Vietnamese traditional dress “Ao Dai” contains the national beauty. It is both charming and attractive for Vietnamese women to wear. Many foreigners love and praise the Ao Dai because of its unique characteristics. Moreover, it has become a symbol of the national culture which every Vietnamese is so proud of. Mentioning about Vietnamese women, the majority of people will remember the image that a beautiful woman is wearing the Ao Dai and a leaf hat on her head with an attractive and gentle smile.
The image of the Ao Dai was tied to the lives of people from rural to urban areas a long time ago. Traditionally, if there were special occasions or festivals, every man and woman were eager to wear the Ao Dai. The Ao Dai is a Vietnamese national costume. Now, it is most commonly worn by women. However, in the modern society, Vietnamese women often wear Western modern clothes which are more convenient and suitable with each climate. Today in Vietnam, the traditional long dress appears in special occasions such as New Year days, festivals, art performances, birthdays, weddings or in the temples. It expresses the beauty of Vietnamese people. In its current form, the Ao Dai is a tight-fitting tunic silk worn over loose pants.
Although many Vietnamese people view the Ao Dai as a variation of the Ao Tu Than, there are so many differences among them. The Ao Tu Than is generally worn by women in the North. It consists of four panels, two in the back and two in front. The back panels are tied by a belt. Inside the Ao Tu Than, women wear Ao Yem and a long skirt. This dress is very colorful. Nowadays, women usually wear the Ao Tu Than when they take special photos or wedding photos. People do not wear it often any more like Ao Dai in special occasions. Although Vietnam is under the influence of many cultures from the East to the West, the dress is still outstanding with its unique features and cannot be confused with other designs. The Ao Dai is increasingly modernized in many strange and beautiful styles with many different colors but it still maintains the traditional beauty.
Vietnamese people are very proud of the Ao Dai. For those who are living abroad, every time they see the Ao Dai-the Vietnamese traditional dress, they remember about their mother tongue country with beautiful and wonderful women. Not only is the Ao Dai popular inside Vietnam, today, the Ao Dai also becomes a great inspiration for both Vietnamese and international designers. It is not rare when you see the image of the Ao Dai in reputable international fashion magazines or famous fashion shows. In Vietnam, in every beauty contest, young girls are required to perform this incredible traditional dress and show off its charm and attraction. The Ao Dai is designed and decorated beautifully and receives lots of high appreciations from the audience. Additionally, the Ao Dai also appears in famous events and many international beauty contests where people around the world one more time can observe the Vietnamese traditional dress
Especially, the image of young girl students cycling on the way to school wearing the white Ao Dai is so glamorous. Interestingly, this is also an excellent impression attracting travelers to Vietnam. Every foreigner coming to Vietnam also wants to try it on once in their life. At the festivals, many tourists, foreign artists and performers choose to wear the Ao Dai and feel extremely exciting. They are very happy with this special Eastern design. The dress together with Non La is also a meaningful souvenir that many visitors, especially the girls select to buy for their friends and relatives. In the major tourist centers, especially the ancient town of Hoi An (Quang Nam), it is well-known for specializing in creating a long beautiful dress according to tourists’ demand. Customers can just use the website and send an email to a dressmaker if they do not have time to come. After that, they can get the dress that they like
The Vietnamese traditional dress brings about a lot of meaningful things. Although the look of the Ao Dai is changed in many different ways in order to fit with the fashion trend, it is still the essential symbol of Vietnamese women. For foreign visitors, with an affordable price, they can buy themselves a beautiful dress and travel around Vietnam to explore the most stunning tourist attractions they never forget in life.