1. What is traditional Han ethnic clothing?
Traditional Han ethnic clothing — commonly called hanfu 漢服／汉服 — is the ethnic dress of the Han Chinese, 漢人／汉人, or 華人／华人.
2. What era is it from?
Through the ages, Han Chinese have been wearing their ethnic dress up until the Qing Dynasty 清朝 (1644 — 1912), when the Manchu 滿族 regime made it illegal for Han Chinese men to wear their ethnic dress. This was to force the Han Chinese to submit to Manchu rule under the Qing court.
3. What about the qipao/cheongsam 旗袍/長衫／长衫 and magua 馬褂/马褂？
The cheongsam, qipao, and magua belong to the ethnic dress of the Manchus, who were part of the Eight Banners People 八旗, hence the name given to their garments旗袍, the pao/袍 of the Qi/旗 people.
4. So Manchus are not Han Chinese?
Manchus and Han Chinese belong to different ethnicities.
5. So the qipao and magua is not Chinese either?
The qipao and magua belong to the Manchus, and therefore should not and cannot ever be used to substitute or represent the ethnic dress of the Han Chinese.
6. So why do people wear the qipao and magua today?
During the Qing Dynasty, the Manchu rulers made it illegal for Han Chinese men to wear their own ethnic dress under pain of death. Anyone who violated the precept would be beheaded. Today’s custom of wearing the qipao and magua is a carryover from the Qing. The ethnic dress of the Han Chinese today should be based on the form of hanfu from the Ming Dynasty 明朝, the last of the Han Chinese dynasties.