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The Diversity of Malay Traditional Wear

Home to people of different races and religions, Malaysia is blessed with diversity that brings about various cultural elements. Such rich ethnic influences inspired a lot of things and one of the things that was (and still is!) impacted by culture is clothes.

Malaysia takes pride in many forms of traditional offerings, but one of its best heritages is the wide range of traditional attire.

Because the line of Malaysian traditional clothing is so extensive, let’s just focus on something that POYA knows best – Malay traditional wear!

For the ladies, let’s start with the Baju Kurung. There’s the Baju Kurung Teluk Belanga with its classic neckline, Baju Kurung Kedah with its shorter sleeves and hem, Baju Kurung Cekak Musang with its Mandarin inspired neckline and Baju Kurung Pahang with its glorious A-line cutting.

Next in line is of course the sexier traditional staple, Baju Kebaya. Those wanting to appear modestly sophisticated may opt for the Kebaya Labuh that goes down to the knee, while those who are in a more fun and daring mood can go for the Kebaya Pendek.

As for the gentlemen, there’s the evergreen Baju Melayu. Similar to the Baju Kurung, the Baju Melayu can also be identified through different necklines – Teluk Belanga and Cekak Musang. There’s also the Batik shirt, featuring the nation’s renowned motif.

Times are changing and fashion is always evolving. Hence, each type of these traditional clothes can be even more diversified with different colours, materials, cuttings and adjustments.

So, fret not! Just because these clothes are abundant with the elements of tradition, that doesn’t mean you can’t pull them off to fit your modern, on-the-go lifestyle.

The fact that they’re so versatile makes it easier for you to mix and match. Different tops with different bottoms, different colours, different fabrics and materials… The possibilities are simply endless!


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