Ao dai, hanbok and sari are not only the casual clothes but also the traditional costumes of each nation. Asia has long been widely famous for its national cultural identities and one of them is the traditional costume. Below are the impressive and elaborate traditional costumes of Asian women.
Ao dai, Vietnam
Ao dai is the traditional costume for the women all ages in Vietnam. Previously, both men and women wore ao dai, but today, the image of the Vietnamese women in ao dai becomes more popular.
For the Vietnamese, ao dai is a charming and seductive costume. This type of clothing is the most commonly used in formal occasions such as betrothal, wedding and graduation ceremonies. It is the simplicity that ao dai is used as the uniform at some schools or companies.
Ao dai consists of two separate pieces involving silk pants or soft cloth and a high collar with the long dress. Depending on the creativity of the designer and preference of the wearer, ao dai has many innovations. For example, the dress has two layers; the collar is designed in the round shape and the fabric is attached with crystals, which basically aimed at making the wearers more charming.
Hanbok, South Korea
The traditional costume of South Korea is hanbok, which is worn by both men and women. The color of hanbok is mostly white, which symbolizes the purity, the honesty while red, yellow, blue and black represent the five elements in the universe, namely, metal, wood, water, fire and earth.
As usual, women’s hanbok comprises a coat called jeogori and a long skirt called chima while the hanbok of Korean men consists of a jacket and baggy and loose pants called baji. The outer jacket used by both men and women consists of gil (the largest part of the shirt), git (the silk around the collar); the dongjeong (the white collar) and the goreum (the belt).
Hanbok is classified into different types including daily clothing, ceremonial dress and special costume. Ceremonial dresses consist of dresses for the holidays, birthdays, weddings or funerals. However, regardless of the type of clothing, hanbok still gives the wearer the harmony and the sophistication
In Japanese, kimono means the things to wear. However, nowadays, kimono becomes the name of a traditional Japanese costume which is widely known.
In the past, kimono was used by both men and women in daily life. But today kimono is often worn by women and men only wear kimono in special occasions like weddings or other traditional holidays.
In terms of the structure, the kimono consists of four main parts: the sleeves; the body panels; the front panels; and the collar. In addition, other accessories are belt (obi), fibre and undershirt. Because of sophisticated design, it is not easy to wear a kimono. Normally, kimono is sold at quite high prices.
The sexiest traditional costume in Asia is cheongsam of China. This type of clothing is quite selective about the wearers and just suitable for the women with a standard body and long legs.
Cheongsam is a body-hugging one-piece dress with the combination of Chinese and western cultures. The upper part with a stand-up collar and the row of buttons placed on the bias clings to the body. The lower part are two flaps with slits on both sides, which shows the gracefulness and the femininity of the Chinese women. To create the highlight, each outfit is embroidered with the patterns by five-color threads. Normally, the sewing material is silk that creates the softness. In addition, the selvage hand, fringe and flap borders are highlighted.
In these days, there are many modern styles of cheongsam with unique characteristics such as narrow or flaring sleeves; long or short flaps or high or short collar the neck can be high or low, which depends on the personal preference. Cheongsam is worn on festivals and weekdays as well.
Although kebaya is the traditional Indonesian costumes, its name comes from Arabic with the meaning of costume.
Kebaya is a body-hugging dress with an extended collar and long sleeves. The sewing material is silk or thin cotton and decorated with flower motifs. Previously, the traditional kebaya is a long fabric made from batik, which is waxed or patterned by the manual method. However, today, this outfit is stylized to follow the modern trend.
For a married woman, this is a powerful wedding dress and is considered a masterpiece of art. The reason is that it is not only the symbol of national history and culture but also a smart fashion model.
Of the traditional costumes of Asian countries, sari is a mysterious name, which is the favorite clothing of Indian women.
The design of the sari consists of a long piece of clothing measuring from 4 to 9 meters, even up to 12 meters, which is used to wrap the body in different ways. The colors and the designs vary depending on the regions and the wearers. As usual, high-ranking women will wear a sari in green or blue while pregnant women use the yellow sari. Moreover, sari will be used depending on certain circumstances. For example, widows wear the white sari without jewelry or brides will wear the red sari.
Today, sari are less frequently used; Indian people almost wear it in important rituals. Nevertheless, sari is still the main costume in the countryside.
Above-mentioned are typical costumes of Asian women. Despite owning different features, the design of all of these clothing is aimed at emphasizing the traditional beauty of Asian women.