Hmong Outfit Series :: Black Hmong Sapa

Hi, Everyone! Even though, Hmong New Year is barely over I’m already thinking about what I’m wearing. There were a couple of outfits that I had ready but didn’t get to wear. Apparently there weren’t enough days. Also I wasn’t able to go all of days for Fresno New Year. I drove back to the bay on the first and one day I had a photoshoot scheduled. Today, I’m sharing a Hmong outfit from Sapa as part of my Hmong Outfit Series

Hmong-Outfit-Series-Sapa-03-scaled-1024x682 Hmong Outfit Series :: Black Hmong Sapa HMONG Hmong Outfit Series

:: Black Hmong Sapa ::

Black Hmong of  Sapa live in Lao Cai province of Vietnam and are distinguished by their “black” clothing. The clothing appears black due to the dark indigo dyes that are used. There are quite a bit of groups of Hmong that are referred to as Black Hmong due to their dark clothing or due to their dialect. This group is different from another Black Hmong group in Vietnam in Son La province and Laos in Sam Neua province. 

Hmong-Outfit-Series-Sapa-01-scaled-1024x682 Hmong Outfit Series :: Black Hmong Sapa HMONG Hmong Outfit Series

:: Indigo ::

Women wear a jacket with embroidered sleeves and a vest on top with an embroidered collar. Fancier jackets have embroidery and applique across the back and shoulders similar to the jackets/shirts that the Hmong Leng Yen Bai wear. The embroidery on their jackets and collars usually consists of dark colors outlined in black. The fabric is made out of hemp that has to be softened before it is woven into fabric. Afterwards the fabric is dyed with indigo giving a very dark appearance. Some jackets look shiny because they are covered with beeswax. 

Hmong-Outfit-Series-Sapa-06-scaled-1024x682 Hmong Outfit Series :: Black Hmong Sapa HMONG Hmong Outfit Series

:: Shorts ::

This is one of the only Hmong groups that I’ve seen wearing short trousers.  The shorts, jacket, and vest are held together with an embroidered belt with hemp ends. Additionally, Hmong Leng Sapa wrap their legs with nrhoob. Originally they wore a skirt with an apron but eventually transitioned to shorts with the overlapped jacket and vest. I personally love looking at how Hmong clothes change over the years and the fluidity shaped by culture, environment, and access to resources. 

Hmong-Outfit-Series-Sapa-05-scaled-1024x682 Hmong Outfit Series :: Black Hmong Sapa HMONG Hmong Outfit Series

:: Outfit Details ::

Hmong Leng Sapa Jacket / Tsho

Hmong Leng Sapa Vest

Shorts 

Belt

Leg Wraps / Nrhoob 

Traditionally they wear a black head wrap that consist of yards of fabric wrapped several times. Similarly to the Flower Hmong and Hmong Leng Yen Bai they will sometimes wear a brightly colored plaid headscarf. 

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:: Photography ::

Alexandria Castrovillari

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Thank you for reading! I didn’t really make official New Year’s Resolutions this year, but I’m hoping that I can update my blog more regularly. This Hmong Outfit Series is special to me and I have outfits that have yet to be photographed. Also, I’m trying to buy less since I’m running out of room. However, I will probably change my mind since there are various outfits from Vietnam and China that I really want. Stay tuned for my next post! I still have a super over due Lululemon post…

 

Fresno Hmong New Year :: Outfits & End of a Decade

Hmong Vintage Outfit

Hi Everyone! Today is the last day that I’ll be attending Hmong New Year in Fresno and the last day of the year and decade! This year I wasn’t able to explore as much during Hmong New Year as I wanted because of other commitments. However, I still made the most of it and can’t wait to start the new year. I wasn’t able to plan as many shoots as I wanted during my break, but stay tuned for another Hmong Outfit Series post next month.

:: Day 1 ::

Hmong-New-Year-Day-01-04-685x1024 Fresno Hmong New Year :: Outfits & End of a Decade HMONG OUTFITS

For the first day of Hmong New Year I wore an outfit from the Luang Prabang Province of Laos. I wish I took pictures of the back of the outfit. This outfit is near and dear to me and I have many different versions but always end up wearing my blue one.

