Fashion shapes our identity. From the choice of color to appearance style, it is an expression of one’s own uniqueness and how we stand out from the crowd. Similarly, national wear or traditional costumes are a depiction of a country’s cultural identity and heritage. It can be very intriguing as a single piece of clothing has its own underlying history and symbolism. Here are 5 beautiful traditional dresses you have to keep a look out for if you happen to be traveling to Asia. Take note of these eternal statement pieces and how you can combine Asian charm and Western sensuality with a modern twist.
1. Kimono, Japan
Take a stroll down the streets of Tokyo in a gorgeous traditional Japanese kimono during the season where the sakura flowers are in full bloom. The kimono is a traditional T-shaped full length robe that falls all the way to the ankles and attached with long sleeves that hang loose and wide. The robe is secured with a wide decorative sash that is tied around the waist. Managing a kimono can be expensive and quite a hassle but there are always kimonos for rent. A similar outfit to the kimono, a yukata is usually recommended because it is lighter in weight and less complex when putting it on.
As we should all know by now, large statement jewellery is currently the hottest trend for this 2017 summer collection. Bring the kimono look to a whole new level by teaming it with a pair of bejeweled dangle chandelier earrings. Everyone will be bedazzled by these pair of big and bold earrings that will instantly jazz up the traditional Japanese look.
Drop and Dangle Chandelier Earrings
2. Saree, India
Indian women are commonly seen dressed gracefully in a traditional saree. It is considered one of the oldest forms of garment on earth and the art of draping the saree requires practice to achieve the perfect flow. This piece of aesthetic beauty is an unstitched cloth that is elegantly draped around a woman’s body in way that it bears curves in a sexy yet modest manner. Sarees usually come in bright vivid colors with detailed gold-silver prints adorned at the hem of the dress. Women often complement the traditional outfit with bold statement jewellery.
If you have ever watched a Bollywood movie, you will definitely be attracted to how cool and confident the way Bollywood celebrities are. Selecting the right pair of sunglasses can exude a mysterious allure. All the more reason to add a dash of edginess and glamour with a pair of stylish sunnies in a vibrant colored saree! Alternatively, you can add a twist to the saree by draping it differently if you’re feeling creative or accessorising it in a more contemporary way.
Classic White Aviator Sunglasses
3. Baju Kebaya, Malaysia
The baju kebaya evokes elegance and fascination. It is often viewed as a Malayan traditional outfit with a touch of Chinese influence. This timeless classic is a long-sleeve voile blouse with delicate floral embroidery motifs. The close-fitting embroidered blouse is often worn over a sarong batik, a vibrant colored fabric with tropical floral patterns that are produced from dye or carefully hand-painted. An exquisite silver/gold-colored brooch is pinned to the blouse and matched with a silver belt to complete the look.
Matching the vintage kebaya top with a pair of ripped denim jeans is an ultimate game changer! It’s an exciting combination of Eastern and Western elements in a single outfit. The intricate details of the kebaya blouse worn over a pair of distressed jeans can turn out to be the perfect ensemble for a casual day out.
Casual Ripped Beggar Jeans
4. Cheongsam, China
The cheongsam is a sophisticated one-piece slip on dress that features a high mandarin collar and buttons that are nicely aligned across the right side of the upper chest. This body-fitted dress with a seductive high side slit is designed with sensual fabrics such as silk or satin, embellished with the Chinese symbolism of opulence such as dragons and phoenixes. The classy slim fit Chinese-inspired dress which embraces your curves is properly tailored to accentuate the beauty and softness of a woman.
You can easily elevate this sexy and luxurious look simply by putting on a pair of killer high heel pumps. Just as a pair of heels will make your legs appear longer and leaner, having them peeping through the high slits of the cheongsam is undeniably flirtatious. The overall look will bound to turn heads as you strut down the streets feeling like a million bucks.
High Heel Paillette Pumps
5. Ao Dai, Vietnam
The alluring beauty of the Ao Dai will leave an unforgettable impression in people’s minds. This uniquely Vietnamese attire composing of a tight fitted bodice and slits on the side, creating a flowy two-panel tunic from the waist down, will radiate a feminine appeal. In similar fashion to the cheongsam, the ao dai also has a high vintage mandarin collar. The ankle-length tunic with long raglan sleeves is worn over flare-legged trousers.
Not only does carrying a simple and petite handbag to go with the ao dai will be practically convenient, it also makes you look effortlessly chic. Just some more options to further add to this glorious outfit, a simple pair of high heels will also do the trick. Every woman needs a versatile and go-anywhere pair of heels. They’re one of the closet staples!
Minimalistic Convertible Satchel
There’s no better way to embrace a national culture and take pride in it than to incorporate them as part of your daily wardrobe. Think about it, wouldn’t it be interesting to see an outfit with a blend of traditional and modern culture? Or a fashion style of ‘When the East meets West?’ Dare to be different, innovate and revamp these traditional outfits with a few modern touches! The idea behind the contrast is to create a new and distinctive look that makes you unique.