similar qualities, such as comfort, but silk is costly to manufacture and cotton is not.

The standard Tai Chi clothing comes in black or white, thereby offering fewer distractions to other people practicing the martial art form. Color restriction, however, is not definitive. Some martial arts schools may prefer other colors to be worn for Tai Chi uniforms. More modernized variations of Tai Chi wear can come in the form of printed T-shirts. Usually, these types of clothing will have the various Tai Chi symbols or perhaps the school’s logo printed on the fabric.

While Tai Chi recommends proper clothing, it is not necessarily enforced. Proper Tai Chi clothing typically serves as an aid to keep a practitioner away from distractions. This generally helps practitioners focus more on the balance of chi flow in the mind and body rather than outside distractions.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
By Lostnfound — On Oct 29, 2014

In general, I'd say whatever is comfortable for yoga is also good for Tai Chi. It has to be loose, non-restrictive and not distracting to others. So I'd leave the tank top at home.

Come to think of it, I've never seen a Tai Chi practitioner wear a tank top, male or female. They may go sleeveless, but that's it. I'm sure it has everything to do with not wearing something that might distract the practitioner from concentrating on his or her movements and forms.

By Grivusangel — On Oct 29, 2014

I've always seen Tai Chi practitioners in loose clothing, since, as the article mentions, the whole point of the exercise is to allow energy to flow through you.

I imagine any soft, lightweight material would be fine for practicing Tai Chi. Most of the Tai Chi clothing I've seen has been white, gray or light blue. I've never seen any in black. That seems to be reserved for the more defense oriented martial arts, like karate, kung fu and jujitsu.

Because of the soothing nature of practicing Tai Chi, it's easy to forget that it is, indeed, one of the martial arts. It always seems more like a mental meditation exercise. I am told it had real uses in the days when it was first developed, though.

Share
WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.