:: Outfit Details ::

Phuam

White Hmong Luang Prabang Outfit

:: Day 2 ::

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This outfit was vibrant and my second Hmong Thai Outfit! Part of me wished I wore a green money belt to bring out the green in the apron and skirt.

:: Outfit Details ::

Hmong Thai Outfit size 36

Hmong Thai Skirt altered to (38 X 18)

Money Belt

Xauv

:: Day 3 ::
Hmong-New-Year-Day-03-01-684x1024 Fresno Hmong New Year :: Outfits & End of a Decade HMONG OUTFITS

This outfit was one of more simple outfits but I love the contrast of black and red. Additionally, there is more focus on the skirt.

:: Outfit Details ::

Hmong Leng Sam Neua Outfit

Skirt (38 X 18)

:: Day 4 ::

Hmong-Outfit-Series-Yen-Bai-10-1024x683 Fresno Hmong New Year :: Outfits & End of a Decade HMONG OUTFITS

I’m inserting a picture from my Hmong Leng Yen Bai shoot since I wasn’t able to take a photo this day at Hmong New Year. This is one of my favorite outfits and I can’t wait to find a reason to wear it again.

:: Outfit Details ::

Hmong Leng Yen Bai Shirt size 36

Money Belt

Skirt altered to (38 X18)

:: Day 6 ::

Hmong-New-Year-Day-06-01-682x1024 Fresno Hmong New Year :: Outfits & End of a Decade HMONG OUTFITS

Originally, I bought this skirt just to wear once but it grew on me. I paired it with a vintage outfit with sequins.

:: Outfit Details ::

Vintage Hmong Outfit

Skirt (38 X18)

Money Belt

Phuam

Thank you for reading! I’m halfway done with grad school and I can’t wait to have a consistent workout routine again. I miss lifting and wearing leggings.

Hmong Outfit Series :: Hmong Leng Yen Bai

Hmong Leng Yen Bai

Hi, everyone! It’s been a while since my last Hmong Outfit Series Post. I have a couple of outfits to share over the next couple of months with you all. Today, I am featuring one of my favorite outfits, Hmong Leng of Yen Bai. 

:: Yen Bai ::

Hmong Leng Yen Bai live in Northern Vietnam and dark earthy colors distinguish them from other Hmong groups. Their outfits have some similarities to the Hmong Leng in Sapa.

Hmong-Outfit-Series-Yen-Bai-04-1024x683 Hmong Outfit Series :: Hmong Leng Yen Bai HMONG Hmong Outfit Series

The Hmong Leng Yen Bai shirts have a royal blue collar and sleeves with batik, applique, and embroidery on the back and shoulders. My shirt is quite simple and made more on the modern side with fitted seams. I love the embroidery on the belt. There is a mixture of cross stitch and chain stitch embroidery and the ends of the belt are made out of hemp dyed with indigo. 

Hmong-Outfit-Series-Yen-Bai-06-1024x683 Hmong Outfit Series :: Hmong Leng Yen Bai HMONG Hmong Outfit Series

:: Skirt ::

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The batik design on the middle of the skirt is quite simple on my skirt consisting of dots and lines. The more expensive skirts have a more complicated design and the batik design seems to vary. Unlike the Hmong Leng in Laos and Thailand, the colors used in the embroidery of the bottom of the skirt is made with earth-toned colors instead of bright pinks, oranges, and yellow.  I almost bought a skirt that had more purple and dark blue in the embroidery but I wanted a bit of variation in my collection. My skirt has red, white, and black cotton applique lines on the taab tab with some red and blue rectangles. The embroidery consists of brown, white, and black cross-stitch.

Hmong-Outfit-Series-Yen-Bai-11-1024x683 Hmong Outfit Series :: Hmong Leng Yen Bai HMONG Hmong Outfit Series

The original skirt that I bought had a waistband made out of hemp but I had the waistband of the skirt altered since I wanted the skirt shorter and not as wide. I usually have Crossroads by Nancy’s mom alter my skirts for me. I understand the process but love her work so I just bring skirts for her to alter for me so that they fit better. She also makes one of the prettiest white pleated skirts. So far I haven’t found anyone that makes white skirts better than hers. High quality and extremely flattering.

