The enduring grace of the Vietnamese ao dai

06:00 | 20/12/2020 Culture & Tourism

(VEN) - The graceful Vietnamese long dress worn over trousers, known as ao dai, is the traditional costume of Vietnamese people and is well-known around the world. 

the enduring grace of the vietnamese ao dai
the enduring grace of the vietnamese ao dai

With its long history dating back to the 18th century court of the Nguyen Lords in the royal capital of Hue, ao dai is not only a unique symbol of feminine beauty but also an outstanding work of art and the essence of Vietnamese culture.

Early versions of the ao dai date back to 1744 when Lord Vu Vuong of the Nguyen Dynasty decreed that both men and women should wear an ensemble of trousers and a gown that buttoned down the front. However, not until 1930 did ao dai assume the shape and look that is known today.

the enduring grace of the vietnamese ao dai
the enduring grace of the vietnamese ao dai

During the 1950s, two tailors in Saigon (now Ho Chi Minh City) started producing ao dai with raglan sleeves, creating a diagonal seam running from the collar to the underarm and this style is still preferred today. Men wear it less, generally only on ceremonial occasions such as weddings or funerals.

Ao dai is made from the finest silk or other special types of soft fabrics. Ao dai with more intricate and colorful patterns and designs is worn for occasions such as weddings, traditional Tet (Lunar New Year Holiday) celebrations, and other national festivals. Nowadays, ao dai is also worn in daily life. For example, teachers and students wear ao dai to school, as do flight attendants, office workers, hotel and restaurant receptionists and others.

the enduring grace of the vietnamese ao dai
the enduring grace of the vietnamese ao dai

Pham Tiep