The Vietnamese Áo Dài is an alluring silhouette that elongates the body and accentuates the waist. It is essentially a tunic, with two, high, side slits worn with pants. The dress is worn for many occasions, but the more elaborate and luxe the áo dài, the more special the occasion. For a traditional Vietnamese Engagement, an áo dài is absolutely essential!
As outlined in Lễ Hỏi Prep, the Bride will decide if she will rent, buy or custom make one. I was open to shopping the market to see what turned up. From OC to LA, and back, I ultimately ended up buying an Áo Dài for my Lễ Hỏi because of these three little reasons…
Prefect Color – The color of my Áo Dài was peach and complimented my wedding color, Dessy Group’s Firecracker Orange.
Perfect Design – No dragons, phoenix’s or peacocks here. Though all are common motifs for both a Vietnamese engagement and wedding, I opted to go a different direction. Instead, I looked for interesting trimmings. My áo dài was done beautifully with a variety of sequins: flat, rectangular silver sequins, clear, round iridescent sequins, pearl beads, silver beads and finished with glitter. The placement cascades from bust to hem providing the illusion of length and height. Standing at five feet nothing, I’ll take all the help I can get!
Perfect Fit – Though my áo Lễ Hỏi (an áo dài specifically worn for an engagement) was not made to measure, it fit really well! I was really surprised! Seriously! Ready-made áo dài’s are often manufactured overseas with a completely different size scale. Being a petite, AND curvy Vietnamese woman (gasp!), the only fix I needed were the pants: a nip and tuck at the waist–wide legs pants allow for generous hip and derriere proportions– and shortening of the hem. Happiness ensued!
Need more áo dài inspiration? Follow Matron of Style on Pinterest
Photos: The Coco Gallery (c) 2012
Peach ao dai: Thanh Thuy Tailoring