Hmong-Outfit-Series-Yen-Bai-12-1024x683 Hmong Outfit Series :: Hmong Leng Yen Bai HMONG Hmong Outfit Series

:: Hat ::

Hmong Leng Yen Bai wear a black head wrap that is wrapped multiple times with paj ntaub on top similar to their belt. Usually, the head wrap is decorated with coins. For everyday wear, they opt to wear a colorful plaid headscarf.

Hmong-Outfit-Series-Yen-Bai-02-1024x683 Hmong Outfit Series :: Hmong Leng Yen Bai HMONG Hmong Outfit Series

:: Outfit Details ::

Hmong Leng Yen Bai Shirt / Tsho & Apron / Sev

Belt / Hlab

Skirt ( 38 X 17)

Leg Wrap / Nrhoob

Hat/ Phuam

Hmong-Outfit-Series-Yen-Bai-08-1024x683 Hmong Outfit Series :: Hmong Leng Yen Bai HMONG Hmong Outfit Series

:: Photography ::

Alexandria Castrovillari 

Thank you for reading! Fresno New Year is here and I can’t wait to share the outfits that I’m wearing. I will be wearing this outfit one of the many days that I am attending. If you want to see what I wore last year click here.

Hmong-Outfit-Series-Yen-Bai-09-1024x683 Hmong Outfit Series :: Hmong Leng Yen Bai HMONG Hmong Outfit Series

 

Hmong Princess Hat :: Sequins & Beads

Hmong Princess Hat

Hi, everyone! Fresno New Year is finally here. Today, I’m sharing my princess hat. This has been highly requested since I’ve been teasing with pictures and videos of the tedious process of making my very own. Honestly, it took me about a little over a month to make. First my pattern was too small and my 2nd attempt it was going to be too large but on my 3rd try I made it just right. I guess the Goldilocks method works.

Unfortunately, I won’t be making more of this hat or selling this hat. There are other vendors out there that sell a sequin princess hat just with less sequins. Like I’ve stated before it’s not profitable for me to sell, and in the upcoming months I simply won’t have the time. Stay tuned for my Fresno Hmong New Year!

A2A0675-683x1024 Hmong Princess Hat :: Sequins & Beads DIY HMONG

But first, let’s take a couple of seconds to highlight this skirt. I special ordered this skirt from Nplias Lis Vaj because I wanted a tiered pleated maxi skirt with volume. Mostly for fun outfit ideas and on the rare occasions I want to wear something more modern even though deep down I prefer traditional.

A2A0676-683x1024 Hmong Princess Hat :: Sequins & Beads DIY HMONG

:: Princess Hat ::

Originally I wanted multiple colored flower cap beads to match the pattern of the sequins of my hat but I couldn’t find more colors of the flower cap beads. Asia Supermarket in Fresno only had blue, orange, and pink. So sadly, I settled for blue which is still a little bit of win in my book since blue is my favorite color.

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Princess Hats were popular in the late 80s and 90s. They usually consists of cross stitch embroidery, appliqué, and beads. I still have my childhood princess hat stored with some of my favorite outfits as child.

:: Basic Steps for Princess Hat ::

  1. Complete Embroidery
  2. Iron on interface
  3. (Apply sequins if needed)
  4. Bind the hat
  5. Sew trim on top
  6. Bead the hat
  7. Line the hat
  8. Sew the back of the hat shut
  9. Attach rows of beads in the middle of the hat if needed to help hat hold it’s shape

Also keep in mind the steps are more of a loose guideline. It’s how I made my hat but it’s not the only way. I forgot to take pictures of the entire process but here are a couple of closeups.

IMG_0211-copy-1024x768 Hmong Princess Hat :: Sequins & Beads DIY HMONG

IMG_0449-1024x768 Hmong Princess Hat :: Sequins & Beads DIY HMONG

After looking at some of the pictures, I might end up sewing the back a little bit more so the gap isn’t as big. Depends on if I have time before Hmong New Year.

