Ao Dai – the symbol of Vietnamese beauty

Ao Dai – the symbol of Vietnamese beauty

If Japanese women are proud of Kimono, Korean women are famous for Hanbok, Indian women give us an impression of Sari, Vietnamese women are always beautiful in the traditional dress – Ao dai. The dress has presented in Viet Nam for a long time. All Vietnamese and people all over the world know about Ao Dai – the symbol of Vietnamese beauty for many years. Since it presented, it has had many changes.

Researchers thought that the first Vietnamese dress are Giao Linh dress. Giao Linh dress is a loose dress. It is slit two sides. It has long and large sleeves.  Its flats are long to heels.  Its collar is crossed when being worn. If  The dress has two flaps let straight down when being worn is called Truc Linh dress.

Ao dai giao linh

Giao Linh dress on the left, Truc Linh dress on the right

Following Truc Linh dress is Tu Than dress. It is called Tu Than because it   has four flaps. The two front flaps are crossed and let straight down when being worn. Two back flats are connected to each other. Inside the dress is a short white blouse. Inside the blouse is a shield with deep color for adults, red color for young girls. Ao Tu Than

Tu Than dress

Following Tu Than dress is Ngu than dress. It has five flats. The two front flats are connected and the two back flats are, too. Under the front flats having a small flat.


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People say that Ngu Than dress has existed since Gia Long dynasty  (1802 – 1820). At that time Ngu Than dress was usually called Ao dai. The name Ao dai has existed since then.
Ao Ngu Than

Ngu Than dress

We can say following Ngu Than Ao dai is a new time Ao dai. In the 1930s artist Cat Tuong designed Le Mur Ao dai. It only has two flats: front flat and back flat. Its trunk fits well with the body of the woman. It makes the woman more attractive. Its flats are long to heels of feet, which make steps more lissom.

At the end of the year 1958, Mrs. Tran Le Xuan, Ngo Dinh Nhu’s wife (Ngo Dinh Nhu is the man who is a government official in south Viet Nam before 1963) designed an Ao dai called Tran Le Xuan Ao dai. It has the same design as Le Mur, but it doesn’t have the neck.
Ao dai Tran Le Xuan

Tran Le Xuan dress

In the 1960s Dung tailor in Dakao, Saigon produced the model of Ao dai called Raglan Ao dai. The Ao dai has sleeves patched. Buttons are put from the neck to the armit. Then they go along aside.

Vietnamese Ao Dai (2)

Raglan dress

Nowadays although the Ao dai has a variety of designs, it is not of three models: Le Mur Ao dai, Tran Le Xuan Ao dai, Raglan Ao dai. The Ao dai is worn in festivals, at weddings, in diplomacy, in tourism, in high schools, at universities and offices.

Generally, Ao Dai – the symbol of Vietnamese beauty has existed in Viet Nam country for along time. Although there are many changes, the Ao dai remains its main form. It increases the beauty of Vietnamese women. Wearing the Ao dai they look politer and more graceful. The Ao dai is the symbol of  Vietnamese women. It is recognized to be the world ‘s cultural heritage by UNESCO.

Ao Dai Ho Chi Minh Food Tour - Saigon Food Tour by motorbike

One Response

  1. Gertrude February 26, 2017

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