I’m beginning prep work for Clow (2.0, The Real Deal This Time, etc) and that in turn begins with - research! Because even though CLAMP likes designing improbable (and occasionally impossible) BS, I like trying inject a bit of reality into all my costumes. This involves some headcanoning, because we have so few facts about Clow’s life. Given his house in Tomoeda, I assume he died somewhere in the 1910s or 1920s - as the series points out, it’s very Taishou. And then if we take Kero’s statement that he’s hundreds of years old at face value (well, and the translation at face value, I don’t have a copy of the original Japanese or the effor to get that nitpicky) and assume that we’re not dealing with like, ridiculous Bleach ages, that puts his birth somewhere towards the end of the Ming Dynasty or beginning of the Qing. Which works nicely, because the Ming Dynasty was when contact between China and Europe started and then intensified, making a British man and a Chinese woman having a kid together a lot more probable.
This in turn puts his clothing pretty solidly into Qing territory with the possibility of other influence. Which is actually a little tricky, because I haven’t had much luck finding a lot of information specifically about the Qing dynasty and fashion - Tang is waaaaay more popular, even with SCAers who tend to focus several centuries later with European affairs. I can think of a bunch of possible reasons, but I’m not enough of a history scholar to know for sure, and either way it leaves me with broad-scope books (these two out of a list focused on the Tang dynasty care of a friend of a friend) and museum pieces to try and backtrack construction techniques.
(I’m seriously considering submitting a request to the MFA or the Met to get a closer look at one of their dragon robes because the photography and display they do for the general public doesn’t focus on the bits I’m interested in)