A2A0696-643x1024 Hmong Princess Hat :: Sequins & Beads DIY HMONG

:: Outfit Details ::

Princess Hat

Necklace/ Xauv

Sash/ Hlab 

Hmong Skirt/ Tiab (36 X 36)

A2A0679-683x1024 Hmong Princess Hat :: Sequins & Beads DIY HMONG

Thank you for reading! As the year comes to a close, I want to acknowledge everyone who helped me with my various projects and those that gave me words of encouragement and criticism. I completed outfits while pushing some off to the distant future, and explored my sense of self. For me sewing is much more than making pretty things, it’s a form expression, an art form, and multiple opportunities for improvement. Documenting my journey is completely allows me to jog my memory so I don’t forget. Apparently, I’m not known to be minimalist. I might not be able to actively construct things but if there’s enough interest and content with my mediocre drawing skills- tutorials can continue. I still owe a couple pattern drafting tutorials as well. There will be a slight pause in Hmong Outfit Series posts.

A2A0702-683x1024 Hmong Princess Hat :: Sequins & Beads DIY HMONG

Hmong Outfit :: Red Appliqué & Zig Zags

Hmong Leng Sam Neua

Hi, everyone! I have an epiphanous realization that I have prepared too many outfits for Hmong New Year. Some outfits are a part of my Hmong Outfit Series and others are part of my creative outlet. As I type this post, I see that my fabric purchases don’t seem to be twindling. There’s a lot of outfits on my list and I’m trying to finish them during my break because I won’t be able to sew for a while. Today, I’m sharing an outfit that I made inspired by the Hmong Leng Sam Neua. It’s not completely traditional but contains most of the pieces of Hmong Leng from this region. 

A2A0653-683x1024 Hmong Outfit :: Red Appliqué & Zig Zags DIY HMONG Hmong Outfit Series

:: Hmong Leng Sam Neua ::

This group lives in Northeastern Laos near the Vietnam border in the province Sam Neua. They wear their hair in large hair buns like the Hmong Leng Dien Bien/ Lai Chau in Vietnam. I like the detail on the front of the shirt. The applique doesn’t run straight on both sides but zigzags on one side and the zig zag faces differently than the Hmong Leng of Thailand. It’s typically folded over, but I sewed mine flat on the front of the shirt. I opted to do this because I think it looks cleaner and I like it lying flat and flush against the shirt.

A2A0633-620x1024 Hmong Outfit :: Red Appliqué & Zig Zags DIY HMONG Hmong Outfit Series

The shirt has black cuffs instead of the dark blue cuff like the Hmong Leng of Xieng Khouang, and Hmoob Moos Pheeb. Typically the sleeve is a full length sleeve. I did the appliqué of the shirt by hand and that was a very tedious process. My appliqué skills are also quite basic so it doesn’t look very pretty up close. Usually, in the very middle of the appliqué row  there is embroidery or appliqué triangles. I chose to embroider stars.

The video I linked below shows a Hmong girl getting dressed in the Hmong Leng Sam Neua style.

 

A2A0639-649x1024 Hmong Outfit :: Red Appliqué & Zig Zags DIY HMONG Hmong Outfit Series

Like the various Hmong Leng groups of Laos their dab tsho is sewn face down. Instead of tying their sash, they wrap it around the waist multiple times. 

A2A0646-683x1024 Hmong Outfit :: Red Appliqué & Zig Zags DIY HMONG Hmong Outfit Series

:: Skirt ::

The skirt that I’m wearing is not exactly authentic. It’s the closest skirt that I had in my collection to the Hmong Leng Sam Neua skirt. Hmong Leng Sam Neua wear skirts with rows of red appliqué in between the spaces of the batik design. Straight lines, zig zags, and criss crossing lines are appliquéd on the middle of the skirt.

A2A0658-773x1024 Hmong Outfit :: Red Appliqué & Zig Zags DIY HMONG Hmong Outfit Series

Pictured below is an authentic skirt. My skirt lacks the red appliqué rectangles on the bottom of the skirt or the taw tiab/ taab tab. The bottom of the Hmong Leng Sam Neua skirt consists of cross stitch embroidery- usually yellow, orange, red, and white and appliqué. In-between the embroidery space is left to appliqué red rectangles.

IMG_1605 Hmong Outfit :: Red Appliqué & Zig Zags DIY HMONG Hmong Outfit Series

Maybe when I wear this outfit next year, I’ll take the time to put my hair up in a large hair bun.

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Traditionally, this outfit pairs with leg wraps or nrhoob. Long triangles of hemp fabric dyed indigo are wrapped around the legs. Inwards for the living and outwards for the dead. I added some red ribbon on the top for decoration.

