With its long and extensive history, that dates back to as early as the 18th century, Áo Dài (a traditional Vietnamese long dress) is not only a unique symbol of feminine beauty but is also a deeply ingrained part of our culture and mind. Despite overcoming some difficult times in the country’s history, Áo Dài has carried its national identity and spirit and has never lost its unique vitality, since its creation. Almost unanimously, it is considered to be an outstanding work of art – a distinctive, elegant beauty, the symbol of Vietnamese fashion.
Normally, the Vietnamese Áo Dài is made from the finest silk or other special types of soft fabrics, which not only attract the attention of others but also ensure the comfort of its owners. The elegant and soft features of Áo Dài can also be interpreted as the indirect symbols of Vietnam, as a peace-loving country, with a rich traditional culture.
A traditional Áo Dài usually has long sleeves, fits tight around a mandarin neckline and the breast area, and is notably split on the sides from the waist to the ankle. The tunic has front and back panels that fall over broad trousers and has a collar that hugs the neck. It also has fitted sleeves.
In recent times, once the world fashion took off and women started showing off their curves, the Áo Dài’s style needed to keep up with modernity. As the result, Áo Dài is being constantly redesigned to upkeep with the latest trends and popular demands. Many designers have been recreating and breathing in new styles and forms into the costume, nevertheless, Áo Dài still retains its distinctive Vietnamese identity.
The modern Áo Dài has a way of remembering and thanking everybody. The upper body is similar, but the two ties on big pants are so soft. The two rips on the waist make the wearer’s gestures more relaxed, resulting in a slim figure with a feminine look that is both tight and attractive because the shirt exposes the wearer’s waist.
All kinds of material – from silk, sheer to lace, are used to create Áo Dài these days, meanwhile, some ladies prefer to wear jeans or khakis instead of the traditional loose trousers. From the north to the south, designers make every effort to retain aesthetics and femininity while still taking into consideration its practical use and the convenience for its wearers.
The colors of the Áo Dài can be distinguished. The color of the traditional dress will reveal the age and status of the woman wearing it. The young ladies, in turn, wear white to symbolize their purity; soft pastel shades are worn by the older and unmarried girls. Only married women wear dark multicolored gowns, and the future bride wears red or pink, the traditional colors of marriage, during the ceremony.
For special occasions or when they discover an appealing new fabric, young girls have new costumes created. A well-cut Áo Dài on an attractive body, worn effortlessly by elegant young girls riding by on their bicycles, will transform the most jaded spirit.