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Saturday, 28 November 2009

The terrible truth about the Ao Dai or The Pajama Party

Browse any website aimed at tourists to Vietnam and you'll be hard pressed to find one that doesn't feature the undeniably beautiful national dress, the Ao Dai (áo dài). Sure you'll see them worn by receptionists in hotels, in tourist oriented shops and of course on Vietnam Airlines but far, far more prevalent is the pajama suit. They're EVERYWHERE.

Polyester miracles of bright patterns not seen elsewhere since the sixties adorn everyone from children to ancient grannies. They come in all sorts of patterns and styles according to the preferences of the wearer and hardly ever featured on the tourist industry websites as an attraction.

Pyjama on bike
Sleeveless and short trousered.

pyjama suit 8
Stretchy and spaghetti strapped.

pyjama suit 5
Puff sleeved and tailored.

pyjama suit 3
Flowing and edging on elegant.

pyjama suit 6

Covered with a big cardigan to provide further protection from the sun.

I love pajama suits and think they should be celebrated more but I doubt there will be a day when Miss Ao Dai competitions are replaced by Miss Pajama Suit. Shame.
Ao Ba Ba
Thanks to Louis Pasta on flickr for letting me know that the correct name for the flowing suits is Ao Ba Ba

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