The outfit is usually decorated with five basic colours, but red is the most prominent.
According to custom, Red Dao women wear an indigo or black tunic made of four sections with the sleeves directly attached to its body. The tunic's front edges and hem are richly embroidered with patterns and designs created in red thread.
The hem of the upper bodice is adorned with strings of glass beads and red tassles and the sleeve cuffs are embroidered in red and white thread. The lower part of the tunic falls below the embroidered hem, giving the appearance of another, longer under-tunic. The Red Dao women also wear a brassiere with an embroidered round neck and two straps in the middle that fasten in the back.
Red Dao men wear both a long and short tunic. The short tunic has patterns embroidered on the front and back, as well as around the neck. The front of the short tunic features silver flower-shaped buttons and two rows of red cotton tassels, which present a very impressive figure.
Red Dao turbans are decorated with five-layered floral patterns and folded into a square in the centre, highlighting its charm.
Popular patterns for decorating the costume's belt, which is wrapped around the waist three or four times then fastened in the back, are tiger footprints, pipe trees, and figures in traditional dress.
The costume's trousers are intricately embroidered along the lower edges with various patterns and designs composed of red, yellow and white squares as well as rectangles, pipe trees, Wan script and canarium fruit, while the upper part of the trousers are plain black, which lends the whole outfit a harmonious balance.
The traditional costume of the Red Dao represents their diligence, patience, skill creativity and imagination, as well as their exceptional aesthetic sense for colour and composition that is a unique feature of this ethnic group.