Published: 04:48 Saturday - September 10, 2011
Ao yem is a simple garment with many variations forms. Its basic form is a simple with a diamond or square-cut piece of cloth draped over a woman’s chest with strings to tie at the neck and back.
Ao Yem is made from the various materials. It has a lot of colors based on person’s rank and the occasion. In daily days, the women usually wore black or white Ao Yem but in the special occasions, brighter colors as red and pink could be chose. Indeed, the charming of the women in their “Yem Dao” has created the inspiration for many Vietnamese poets.
The bottom of most Ao Yem are v-shaped, there are different styles for the top of the garment, “Yếm cổ xây”, or the deep v-shaped neck style, called “Yếm cổ sẻ” is the most popular. “Yếm đeo bùa” is another type of Yem has a little pocket within, where women often use to store a little musk or perfume.
Its origin is not sure, although many people said that it originated from the China, since in ancient China had a similar garment. The Ao Yem has existed since at least 12th century it is an essential part of the áo tứ thân costume worn by northern Vietnamese women. Different from other Vietnamese costumes in feudalistic Vietnam, áo yếm were worn as an undergarment by Vietnamese women in daily life, from peasant women toiling in the fields to imperial consorts.