Costume Là Gì


When talking about Vietnamese traditional costumes, many of you will just be familiar with the ao dai. However, in addition to the ao dai, our country has many other incredible traditional costumes such as ao tu than, ao Nhat Binh, ao tac, and ao tía ba. There is no doubt that the ao dai is very well-known in Vietnam and the world, but today I am going lớn introduce to lớn you more about our traditional clothes. But let’s start with the ao dai.

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Photo: Hisu lee

Ao dai

This is the most popular traditional costume of Vietnam. Nowadays, the ao dai is preferred by women more than men and you can encounter Vietnamese women in the ao dai in every corner of our country. Ao dai, literally means long dress, it has long trousers & a two-flap dress with different colors & patterns. A truly elegant piece of clothing, it gives me pride khổng lồ see someone dressed this way on the street.

Foreigners love Vietnamese ao dai

The history of the ao dẻo dates back lớn the second half of the 18th century, lớn 1774. At this time, there was a civil war within Vietnam: The North was ruled by the Trinh family & the South was ruled by the Nguyen family. In the south, the first Lord Nguyen Phuc Khoat recognized that our costumes were very similar to those worn by the Chinese và with an ambition lớn be a king of an independent land, he ordered his people khổng lồ change the way they dressed.

Traditional ao dai

According to the decree, for casual clothes, men & women had lớn wear gowns with straight collars and short sleeves, small or wide sleeves were optional. The gown has two seams on either side. It allowed men khổng lồ wear gowns with a round collar and small sleeves when working for more comfort. This marks the first generation of the ao dai with five flaps called than. The two flaps in the front & two flaps in the back were the four main thans và represented tu than phu mau, which represents the birth parents and parents-in-law. The last than was designed inside the front flaps, representing the wearer. In a word, this five than kiến thiết means the four parents always protect their child. There were five buttons on this gown, representing ngu thuong, which represent the five cardinal virtues of Confucianism: humanness, righteousness, proper rite, knowledge, và integrity.

The decree of Lord Nguyen Phuc Khoat in 1774 marked an important innovation in Vietnamese clothes, which ultimately characterized our traditional costumes. After Nguyen Phuc Anh reunified the territory of Vietnam in 1802, which was the beginning of the Nguyen Dynasty, the ao dai became the national clothing of this dynasty.

Since the 19th century, the two front flaps were sewn into one flap, & the two back flaps were sewn into a singular back flap. The fifth flap still remained (now the third than) behind the front flap. The ao dẻo became a long dress with two slits on both sides, very similar lớn the modern ao dai.

Later, the fifth flap was eliminated, the modern ao dai appears with only two flaps, front & back.

The specialty of the ao dẻo is that it is a tight-fitting dress which magnifies the beautiful curves of a woman’s body. The slits on both sides up to lớn the waist create a charming và unique cut that is classically flattering. Today, designers have created many new styles of ao dai, diversifying this costume.

Photo: Oversized Shop

Modern Vietnamese women usually wear the ao dai for special occasions such as Tet (Vietnamese New Year), weddings, festivals, and ceremonies. In public high schools, schoolgirls have to wear the trắng ao dai twice a week, on Monday và on an optional weekday. High school female teachers also have to wear the ao dai when they are in class, but they can choose the màu sắc and style.

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Source: Phapluat

Thanks to lớn the innovative ao dai, women can now wear this fit when they want: lớn work, for a walk, to lớn go on a date, and even traveling.

For men, since the era of Lord Nguyen, these clothing rules are not as strict. Later, the gown for men became more comfortable và convenient. Nowadays, men occasionally wear it for special events but it’s less popular than for women. Men’s ao dai, of course, is not as tight as the women’s.

Traditional male ao dẻo | Photo:

Ao Tu Than

No one knows exactly when ao tu than appeared, but archeologists found the image of ao tu than sculpted on the surface of trong dong, a kind of copper drum, thousands of years ago.

Ao tu than has four long flaps, two in the front & two in the back, also called than. The meaning of these thans is like the four main flaps of the first generation of ao dai, they represent the birth parents and parents-in-law. In addition, the ao tu than doesn’t have the fifth inside flap or buttons. Ao tu than is sewn by connecting four pieces of garment (the same or different colors) but the ends remain split. Wearers first put on a bodice called yem, then a thin shirt. Women tie their waist with a silk sash. The ao tu than is worn as the outermost layer. Because it doesn’t have any buttons, wearers tie a knot using the two front flaps around their middler you can let these pieces of fabric dangle for a looser fit.

Source: Dantri

A long black skirt is worn beneath the ao tu than and it almost touches the floor. Non quai thao, which is a large flat palm hat, is a popular accessory of ao tu than. In the past, ao tu than was dyed with natural colors, like the dye-yam, tropical-almond leaves, or mud. Now, ao tu than is dyed with many bright colors, making it more beautiful.

Ao tu than in the past was worn as casual clothing by the northern women. In the present time, our northern women still wear it but just on occasion like when performing quan ho, a Vietnamese folk music style.

Ao Nhat Binh

Ao Nhat Binh literally means square-collared garb. This was one of the casual clothes of the empress dowager, empress consort, and princesses in the imperial city of the Nguyen Dynasty – the last dynasty of Vietnam. When there were informal events, these royal women would wear the ao Nhat Binh instead of the Phuong bao (means the garb of phoenix), which was the noblest clothes of the empresses and princesses. For consorts, female officials and those ladies with high social status, ao Nhat Binh was their noblest clothes.

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Ao Nhat Binh is a straight-collared garb, whose collar dangles down, making two parallel lines. The origin of ao Nhat Binh was from Phi Phong garb, which was popular in the Ming Dynasty of China. When wearing ao Nhat Binh, wearers tie a knot with the pieces hanging from the collar in front of the chest và decorate (to hide the knot) with a sculpted gem. On the collar are flowers & phoenix patterns. The garb may be plain with one màu sắc or can be embroidered with many circular patterns. On the cuffs, there are five colored lines which are green, yellow, blue, white, and red representing the Five Elements wood, earth, water, metal, & fire.

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