A national costumer, or folk dress, expresses an identity through traditional garments. Such folk dress often come in two forms: one for everyday occasions, the other for festivals and formal wear

National Costumes of Malaysia

Traditional Garments - Baju Melayu, Baju Kurung, Baju Kebaya, Sarong - Malaysian National Costumes Baju is the term for clothing in the Malay language. Since Malaysia comprises three major cultures: Malay, Chinese and Indian, each culture has its own traditional and religious articles of clothing all of which are gender specific and may be adapted to local influences and conditions


Malaysian Cultural Clothing - Malay, Chinese and Indian

Women - Malaysia The Malay wear the baju kurung and the baju kebaya . As for the men, they wear the baju melayu

Chinese Women The Chinese women wear the cheongsam, a one-piece dress with a high neck, diagonally closed with small clips or toggles (fabric clasps). It can be fitted or loose, with side slits at the hem. The cheongsam is especially popular around the time of the Chinese New Year and other formal gatherings

Indian women wear very colorful saris in a rich variety of bright and subtle dyes during ritual prayer in the temple and for everyday living, Punjabi suit also known as Salwar kameez

Men - Malay  For the Malay culture, the men wear baju melayu with a songkok or cap, on their head. Traditional clothing for men in Malaysia consists of a silk or cotton skirt and shirt with a scarf like piece of cloth tied around his waist. This scarf is sewn together at the ends and is traditionally called a sarong or a kain. Most of the clothing is made up of bright and bold colors. The man also wears a religious hat

The Indian men wear Sherwani, Lungi, Dhoti and Kurta-Pajama.The Sherwani: a coat like garment fitted close to the body, of knee-length or longer and opening in front with button-fastenings. Below the men wear a garment for the lower part of the body, baggy and wide at the top tied with a string at the waist , and tight around the legs and ankles

Chinese Men The classical everyday clothing for men in Malaysia is a short sleeved shirt worn outside the trousers, light-weight trousers and informally, sandals for comfort

Malaysian Clothing & Culture

Most Malaysians dress as Westerners do but many Muslim women wear long skirts - pants and head scarves. On special occasions, people from each ethnic group wear their traditional clothes

The Malays and Indians especially still put on their traditional costumes for weddings, although it is not so apparent among the Chinese, despite a revival of interest among some to wear traditional or period clothing