Traditional Attire




Kain Songket) completes the ensemble. The Kain Samping is a short sarong worn around the waist with the hemline just above the knee.


The Baju Kurung is a very comfortable outfit to wear. It is non-restrictive and is cool in the tropical weather. It looks elegant on any kind of figure as the flowing lines of the Baju camouflages any imperfect figure.

Baju Kurung

For women, the ensemble comprises a long-sleeved loose fitting long blouse worn over a matching sarong. Batik sarong is not usually worn with the Baju Kurung except for very casual wear at home when no attempt is made to match the Baju. To complete the outfit, a long scarf (usually made of lace) is worn around the shoulders or around the head, crossed loosely at the front of the neck.


For men, the Baju is worn with matching trousers. A Kain Samping (usually made of

Baju Kebaya

The Baju Kebaya is also one of the clothes well-liked by the Malay community, especially during the 1960s. The Baju Kebaya is usually tailored, according to the vital statistics of the person who is wearing it. The Baju Kebaya is usually matched with ‘Kain Songket’ or ‘Batik’. In the olden days, it is usually tight and short but in today's context, these clothes do not need to follow the body shape of the person wearing it. Choosing of colours is not very confusing as the Baju Kebaya usually has one colour and does not have too many floral designs.

Baju Melayu

The Malay formal dress for men is the Baju Melayu. This is a loose, long-sleeved shirt worn over a pair of trousers of matching material and colour, or sometimes over a Kain Sarung, a wrap-around skirt.  In more formal situations, in addition to the Baju Melayu suit (shirt and trousers), a Kain Sampin will be used. This is a short Sarung, usually colourful and even made of gold-thread Sungkit material, which is worn over the pants, reaching down to the knees. A velvet cap (Songkok) completes the formal dress. Shoes or leather sandals may be used.


It is a headscarf which is compulsory to be worn for the Muslim women in Malaysia.



It usually comes in dark colours such as black and dark green. A white one is known as Kopiah which resembles purification. It is worn by the Malay men.



It is a large sheet of clothe which is wrapped around the waist as skirt, usually made of batik.

While visiting the mosque for daily prayers, the less formal style is used, and a white skull cap (Kepiah) may take the place of the Songkok. Older men and those who have performed the pilgrimage to Mecca may wear a turban (Serban).



Also known as Qipao, it has a high collar with buttons near the shoulder. It has a snug fit at the waist and slits on the side. It is made of shimmering silk or embroidered satin and is often worn for special occasions like the Chinese New Year.


The name comes from the Cantonese dialect which means a shirt and a pair of pants. It looks like pajamas.



It is a long strip of unstitched cloth ranging from five to nice yards of length which is wrapped around the waist and often draped over the shoulder. It is worn over a petticoat with a blouse known as Choli. The petticoat functioned to hold the sari.

Punjabi Suit

It is also known as the Salwar Kameez. It is a long shirt (tunic) which the side seams left open below the waist and a pair of pajamas-like trousers which are narrow at the bottom. It often comes with a shawl.


It is a knee-length, long sleeved shirt which is usually worn over a pair of trousers known as Salwar. It is made of cotton or linen cloth.

Baba Nyonya

Nyonya Kebaya

It resembles the normal Baju Kebaya but is worn with a Sarong and a pair of beautiful beaded shoes called Kasut Manek.

Sabah & Sarawak

There are a lot of ethnic groups in these two states in Borneo. Natural materials such as tree bark fabrics, straws, feathers and beads are usually used to make the attires. The common attires are the woven Pua Kumbu of the Iban tribe, the straw hats of the Kadazan Dusun ladies as well as the Dastar of the Bajau tribe.