According to an article in Recipes of Asia, the traditional dress in Vietnam is an Áo dài, which is a long, snug-fitting silk tunic worn over loose silk pants. The sleeves are long, flared and fluid; the neck is cut high; and the tunic has a slit on each side. Men wear a short brocade robe for formal occasions.
Although many Vietnamese men and women wear modern Western clothing, a traditional white Áo dài is usually mandatory for young girls in high schools and colleges. Receptionists, secretaries and tour guides are often required to wear the classic ensemble. The climate in Vietnam ranges from temperate to tropical, so everyday clothing is cotton, which is light and comfortable. Brightly embroidered blouses and loose-fitting trousers are popular among provincial women. The iconic conical hats protect them from the sun. Many Vietnamese wear sandals made of old rubber tires.
A woman's position in Vietnamese society is often indicated by their clothing color. Young girls favor white, single women choose pastels, and married women wear brightly colored tunics over flowing white or black pantaloons.
In urban Vietnam, dresses and shirts for women are favored over traditional garb, except for special occasions or dress code requirements. Trousers with simple shirts are preferred by farmers and working-class men.