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:: Outfit Details ::

Hmoob Leng Sam Neua Outfit

Sash/ Hlab 

Hmong Skirt/ Tiab (38 X 18)

Leg Wrap / Nrhoob

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:: Photography ::

Uncle Sai Photography

Thank you for reading! Merced New Year is here and I can’t wait for the grand finale of Fresno Hmong New year. It took me a while to decide which outfits to wear for Fresno Hmong New Year, but I’m proud to say I’m ready and no longer questioning my decisions. I can’t wait to share with you all my outfits for this year. If you want to see the outfits I wore last year click here. Next week, I’ll showcase my sequin princess hat!

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DIY :: How to make a Hmong Sash

IMG_0188edit-768x1024 DIY :: How to make a Hmong Sash DIY HMONG

:: Hmong Sash ::

Happy Friday, everyone! Today, I’m sharing a tutorial on how to make a Hmong sash. I have a variety of sashes, traditional and modern. Some wrap around multiple times others just once. Some tied or pinned.

I made a modern sash but instead of the flat ends or tails, I wanted a gathered look in the back. Basically I wanted it to look like I was wearing two sashes that are tied but I didn’t want a knot in the back. This method allows me to take out the bulk.

:: Materials ::

Blue Sequin Fabric

Blue Chiffon Fabric

Interface

: Instructions ::

  1. For the waistband, cut the sequin fabric into a 54 inch by  8.75 inch rectangle.

    IMG_0174edit-731x1024 DIY :: How to make a Hmong Sash DIY HMONG

  2. Iron interface onto the wrong side of the fabric and leave a 3/8 inseam.
  3. Fold the waistband in half lengthwise and fold 3/8 of the top and bottom in.
  4. Cut 2 smaller rectangles from the sequin fabric and 2 smaller rectangles from the chiffon fabric.
  5. Hem the 3 edges and leave about an inch from the top of each rectangle.
  6. Gather the top of each rectangle.IMG_0177edit-1024x768 DIY :: How to make a Hmong Sash DIY HMONG

    IMG_0178edit-1024x768 DIY :: How to make a Hmong Sash DIY HMONG

  7. Place inside of of waistband and pin into place.

    IMG_0181edit-768x1024 DIY :: How to make a Hmong Sash DIY HMONG

    (Note: The waist band is the same color as the sequin tails, the lighting when I took the photo made it look kind of off)

  8. Sew the sides and bottom of waistband

    IMG_0188edit-768x1024 DIY :: How to make a Hmong Sash DIY HMONG

TIP: When working with this sequin fabric, make sure to use the slowest setting on your sewing machine. The sequins are glued onto the mesh so as the needle goes through the sequins it can get really hot and gummy. So work slow, use a longer stitch setting, and clean the needle often.

Thank you for reading my tutorial on how to make a Hmong sash! You can change the the dimensions based on your own measurements. I usually position the tails on the sash so that when wrapped around my waist, the end of the waistband ends on my side. This allows me to hide the end and then the sash looks pretty from the front and back! If I wear a hlab nyiaj on top it also hides it as well.

Phuam Paj Ntaub Cog Ci :: Sparkly Sequins & Shiny Blue

Phuam Paj Ntaub Cog Ci

DSC_0410final-1024x731 Phuam Paj Ntaub Cog Ci :: Sparkly Sequins & Shiny Blue DIY HMONG

Happy Thursday, everyone! Last summer I made a traditional hat or phuam paj shown in this post, and I decided to make another more glam version incorporating my favorite color blue. Adds a little bit of variation to my collection. DSC_0412final-1024x731 Phuam Paj Ntaub Cog Ci :: Sparkly Sequins & Shiny Blue DIY HMONG

:: Phuam Paj ::

This hat is based on phuam paj a type of head wrap worn by white Hmong that lives in the region known as Tsua Noog Roov towards the Khammoune region of Laos. My favorite thing to make besides making aprons specifically sev plooj are hats. They take a little bit more time but I enjoy the freedom to customize. It’s a liberating creative outlet. I can add little details and ensure quality.

