Vietnamese Costumes of Le Dynasty

Vietnamese Costumes of Le Dynasty.Vietnamese clothing or Việt phục is the traditional style of clothing worn in Vietnam by the Vietnamese people. The traditional style has both indigenous and foreign elements due to the diverse cultural exchanges during the history of Vietnam. Due to it being part of the East Asian Cultural Sphere, Vietnamese traditional clothing have elements which bear similarities to those of China, Korea, and Japan. This all eventually led to the birth of a distinctive Vietnamese style of clothing, including the birth of the modern national dress of Vietnam, the áo dài.
Vietnamese Costumes of Le Dynasty
Vietnamese Costumes of Le Dynasty

For daily wear in Vietnam, Vietnamese people wear modern everyday clothing (đồ Tây; Western clothing), but the common name for everyday clothing is quần áo thường ngày (literally “normal day clothing”).

• Time: ca. 16th – 18th centuries


The Lê dynasty encouraged the civilians back to the traditional customs: have teeth blackening as well as have hair cut and head shaven. A royal edict was issued by Vietnam in 1474 forbidding Vietnamese from adopting foreign languages, hairstyles and clothes like that of the Lao, Champa or the “Northerners” which referred to the Ming. The edict was recorded in the 1479 Complete Chronicle of Dai Viet of Ngô Sĩ Liên.

Before 1744, people of both Đàng Ngoài (the north) and Đàng Trong (the south) wore áo giao lĩnh with thường (a kind of long skirt). The Giao Lĩnh dress appeared very early in Vietnamese history, possibly during the first Chinese domination by Eastern Hàn, after Mă Yuán was able to finally defeat the Trưng Sisters’ rebellion. Those of the lower classes would prefer sleeves with reasonable widths or tight sleeves, and of simple colors. This stemmed from its flexibility in work, allowing people to move around with ease. Both male and female had loose long hair.

Vietnamese Costumes of Le Dynasty – Female Costume

Vietnam Centre took the inspiration from the painting “Collection of the Red Seal Ships Transporting Goods in Cochinchina” for the style of the Cochinchina female costumes in the Lê dynasty. 

Vietnamese Costume of Le Dynasty 1
From the outermost layer:
– Light violet Thường wrapping skirt
– Red Viên Lĩnh (round-collar) rove with short sleeves
– Lemon yellow Giao Lĩnh (crossed-collar) robe
Vietnamese Costumes of Le Dynasty
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Vietnamese Costume of Le Dynasty