In the old days, “Yem Dao” was used to imply a typical Vietnamese undergarment worn by Vietnamese women from all walks of life. The origin of this unique costume is still unclear, but many researchers have shown that the first version of “yem” appeared in the 12th century under Ly dynasty.
Vietnam Yem Dao
Over time, the design has been remarkably changed. During 18th -19th century, “yem dao” was a square or diamond piece of cloth crossing woman’s chest with strings to tie at the neck and back. Seeing the color of “yem”, you can guess something about the wearer: labors usually wore brown bra which was made of coarse cloth. Educated girls wore multi-colored, discreetly elegant bra. Older people preferred dark colors.
“Yem dao” was usually in combination with a long blouse or shirt or worn with Ao Tu Than (four-panel dress). Although modern Vietnamese woman now no longer wears this brassiere, ‘yem dao’ still play a vital part of various traditional performances, as an embodiment of seductiveness and femininity of the Vietnamese woman.