DSC_0413finaledit-1024x731 Phuam Paj Ntaub Cog Ci :: Sparkly Sequins & Shiny Blue DIY HMONG

:: Floating Sequins ::

I love the vibrant colors that are showcased in traditional head wraps and now that paj ntaub cog ci is trending again I wanted to combine the two. My trick to making sequins pop and catch more light is to attach the sequins to the aida cloth with fishing line instead of thread.  I always found colored thread distracting, but most people don’t mind.

DSC_0418final-1024x731 Phuam Paj Ntaub Cog Ci :: Sparkly Sequins & Shiny Blue DIY HMONG

Usually the siv ceeb on the phuam paj is the regular black and white or sparkly black and white. I decided to add one with some blue to bring out the blue fringe of the hat. Additionally, I layered a sequin trim on top to add a little more shine to the hat. Now that I completed this hat, I need to work on finishing my other sequin outfits if I want to wear them this year for Hmong New Year. I have 2 left to make, but most likely I’ll finish one and save the other one for next year.

DSC_0415final-1024x683 Phuam Paj Ntaub Cog Ci :: Sparkly Sequins & Shiny Blue DIY HMONG :: Model ::

Ka Vang

Thank you for reading! Make sure to follow me on Facebook and Instagram. Once I hit 300 likes on Facebook I’ll be hosting a little xauv giveaway. Next update will most likely be another Hmong Outfit Series Post.

Hmong Outfit Series :: Sequin & Stripes

IMG_7900-683x1024 Hmong Outfit Series :: Sequin & Stripes DIY HMONG Hmong Outfit Series

Hi, Everyone! It’s been a while since my last post on the blog and my last update of my Hmong Outfit Series. I was busy traveling and working on this piece. This is my first time making a Stripe Hmong outfit and sequin outfit. I love how paj ntaub cog ci is coming back and trending and I wanted to do a couple of takes on it. Add a little twist while challenging myself.

During the process, I questioned my own thought process and weighed the pros and cons of making my own outfit. All in all the biggest thing that I get out of making my own outfit is the little pat on the back that I give myself and sense of accomplishment. I actually committed to my idea and followed through. Additionally, it’s like a fun puzzle for me and I’m rewarded with a semi decent outfit.

IMG_8010-672x1024 Hmong Outfit Series :: Sequin & Stripes DIY HMONG Hmong Outfit Series

:: Stripe Hmong ::

This outfit is based off Hmoob Txaij or Stripe Hmong from Sam Neua/Phongsali province in Laos. Their outfit is distinguished by the bands on their sleeves and they usually wear a heavier xauv than the Hmong in Sayaboury and Luang Prabang.This is one of my favorite xauv because of the tiers and slight tapering. It’s a more feminine take as the traditional xauv are heavier and can be a little bulky. I’ll show a traditional real silver one in a future post.

IMG_7958-683x1024 Hmong Outfit Series :: Sequin & Stripes DIY HMONG Hmong Outfit Series

I opted to make my outfit paired with a skirt for mostly aesthetic reasons and sheer laziness. Typically the outfit is worn with pants and the skirt is for special occasions or during burial rites. When paired with pants, there are two aprons with one in the back and one in the front. There are two sashes – usually pink and green and both are tied in the back. My sashes are a little long for my liking, I dressed myself for the photos and couldn’t adjust my sashes to my satisfaction. It always looks better when my mom helps me.

IMG_7978-676x1024 Hmong Outfit Series :: Sequin & Stripes DIY HMONG Hmong Outfit Series

This hat was a fun addition. Originally I was planning on buying one but I decided that it would only be fitting if I made one and added sequins! Honestly, I don’t even know if I made the hat correctly. I would probably make it better if I knew how it was traditionally wrapped.

IMG_8033-Edit-683x1024 Hmong Outfit Series :: Sequin & Stripes DIY HMONG Hmong Outfit Series

:: Outfit Details ::

Miao Silver Hair Accessories

Stripe Hmong Outfit

Sequin Sashes

Xauv

Crossroads by Nancy White Pleated Skirt (37 X17.5)

Thank you for reading! I wanted to update my blog before my trip. Make sure to follow me on Facebook and Instagram. Once I hit 300 likes on Facebook I’ll be hosting a little xauv giveaway.

:: Photography ::

Star Pictures Studio