Five ancient costumes of Vietnam that you might not know

Ancient costumes that Vietnamese people used to wear during the have created a unique garment culture compared to other countries.
January 11, 2021 | 14:05
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Doi Kham dress

Doi Kham dress under the elites of the Ly-Tran dynasty, can be occasionally spotted on movies or documentary films. The garment boasts two parallel flaps, which literally gives it the name Doi Kham. People normally just wear them down the body or use as a coat.

Doi Kham dress is often worn with vibrant color on the outside and lighter colors on the inside, with the last one is white.

Five ancient costumes of Vietnam that you might not know
(Photo: Travel Mag)
Five ancient costumes of Vietnam that you might not know
(Photo: Travel Mag)

Giao Linh dress

Giao Linh dress is also called Truong Linh Trang Vat, or Doi Linh dress. The shirt has an intersecting neck in front of the chest, the left flap is pressed against the right flap when worn. Its sleeves are often loose and narrow.

Giao Linh dress bears resemblance to Japan’s and China’s traditional costumes, however, its two uneven flaps on the outside and inside make a distinct difference.

Five ancient costumes of Vietnam that you might not know

(Photo: Travel Mag)

Nhat Binh Dress

Nhat Binh dress was designed for royal females, including the Princess, Queen Mother. The dress is quite similar to the Phi Phong dress of China’s Minh dynasty, however, it was adapted a lot to suit the Vietnamese customs. Nhat Binh dress

The garment is often red or blue to present nobility, luxury, and royalty. Patterns of phoenix, dragon, etc., are often sophisticated hand-embroidered on the dress.

Five ancient costumes of Vietnam that you might not know
(Photo: Travel Mag)
Five ancient costumes of Vietnam that you might not know
(Photo: Travel Mag)

Tac dress

Tac dress was worn by all class of people during important occasions, especially in weddings. It was ubiquitous during Nguyen Dynasty.

The dress is still worn in modern days during engagement ceremony or at film set recording life at Vietnamese countrysides.

Five ancient costumes of Vietnam that you might not know
(Photo: Travel Mag)
Five ancient costumes of Vietnam that you might not know
(Photo: Travel Mag)

Ngu Than dress

In 1744, Nguyen Lord reformed the costumes in Dang Trong (southern Vietnamese), giving birth to the ancient Ngu Than dress. The garment is simpler than the previous models, boasting a standing neck, right button, narrow sleeves combined with long pants. It has 5 parts with 4 main flaps and 1 side flap.

Ngu Than dress is often colored in elegant hue.

Five ancient costumes of Vietnam that you might not know
(Photo: Travel Mag)
Five ancient costumes of Vietnam that you might not know
(Photo: Travel Mag)

On January 10, a festival called “Toc Xanh – Vat Ao” showcasing numbers of Vietnam’s ancient garments was held in Ho Chi Minh City. The project is initiated by a 24-year-old Ton That Minh Khoi – a history enthusiast in cooperation with HCMC University of Social Sciences and Humanities.

A photo taken at the festival (Photo: Zing News)
A photo taken at the festival (Photo: Zing News)

To date, “Toc Xanh – Vat Ao” is the biggest festival embracing ancient costumes in HCMC. The event will last until January 16.

“The fact that the young generations are alien to old costumes is quite a letdown and concern for those into traditional culture like us”, Khoi was quoted by Zing News. “For this reason, we decided to launch the project on a large scale to promote ancient garments and Nguyen dynasty’s costumes in particular among university students in HCMC.

Khoi said he’d continue the project in the future with detailed plans focusing on young generations as “they are the main force of modern society”. He added that the ancient costume promoting festival would be expanded to high schools across the city.

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Jasmine Le

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