Evolution of Vietnamese Men’s Clothing in the Past 100 Years

During Vietnam history and culture, not only the costumes for women have changed drastically in the past 100 years, the style and clothing of the men have also witnessed varied variations in both designs, materials and accessories. This change is affected by the economic and social context.

From the 1910s – 1930s

Men’s clothing in this period increasingly embraced the body rather than the square, baggy shape as in the 1900s. This was more evident during the 1920 – 1930s. At that time, World War I had a strong influence on the economy, forcing the world fashion industry to “tighten its belts” and minimizing the number of fabrics to save costs.The color used on the costume also varies from bright to deep colors. Trends were often inspired by the costumes of former military personnel and famous golfers.

From 1940s – 1960s


Men’s clothing after 1945 (Source: Google)

This period in Vietnam history and culture continued to witness the “shrinkage” of clothing for men. World War II in the 1940s had a profound effect on the way men dressed. Suit for men was designed in a limited number to save costs. If there had been a production, the tailor wouldn’t have made two-button designs anymore and suits were worn only to important events.

Until the year of 1950, five years after the end of the war, the fashion industry for men boomed with a lot of “dusty” and comfortable trends. The boys were keen on wearing the style of “bad boys” with white t-shirts, leather jackets, jeans and sneakers. From 1964 onwards, men’s fashion has continued to change dramatically. Men’s pants are getting tighter, especially at thighs and buttocks.

The 1970s

This period was considered a revolutionary for men’s fashion. The colors on the outfit became more brilliant. The most common material is polyester. Like women, men in this age were especially fond of body-worn pants. Flat shoes were the most popular accessories this time. In addition, men who lived in the 1970s also preferred to have chest hair and beard.

From 1980s – 1990s


How Vietnamese men dressed formally and politely with vest (Source: Google)

This period showed a decline of fashion for men. Clothes no longer emphasized the enhancement of body shape but focused on providing comfort. Hence, most of them were made from soft fabric and had A-shape.

Furthermore, trousers, shirts and especially the imported Western vest had been used widely by Vietnamese men during this period. If in the first period of renovation, the suit was only worn by men for important occasions, today it has become the familiar and popular outfit of Vietnamese men.

According to historians, around the early 80s of the 19th century, skillful tailors in Hanoi discreetly learned and observed the sewing techniques of the first vests under the order of French soldiers. At first, only the wealthy class was able to afford a vest and dressed up for very formal and major occasions. Besides, the suit was considered the default dress for the groom on their big day. While the bride can choose a wide range of outfits like dresses or the traditional Aodai, the groom is always dressed up in a vest.

During this period in Vietnam history and culture, suit for men was often sewn in a way that provided comfort to its wearers. The way “a gentleman” dressed was also extremely polite and formal with a white shirt and a cravat.

From the 2000s to now


Changes in styles and colors of a modern suit (Source: Google)

Entering the new millennium with the rapid development in technology took place at the time has inspired the fashion world to invent numerous designswhich carry the “scientific breath” like the appearance of metallic materialin the early 2000s.

Afterwards, other trends such as military and sport wear, became more and more popular with men. By the fall of 2010, men’s fashion marked the return of fashion trends from the 1960s-1970s. Men’s clothing also bundles back.

The variation of men’s clothing does not only stop at the style or design, but also in the richness in matching clothing items. Things were regarded as ‘taboos’ in the past have gained its popularity and favor in the fashion industry. For example, instead of wearing a suit with the traditional white shirt, trousers and cravat, men express their creativity by combining vest with T-shirt and jeans. Besides, a suit does not always have to go with shiny leather shoes and can be replaced by “dusty” sports shoes.

Through various changes and variations, men’s costumes play an indispensable part in enhancing the strong and masculine beauty of Vietnamese men in Vietnam history and culture

Tuong Vi











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