Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Matters of the Cloth

The ao dai (pronounced roughly "ow yie") is traditional Vietnamese women's attire. I had one made for me three years ago, and decided to get another one made now. Here it is, modeled in the store, last night. After the husband took this shot, I realized that the black daypack against the black slacks was probably not a good thing, but since I think I look fat in the photo sans daypack, this one will have to do. (The other photo is online, and if you can find it you can see it and how fat I look.)

This ao dai has embroidery on the front of flowers representing the four seasons. At the top is the current season, spring. Beneath that is a flower representing summer. Next down is autumn, followed by winter. The silk of the ao dai is a greenish blue, and the blue is what shows up in the embroidery closeups. The green tone is truer in the whole-body shot. It is a good thing I ordered this ao dai when I did because the university came in yesterday and ordered all the rest of the silk in that color for pants to be worn under white ao dais by some of the women at an upcoming celebration of the school's 55th anniversary.

And speaking of the whole-body shot, I was informed in no uncertain terms by the ladies in the silk shop that I need to get a "real" bra that will lift my breasts to the proper level if I want the cut of the ao dai to look as it should. I didn't want to get into a discussion of why my sports bras don't count as "real." I guess I'll add "find real bra" to my list of things to do when I get home, though it may not happen until an occasion on which to wear this arises.

While at the silk shop to pick up the ao dai last night, the husband ordered two tailored cotton dress shirts. From some catalog pages (sorry, J. Jill, but it's cheaper to get your look here than at home), I ordered three linen shirts ("big shirts" in catalog jargon), two pairs of linen slacks, one linen pencil skirt, and one loosely flowing silk skirt, all tailored to me as I measured last night. I'll offer a contest here in the fine print to people who have read all the way to the end. Guess in the comments to this blog or in an email or Facebook message to me what you think the above items all together cost (excluding the ao dai, which was $70). Closest guess without going over will get a silk scarf in the color of their choice. Entries close at 4:00 a.m. Hue time on Friday, which is 5:00 p.m. Thursday in Virginia. Include the color scarf you want with your guess, and I'll pick one up for the winner when I pick up the clothes on Friday. (We'll be going in tomorrow for interim fittings.) Scarf to be given in person or mailed as appropriate either on my way home (an Aussie could win this) or when I get home.


3 kats and a kwiltr said...

Since I don't think you could look fat if you tried, I think that look is absolutely lovely on you and I love the colors!

I'll play and guess that the cost of your new clothing to be $245. I didn't include your hubby's two shirts, so I may be way off.
Enjoying the blog-thanks for sharing this part of your life with us.

Nann said...

I wonder what Vietnamese women wore before they adopted European/Western underwear....I think your new duds cost $125, total. And I like cool colors (blue/teal/purple).

Debi said...

I've got to second what Anna said above--you couldn't possibly look fat if you tried!

Oh my goodness, how lovely your ao dai is...seriously stunning!!! And to hell with "real" bras--you look incredible in it, Jean!!! Honestly, absolutely beautiful!

As you already spoiled our gang on your last trip, I do not want to be entered in the contest...but I want to guess just for the heck of it anyway...$194.

vanessa said...

Lovely Jean, how much fun to have custom tailored things. I am going to guess your purchased totaled $204 us dollars. As for scarf colors, I love jewel tone colors. Hope you continue to have a lovely time.

Jayne said...

You never look fat to me! The ensemble is simply lovely to behold, which is a tribute not only to the tailors but to the model!! And my guess is $100. Color for the scarf? I will let you choose - and you can deliver it when you are here next fall!

Janet said...

Guessing $95.00. Don't need a scarf, but would consider fine silk thread if it's reasonably priced (assuming I win of course)--I just used some YLI 100-wt for machine quilting and it's luscious!

Va said...

#1, having made my own ao dai 40some years ago with green silk brought too me from Thailand, I can identify with the look and the feel of wearing one. I also made white silk slim pants! It was a few years later that I discovered I could no longer fit in them - regrettably. But the good memories linger!
#2 - I will be ready to join you in a return visit to K-Mart's lingerie department in May!

Too late for a guess that wins a scarf, but $167.