Ao Dai - Traditional costume of Vietnamese women

Ao Dai - Traditional costume of Vietnamese women

Ao dai is the symbol of Vietnamese women and pride of Vietnamese people around the world. Its beauty has left a strong impression for any foreigners who have a chance to visit Vietnam. This costume also provides unlimited inspiration for artists, authors, poets, etc. in their works. So, what is the reason why it has become the Traditional Costume Of Vietnamese Women? Let's find out in this article.

1. History

From 1744, Southern Lord Nguyen Phuc Khoat ordered the citizen - both men and women to wear trousers covered by the long gown. It is believed to show the respect for Cham people’s culture - the original owner of the central part of Vietnam.

In 1930, a French artist named Le Mur (Cat Tuong in Vietnamese) changed a lot of small details on the five-panel tunic (inspired from four-panel tunic). The front panel prolonged and touched the ground to make the movement more comfortable and the waist part was sewn fit to the body. Although that kind of two-panel tunic was loved by wealthy women but some people thought that was a mixture

After 1945, Ao dai was no longer popular in northern Vietnam due to the fact that it was considered as uncomfortable for working environment and fabric-wasting at this time

From 1958, Tran Le Xuan, wife of Ngo Dinh Nhu, Chief Political Adviser of the South government, changed the style of Ao dai. She decided to remove the collar of Ao dai and added more patterns on front flap. Some Western journalist saw that was suitable to the hot weather of the South. This design is still popular until now.

In 1972, Nguyen Thi Binh, a negotiator for Viet Cong and Northern Vietnam government, chose Ao Dai in Paris conference to show her patriotism. But after 1975, the government banned Ao Dai because they thought Ao Dai was the symbol of “capitalist decadence”. It was not until the late 1980s that Ao dai was brought back to life by the fabulous image of Quynh Mai in Ao Dai in Miss International 1995.

Miss Mai in Ao Dai- Vietnam traditional dress

2. Description

Classic collar is about 4 to 5 cm high. Today, long collar design varies from heart shape, round neck to U neck. It is often embroidered.

The bodice is calculated from the neck down to the waist. The buttons are usually from the neck to the shoulder and pulled down to the hips. From the waist, the body of the shirt is split into two flaps.

Long dresses have two flaps: the front and the back. In the past, the front flap was shorter than the back flap. The front flap is usually embroidered with patterns or poems.

The sleeve is counted from the shoulder, may cover close to the arm, the length passes the wrist.

Nowadays, long pants are used with the long dressed. Long pants are sewn heel dots, wide pants. They are made of sturdy fabric or soft cloth. The most common color is white. But due to the fashion trend, the color of long pants is nearly the same with the two-panel tunic part.

Ao Dai - Vietnam traditional dress

3. Nowadays

Thanks to the supporting of the government and famous designers, Ao dai becomes a symbol of Vietnamese femininity nowadays. Elegance and gracefulness are two words that appear in your mind if you see any girls in our traditional clothes.

It is always a priority choice for special occasions such as Wedding, Grand Opening, etc.

Some companies who work in the hospitality industry also encourage their female staff to wear Ao Dai as a uniform to gain a good impression on tourists.

High school girl in Ao Dai- Vietnam traditional dress


4. Some places for tailor-made Ao Dai in Saigon

Ao Dai Hanh

  • Address:
  • Telephone:  (+84) 982 936 339
  • Website:

Ao Dai Minh Thu

  • Address: 199 Nguyễn Thái Bình Str, District 1
  • Telephone: (+84) 918 463 817
  • Website:

Ao Dai Tien

  • Address: 457/2 Cach Mang Thang 8 Street, Ward 12, District 10
  • Telephone: (+84) 902 685 268
  • Website:

Ao Dai My Hanh

  • Address: 660 Xo Viet Nghe Tinh Street, Ward 25, Binh Thanh District
  • Telephone: (+84) 907 951 011
  • Website:

Ao Dai Thiet Lap

  • Address: 268 Pasteur Street, Ward 8, District 3
  • Telephone: (+84) 28 3829 8171