Baju Melayu, which literally translates to ‘Malay shirt’ is a traditional garment worn by men particularly during major religious holidays in Malaysia. Get the best Baju Melayu in Singapore and learn about everything you need to know about the garment below.

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Everything You Need to Know About Baju Melayu

The Baju Melayu has been around for more than 500 years and was first made widely popular by the Sultan of Malacca named Tun Hassan Temenggong. There are actually two variations of the Baju Melayu which are known as Baju Kurung Cekak Musang and the Baju Kurung Teluk Belanga.

The Malaccan Empire was known as the strongest in the region which stretched from Sumatra in the South and Thailand in the North. The Strait of Malacca was not only used by merchant ships, but it was also a cross-traffic barter trade as well as maritime trade. Traders from surrounding countries such as India, China, Middle East, and Europe were trading at this location.

Due to the arrival of foreigners, various fashion styles were also brought to Malacca. Sooner or later, it influenced the Baju Melayu which is a combination of loose-fitting styles from the Arabs and Indians, while the trousers and pants were from the Mongols and Turks. It is also influenced by the Europeans based on their simple and elegant styles.

The Evolution of Baju Melayu

During the Malaccan Empire in the 15th Century, it was said that the Malay men wore simple attires which resembled the outfits of Silat performers. The style of the attire was short-sleeved and tight-fitting.

It was not until Tun Hassan Temenggong redesigned the Baju Melayu by extending the overall length of the shirt dress. He also made it loose-fitting where the shirt dress widens all the way down along with the sleeves of the shirt. The purpose of the design was so that wearers were able to fold the sleeves up when it comes to having a meal. Although the modern Baju Melayu has been made accustomed to the newer trends, the cut remains similar to the original design.

Moral Code of Wearing Baju Melayu

There are actually certain traditional practices and ethics that need to be followed by Malay men when it comes to wearing the Baju Melayu. If you take note of the Cekak Musang, which is the name given for the shirt, you will notice that there are five buttons – two at the collar region and three on the upper body. The five buttons represent the five pillars of Islam which are Shahada, Salat, Zakat, Fasting, and Pilgrimage to Mecca, due to the fact that Malays follow the Islamic faith.

As a fashion style, the Baju Melayu cannot be tight-fitted due to ethical reasons. The reason being that when Muslims perform their Islamic prayers, they are required to bend and sit a couple of times. Other than that, the attire is a significant attire among men during major religious festivals such as Hari Raya Aidilfitri and Aidiladha.

What is Baju Melayu Teluk Belanga?

Baju Melayu Teluk Belanga features a blouse with a hand-stitched eel’s spine (tulang belut) round neck collar with a slit in the middle connected by a button. It is complemented by a kain samping under the blouse. History has it that the Teluk Belanga style was derived from Sultan Abu Bakar’s aides in commemorating the relocation of Johor’s administrative capital from Teluk Belanga in Singapore to Tanjung Puteri (known as Johor Bahru) in 1866.

What is Baju Melayu Cekak Musang?

Baju Melayu Cekak Musang is a delicate piece that is most recognisable with its 5-button raised collar top fastened together by dress studs or sitat. It is usually tucked in a songket or kain samping that’s worn around the waistline. Cekak Musang translates to fox’s leash in English.

If you would like to match outfits with your other half, do check out the range of Baju Kurung and Baju Kebaya only on iPrice Singapore!

Shop for Baju Melayu Now with Zalora and Shopee Vouchers

Getting a set or two of Baju Melayu online with vouchers can help you save big bucks. Redeem our Zalora or Shopee coupons now to shop for modern baju melayu in various prints and sizes. In terms of price, baju melayu for Hari Raya costs around S$21.00 to S$85.90 on Zalora Singapore.

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