Wondering what to wear the next time you visit northern Vietnam? We highly recommend that you check out the Ao Dai, which is known as traditional Vietnamese clothing for formal occasions. This type of clothing looks truly majestic as it is made of silk and has colors and embroidery that represent certain aspects of society. Moreover, it is comfortable to wear, and it definitely leaves you enough room to showcase your precious body curves due to its tight-fitting design. Let's learn more about this in this post!
Learning about the traditional Vietnamese dress is essential, especially if you truly want to appreciate the country's culture. Even if you ask stylists and designers, every country's traditional costumes can truly say a lot about the traditions, religion, way of life, history, and beliefs of the society. It is not just created for a show-off of a specific "identity," but it reflects ancestry, and it somehow bridges the gap between the yesteryears and the present.
Given that traditional clothes can say a lot, these are usually worn for historical and formal occasions such as weddings, baptisms, national holidays, etc. More often than not, they continue to be relevant today since many of these costume consists of threads, materials, and fabrics that are unique and can only be found in a specific country.
For the case of Vietnam's traditional clothing, you can see that most of these are made of silk, and one reason for that is because silk is considered a national treasure. For this reason, you can find tons of small factories, private homes, shops, and workshops that are producing silk to meet the demands in the market. The quality of their fabrics can seriously rival those that are created by some of the top silk producers from India and China.
What makes the traditional Vietnamese costumes really interesting is the manner in which every dress is created. As much as they can, Vietnamese people stay away from those made of synthetic silk and are willing to pay beyond the average price to get top quality. And when we say "top-quality," that means that the whole garment is weaved by real professionals who still use the traditional way in creating the national costume.
The national dress of Vietnam is called ao dai and is easy to spot due to its conventional look that somehow looks like Chinese-style clothing. It has been around since 1744, and it is best known to be a flowing tunic that is usually long with dress splits in the front and back (falls to the knees) paired with loose pants underneath. Based on history, there are reports that state that the male tunic's color and specific styles can say a lot about their position or class in society. Some of the popular colors include:
Usually, the trousers can vary in colors, but the most popular are black and white trousers for special occasions. While the Ao Dai is no longer worn on a day-to-day basis, the Vietnamese people still wear this during the celebration of the New Year and weddings.
For Vietnamese women, the traditional Ao Dai is also worn, but the fabric flows until the ankles of the lady. Different parts of Vietnam also have unique ways of styling their Ao Dai. Some wear it along with a plain blouse, long skirt, Non La (slanted conical hats), or a gorgeous headscarf. In other places, the tight-fitting tunic is also made available, especially for females.
For the females, the Ao Dai is more a dress than a tunic and is usually tailored to fit tightly, especially on the hips. It usually also covers most of the neck, and you can adjust this by using the buttons on the front to the side and shoulder. Several new Ao Dai designs are available today, but it is common to wear them with a long skirt or a scarf simply. On the other hand, the male tunic falls to the knees, which is why it is important to wear pants to prevent exposing the skin of your legs. To complete the look, hats, turbans, and clog shoes are also used.
Excited to visit Vietnam and finally wear the traditional Vietnamese costume as you walk the streets of Ho Chi Minh city? Fortunately, there are multiple places where you can easily rent the complete ao dài for a whole day at a very low price.
As we reach this part of the post, we hope that you were able to get to know more about Ao Dai and what makes it an interesting traditional Vietnamese clothing. Aside from this long silk tunic clothing, there are also ethnic clothing styles with vibrant patterns representing different ethnic groups in Vietnam. On top of that, Vietnamese clothing is also adapting to the trends today, which is why a modern version of the Ao Dai can also be seen being sold in the country.
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