Ao dai – A cultural symbol VietNam



Each country all over the world has a traditional costume, and as we look at it, we can recognize the country’s name. Japanese have Kimono, Chinese from Manchu age have Cheongsam …



Vietnamese are proud of Ao dai, which is called the national costume of Vietnam. To talk about Ao dai, people often immediately think about its graceful and charming characteristics.


Ao dai is the proud of the country and seen as an intangible cultural heritage of Vietnam – A form of heritage that is acknowledged by UNESCO in the year 2002.

Coming back to the origin, the oldest Ao dai is called Giao lanh which has the style that is similar to four-panel traditional dress. However, two font parts intersect with each other without tie. Specially, in summer occasions or wedding ceremonies, Ao dai is sewed by chiffon, crape, coarse silk and silk, cover red or pink brassieres in the outside.

Ao dai has its own distinct and unique features such as a high and hard neck, near figure, high split line at both sides of hip, a design to hold close the body, making two sort lap of dress. Ao dai made a significant surprise, and therefore, received a plenty of compliments: “Ao dai is not only fascinating but also private in a way of elegance” or “Ao dai is fashion of all of the fashion, wearing all of it like wearing nothing of all” (Pierre Cardin). The harmonic combination between near figure of Ao dai and the delicate, sort and flexible of Vietnamese women make Ao dai much more fascinating than ever.

During the long period of history, Ao dai faced with many changes. In one decade, from 1930 to 1940, Ao dai had no changes in the way people sew it but the color of fabric types had become brighter. In 1939, a new kind of Ao dai was born with a wide, deep and heart-shaped neck or a knod added in front of a wing collar although this kind just appeared in a short time interval. In the period from 1950 to 1960, Ao dai is split by a cut at its middle, the fringe of the dress is cut horizontally strange with a deep neck and the length is near the knee.

Ao dai viet nam

Ao dai viet nam

Nowadays, Ao dai designers always find out to create many hip styles for this kind of costume, they not only make the changes in fabric material but also in patterns and lines. There is many designers who want to whip up a new creation in terms of combination between many other costume from different countries. In this way, Ao dai has more vignettes such as the flexibility in the length of sleeve or the complexity of fabric material. Besides, some designers who pursue the traditional features of Ao dai are trying to associate the original beauty of Ao dai with different traditional crafts to stand out the soul of nation.

Miss James Sterson, an American messenger said: “No country in the world has the traditional fashion that’s so extremely amazing, include traditional culture in its like Ao Dai of Viet Nam.”

Today, Ao dai can be seen in everywhere all around the world. Oversea Vietnamese women emote their affection with nation through Ao dai. Many foreigners had a dozens of impression about Ao dai. They feel to be welcome warmly when they saw this lap of dress flow with the wind in the airports.

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