What are Chinese dresses called?
Nowadays, Chinese dresses mainly refer to cheongsam（Qipao） and hanfu.
The Hanfu ('Han clothing' — the majority of Chinese are of Han ethnicity) is the oldest of China's traditional clothes. Legend traces it back to over 4,000 years ago when Huangdi's consort, Leizu, made cloth with silk. It was constantly improved throughout several dynasties.
Until the Han Dynasty, the Hanfu was adopted and vigorously promoted by the ruling class. It then became the national clothing of the Han ethnic people. It also had a far-reaching influence on neighboring Asian countries, such as Korea, Japan, and Vietnam.
The cheongsam (qipao) evolved from the Manchu women's changpao ('long gown') of the Qing Dynasty . The Manchu ethnic people were also called the Qi people by the Han people; hence their long gown was named qipao ('Qi gown'). Read more about the cheongsam.
It actually depends what dynasty, the current national dress, which is influenced by the west, and the previous Qing Dynasty, it is called qipao, or cheongsam.
In the Qing dynasty (we’re going back in time here), the manchurians conquered China. So the chinese adopted their dress.
In the ming dynasty, the chinese still ruled, so the hanfu is the national dress.
In the Song dynasty, jackets were popular.
In the Tang dynasty, the clothing was less conservative, women were allowed to reveal cleavage, and where transparent sleeves.
In the han and qin dynasty, one piece robes were popular.