In Vietnam, there are 54 ethnic groups, each having unique and specific styles of clothing. Traits often include splendid colors, seemingly contradicting one another in each outfit: black and red, blue and red or blue and white.
The traditional costumes of native Vietnamese nations are woven with natural fiber, such as hemp, silk or cotton. These materials are fine, stable and light, appropriate for a tropical climate. The diversity and abundance of Vietnamese ethnic clothing cannot be completely dealt with in this article; we will only introduce the traditional clothing of the Viet, the most common natives of Vietnam.
In days gone by, royal regulations determined the color of clothing. For civilian suits for men, only brown, black, black or white was used; yellow was only used for kings; red was used for high grade mandarins; and, blue or green decorated the outfits of lower grade mandarins.
The traditional costume of the Viet, included for men, brown clothing with turbans and wooden shoes or sandals. Formal dress was of a white and black combination, while women were in smart black shirts and jacket, and light brown shirts. Formal dress for women includes three tunics: one of black or light brown, one of light yellow, and on the inside, a rose tunic. While dressing, all three buttoned at the rib-cage, and the parts from the chest to the neck are turned to show the three different colors. The outfit is topped off with the omnipresent conical hat.
For a very long time, the clothing of Vietnamese ethnic groups has been influenced by foreign dress. Some traditional clothes have been lost, substituted with more modern interpretations.