Vietnamese wear ao dai for formal occasions, at school or for work. The male counterpart to the ao dai is called an ao gam. The ao dai is found in every part of Vietnam, and in overseas Vietnamese communities. The prefix áo classifies the item as clothing. Dài means "long." Once condemned as decadent by the country's rulers, the dress became popular again in the 1990s.
A modern ao dai has two parts, a high collared long dress, and pants that stop at the ankles. Costume and evening-gown áo dài may have colorful designs with flowers, birds, and pictures.
The price of an evening gown ao dai is reasonable, but may be expensive depending on the choice of fabric and the dressmaker.