Did you know that each Malaysian state has its own special traditional designs of Baju?


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There are many types of Baju Kurung, Baju Kebaya and Baju Melayu of Malay culture.

But have you ever wondered what Malay and several other traditional garments look like in different states?

Thanks to the artistic design department of Istanbul Budayawe can get a glimpse of what they would look like.

But note that these are only creative fashion designs of the department. This means that all the details are created and inspired to fit the fashion sense of what people these days and states would like carry.

But still, these drawings are very detailed and super interesting.

Let’s check them!

1. Pearl

For Perlis, women’s fashion there would be the Kebaya Perlis (it’s longer than a common kebaya) with a long Selendang (shawl) wrapped around the shoulders. It is usually accompanied by a dokoh (kerongsang pin) on the front of the Kebaya.

(Credit: Istana Budaya/Facebook)

For men, Baju Melayu Cekak Musang (collared top with several buttons along the chest) is very popular in northern and central Malaysia. Here, the top, embraced by a sampling (outer fabric around the waist) and the tanjak (headdress) are made with the same fabric. Usually there is a Baju Sikap (outer jacket) for the top and bengkong (belt) with waiting for (loop) to secure the sampling to the body.

2. Keda

Then Kedah is known for the traditional Baju Kurung Kedah for women whose top is shorter than normal Baju Kurung. This particular fashion is associated with a sarong songket (skirt) and Selendang around the shoulders.

(Credit: Istana Budaya/Facebook)

For men, Baju Melayu Cekak Musang is worn with five buttonswhich actually has a special meaning in traditional history!


For the Penangites, women are clothed with a Kebaya Nyonya (Chinese Peranakan) or Chetti (Indian Peranakan) in which the tops are shorter and adorned with embroidered lace while the sarong used Batik cloth.

(Credit: Istana Budaya/Facebook)

In this creation, Penangite men would wear a top similar to a Western bush jacket with matching plaid pattern sampling. The look is completed with a Tarbus, a Turkish-inspired headdress that is quite well known to traditional Penangite Malay men (also a must-have headdress for their boria performance).

4. Perak

Perakian women are dressed in a look called Puteri Perak (Perakian Princess) where instead of a sarong skirt, women wore pants with the same fabric as the top. The look is also completed with a sampling tied in a Perakian style called Ikat Pancung.

(Credit: Istana Budaya/Facebook)

Men wore the same Baju Melayu Cekak Musang with five buttons. But the only difference would be their sampling, on par with the Ikat Pancung style. Who knew there would be so many different ways to tie a sampling.

5. Kelantan

If you don’t know Cik Siti Wan Kembang, she was once the badass solo queen of Kelantan.

READ MORE: Did you know that Malaysia also has many princesses and fairy tale legends? [Part 2]

Kelantan’s female attire is based on her royal fashion where she wore three garments (the sarong, the body wrap, and the selendang). The nobles wore Kain Limara type of fabric similar to Songket but with different motives. Also, at that time, women wore a cloth to wrap their body up to their chest only and covered their exposed shoulders with a long sash (usually called Kain Kelumbung).

(Credit: Istana Budaya/Facebook)

For men, their fashion was supplemented with Cekak Musang Baju Melayu and Baju Sikap, which were styled in the manner of royalty (songket cloth) called Baju Putera Raja (the prince’s costume). Kain Limar or also Songket can be used as fabric for sampling in this look.

6. Terengganu

For Terengganu, women were dressed in a Baju Kurung Pesak (Pesak means extra fabric sewn on the sides of the body for more flexibility) with a long Selendang. The fabric of the whole costume is made of Songketa particular cloth that came from Terengganu.

(Credit: Istana Budaya/Facebook)

For men, they wore a Songket Baju Melayu with a Teluk Belanga neck style. Of course they use Songket material for their sampling well, just with a different motive.

7. Pahang

For Pahang, women wore Baju Kurung Riau Pahang which has Pesak and Kekek Gantung (point type) on the sides. Besides having a Cekak Musang a little low cut, this type of Baju Kurung is made with a small waistline, suitable for those who have an hourglass figure but still want a modest look.

(Credit: Istana Budaya/Facebook)

The only difference with men’s clothing is their sampling (tied Pahang way) and their way of wearing Tanjak.

8. Selangor

The traditional Selangor women’s wardrobe is simple but very classy. They wore the Baju Kebaya Labuh Selangor or The Malay Dress where it’s like a normal kebaya, but longer.

(Credit: Istana Budaya/Facebook)

The only difference with the men was once again, their way of carrying tanjak. Yes, even the headdress has different styles!

9. Wilayah Persekutuan

Honestly, Wilayah Persekutuan’s fashion is very similar to Selangor’s, just with minor details as differences. The female has a more modern touch to the Kebaya while another Tanjak the style is used for the male.

(Credit: Istana Budaya/Facebook)

10. Malacca

For the Melaka look, women wore a Baju Kurung Teluk Belanga neckline with a songket/batik/silk sarong which is tied with a flowing pattern on the sides called ‘Ombak Mengaloun‘. Their look was completed with a distinctly unique headpiece and chest cover called The. Imagine wearing this headdress in the office.

(Credit: Istana Budaya/Facebook)

The men wore the same Baju Melayu with a Baju Sikap at the top. The only difference is perhaps their hairstyle and sampling style.

11. Negeri Sembilan

In Negeri Sembilan, the design of women’s wardrobe is quite similar to Malacca. The only differences are the pattern of the main sarong (this one has Sumatra origins) and the velvety Baju Kurung Fabric.

(Credit: Istana Budaya/Facebook)

Men wore the same type of velvety fabric for their shirts and the style of their tanjak is also slightly different from other states. Both men’s and women’s garments have golden weaves to qualify them as Minangkabau nobility.


Fun fact: The Teluk Belanga low cut look is especially popular in Johor. Women wore it in a Baju Kurung with a Pareo Ombak Mengalun. The gaze is accompanied by a sibai / kain mantoul (small fabric covering the shoulder and chest) and a Kain Kelubung who was strung like a samplingin one Kain Dagang Luar (sampling was tied outside the top) look.

(Credit: Istana Budaya/Facebook)

The men wore the Teluk Belanga Baju Melayu with the sampling tucked inside the top instead of outside. The look is accompanied by their famous high Songkok (hairstyle).

13. Sabah

This particular traditional wardrobe in Sabah is of Kadazan Papar origin. The female would wear a top called sia and a skirt called Gonob. The look is completed with a headdress called Siung.

(Credit: Istana Budaya/Facebook)

The male would wear the male version of sia with the same fabric pants. The look is completed with a Ikat Pinggang (belt) and Dastar (headdress) with the same fabric. For outfits, both sexes wore the same velvety black fabric with gold weaving designs.


For Sarawak, this particular traditional dress is based on the Iban people. Women would wear a top tied with a belt called Selampai and a skirt called Kain Karap with a distinct pattern. The look is completed with accessories such as Tango (chest cover), Rawai (silver corset), Sugu Tinggi (headdress) and more.

(Credit: Istana Budaya/Facebook)

The men wore an outfit called the Baju Burung strung with a baju gagong above. The fund is called Sirat and the look is completed with a very unique feathered headdress called Ketapu.

So here are some of the traditional looks inspired by Malaysians in each state long ago. Some are also still worn today, but with a modern twist.

Now that you’ve seen some of them, why not style them for your next Raya Aidilfitri OOTD?

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