The beauty of the Southern traditional shirt

The sheer beauty of “áo bà ba”, the typical casual wear in the South, has embellished the gentleness of Vietnamese women through many generations. “Áo bà ba”, also known as Vietnamese silk ensemble, has long become an attractiveness of Southern culture.

  05/04/2016 08:00

Past and present of “áo bà ba”

Although it has undergone many changes over the years, áo bà ba still holds its own beauty in the modern life. While the áo tứ thân or “4-part dress” represents the edgy beauty looks of the North, the áo dài Huế is favored by modestly charming girls in the Central of the country. The áo bà ba reminds people of Southern women with gentle and good manners in the countryside of the Mekong Delta. 

From the early time of the discovery of the South, the áo bà ba was made simply to be suitable for local people’s hard works but still remained the softness of the costume. The áo bà ba is typically a long-sleeved, press-stud button-down shirt with a scooped neck. It usually comes slightly to the center of the butt and splits at the sides of the waist, forming two flaps, customarily with two pockets. This skin-tight shirt is preferred by the residents of the Mekong Delta because it showcases the incredible curves of Southern women. They can wear it in everyday life, festive occasions and even for working on the fields. Moreover, it is not only comfortable for movement but also easy to wash.

Usually, the áo bà ba goes with a simple black and white checkered scarf as a soothing highlight for their casual style. Blending into modern life, the design of this traditional wear has been renovated many times to be more comfortable and fashionable. As time goes on, the áo bà ba becomes more and more elegant and graceful but still keeps the classic charm of the Mekong river basin, winning the hearts of many people. 

Áo bà ba in the context of Southern culture

The áo bà ba is often associated with the lovable beauty of Southern people. The images of the áo bà ba flickering under the green coconut groves, in the boatsdown the rivers, on the tricky bamboo bridges, in the kitchen or between the crowded market are a unique cultural attractiveness, which is a distinctive characteristic of the spiritual life of Vietnamese. The rustic yet charming look of the shirt can make people fall in love easily. 

The beautiful lyrics of a well-known song named Chiếc áo bà ba composed by Tran Thien Thanh depic the bold beauties of the Southern countryside reflected in this traditional costume. Anyone who falls in love with áo bà ba will frets intensively with an obsessive longing for the image of the pretty girls wearing it. In such a gentle way, thisstunning traditional shirt of the South captivates the hearts of countless men. 

Text: Vietravel - Photos: Flickr, Shutterstock
Subject: Vietnam

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