It has long been said that Ao Ba Ba becomes a symbol of the gentle soul and the elegant beauty of Vietnamese women, especially in the Southern rural areas of Vietnam. Compared with other Vietnamese traditional costume, this special casual wear is assumed to be simpler and easier to make.
It is simply consists of a pair of silk pants and a long-sleeved shirt with two flaps split equally at the two sides of the waist. The front part of the shirt is usually decorated with a middle button line and two pockets at the bottom. This costume is made of silk or soft fabrics and has versatile design varying with the colors used to make this attire. Dark colors, such as black and brow are used for working clothes. Bright and colorful outfits are for special occasions like festivals and cultural performances.
In the Southern countryside, “Ao Ba Ba” is usually combined with “Khan Ran” - a long Vietnamese black and white checkered scarf made of round material and conical hat. In the past, Vietnamese peasants used to wear this costume when working in their farms. Nowadays, it is no longer regularly used as it was in the old days, but it still be used in special occasions like festivals and remains a crucial part in the cultural and spiritual life of Vietnamese people.