DIY | Traditional Ao Dai Dresses

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When I was in high school, I used to design clothing and make them come to life. I designed my homecoming and prom dresses and my mom, grandmother, or aunties always helped me make them. It was a family thing that I fondly remember and wanted to bring to fruition for the wedding.

The traditional Vietnamese Ao Dai for a bride consists of an under-dress with a jacket over top and a hat. The traditional Ao Dai in general looks like this:

traditional ao dai

I altered the neckline of the dress on the inside since we were getting married in the summer and I made the sleeves belled and jacket sheer to add some more detail to the dress. Here’s the sketch I sent to my aunt in Vietnam, click to enlarge.

Sketch of Ao Dai design for the bride

She took the design to a tailor and had my custom wedding Ao Dai made. I asked that the colors still be traditional (red and gold) since the homes were going to be adorned in red and gold. I LOVED the way it turned out! I nixed the hat since I didn’t want my hair up and may a red feather hair comb to wear with it.

Final Traditional Vietnamese Ao Dai dress


Final Traditional Vietnamese Ao Dai dress

Then, when it got to designing the girls’ dresses, I kept in mind the summer heat. I took away the traditional sleeves since the wedding will be during the first week of summer and arm pit stains are just non-negotiable. Halter it was. I updated the traditonal colors and had the dresses made in pinks so that I could stand out a little next to the ladies. They all came by my mom’s house to be measured.

Getting measured for custom traditional Vietnamese ao dai dress


Getting measured for custom traditional Vietnamese ao dai dress

Here’s the sketch of the bridesmaids’ dresses , click to enlarge.

Sketch of traditional Ao Dai design for the bridesmaids

The tailor made them to the girls specifications and this is how they dresses turned out on them!

Final girls custom vietnamese ao dai bridesmaid dresses


Final girls custom vietnamese ao dai bridesmaid dresses

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2 Responses to “DIY | Traditional Ao Dai Dresses”

  1. Crystal L. says:

    Hi Thao,

    I am actually doing a very similar project soon, and I will need to take measurements from myself and my bridesmaids to get an ao dai made in Vietnam (I’m not designing much though). Can you tell me how/what areas of measurements you need to fill out for the best fitted ao dai? I’d like to take/submit the measurements from everyone myself rather than having them go to a seamstress to save some money.

    Thank you so much!!
    Crystal

    • Thao says:

      My mom and aunts are seamstresses so they conversed on the measurements and took care of it. So sorry I couldn’t be of more help :(

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