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An exhibition sport, taolu contestants are permitted to don costumes with colours of their choice for enhanced aesthetics. However, they must comply with official regulations regarding attire, and only wear traditional two-piece Chinese suits that consist of a top and a pair of pants. Simple materials, colours, and patterns are allowed, as long as they do not bear religious or commercial images.

The costumes must also facilitate movement, and allow the contestant’s moves to be fully visible to the judges. No part of the face, head, and hands should be covered. In addition, the costumes must also not distract the judges from accurately grading the performance; for example, exceedingly wide pant legs will obstruct leg movements from the judges’ view. The competition director has the right to decide whether or not a costume is suitable for competition.

Costumes for nanquan, in particular, have certain unique requirements as well. Nanquan event competitors must wear a collarless vest-top featuring cloth buttons, with short sleeves for females and no sleeves for males. The fabric may sport a one-centimetre-wide trim in a single colour. A soft belt in a different colour from the rest of the costume should also be worn.

The other taolu event categories specify that the costumes worn must include a Chinese-style top with a mandarin collar and cloth buttons down the front. Sleeves may be worn either short or long, although taijiquan and taiji jian events require all participants to be in long sleeves. Such long sleeves are usually billowy and gathered at the wrists. The length of the costumes’ sleeves must not reach any further than the tip of the thumb. As with nanquan, the costumes may also include a soft belt and a trim in a single colour, but the trim must be three-centimetres-wide.

Sanshou contestants, on the other hand, must wear boxing gloves and protective gear for the head and chest. Gum shields are also to be worn at all times, in addition to cup protectors under the trunks for males. The boxing gloves must weigh 230 grams for the 65-kilogram categories and lighter, as well as in all women and junior events. The other contestants should use 280-gram gloves.

The sanshou costume itself consists of a shirt and trunks, and these must be of the same colour as the protective gear. Unlike in taolu competitions, the participants may only choose red or black, depending on the side that they are on.

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