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Ao Dai. Vietnamese traditional long gown.


There are many things traditional to Vietnam yet deeply impress people from all over the world. Ao dai is one of them.

It is a fitted, full-length dress worn over black or white loose-fitting trousers. Unlike Cheongsam, however, Ao dai is split all the way from the waist down, contouring the pants.
Ao dai has experienced many modifications since its original version. Ao tu than, which had been worn by Vietnamese women centuries before the Ao dai evolved into the five-paneled dress which is known as the closest form to the Ao dai. The older version of Ao dai then has five flaps: two in the back, two in the front and one under the front lap. Ao dai, however, is more tight fitted and has higher collar without a bodice underneath.

Unlike many other traditional costumes, Ao dai still remained popular and influential in the modern day Vietnamese culture. Although Ao dai is no longer worn by men, nor do women on a daily basis, in special occasions, they are still used widely. Ao dai is still women favorite dress in traditional festivities or occasions such as Tet, wedding or graduation. In some high schools and universities in Vietnam, the white ao dai is considered school uniform for female students.
The beauty of Vietnamese women is honoured thanks to Ao dai, so it is hard to think of any outfit better-suited the Vietnamese than Ao dai itself. Ao dai, therefore, is an ideal souvenir for foreign tourists upon leaving Vietnam, to remind them of a beautiful country that they have been to.

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