Daily: Almost all Muslim women in Malaysia wear a tudung, or hijab (headscarf) on a daily basis. The exceptions are when they are at home, only with family. The reason that women wear a tudung is because the hair is considered the 'sexiest' feature. All shirts must have high necklines and most are long sleeved. Most women wear pants, or floor length skirts/dresses. If one wants to wear shorts or shorter skirts, they must wear leggings that go below their knees. However not all Muslim women around the world dress like this...for example, women in Saudi Arabia are required to wear all black and cover their hair and faces.
Traditional/Formal: Traditional clothing for women basically consists of the baju kurung and the tudung. The baju kurung is a two piece outfit, the top has long sleeves and falls below the knees. The bottom is a long skirt that almost touches the floor. The baju kurung comes in a variety of colors and patterns, and most are extremely vibrant.
Praying: When praying, women wear a two piece outfit similar to the baju kurung, except the top has the tudung included, and the entire ensemable is (usually) white. Mulims must pray five times a day, so it is common for women to bring the prayer outfit with them when they go out.
Daily: Daily cloth for men is similar to men in the USA, t-shirt, pants, and shorts.
Traditional/Formal: I admittedly do not know what the traditional clothing for men is called, but it consists of matching silk shirt and pants. On top of the pants they wear a (for lack of a better word...) skirt that is made from patterned material. The material worn similar to how one wears a towel. Men also wear a songkok, which is a black hat (pictured below).
Praying: For praying men wear the same as the traditional/formal clothes.
|Traditional Malaysian Muslim Family|
|Women Prayer Outfit|
|Muslim Women in Saudi Arabia|
MY EXPERIENCE WITH MALAYSIAN MUSLIM FASHION
I will be the first for admit that it was (and still is....) extremely hard for me to adjust to the clothing. Mostly because it is so dang hot here, and I am required to wear pants and long sleeve shirts. I am not allowed to wear hardly any of the clothes that I brought with me (except for the pants) because they are inappropriate, however I don't feel too bad because I don't think they even make teenage clothes in the US that fit my family's standards :P I have also worn the heads scarf a few times, but have no intent in including it in my daily wear. (Mostly because it is too hot).
For Hari Raya and other formal situations I was required to buy a baju Kurung (four of them actually), and let me tell you, this was not an easy feat. (Sorry in advance any to any Malays that may be reading this...but) This is because most of them are...*cough* not flattering. To say the least. Most of the patterns look like they came from old couch or an extremely high hippie in the 70's (nothing against hippies of course). However, it could just be that I am shopping at all of the wrong places because I have seen beautiful baju kurung with lovely bead work, but those go for over $100, and the ones I am buying go at about $15. Needless to say, they make shopping interesting. For your entertainment (and my own) I have included a few pictures, followed by pictures of the four baju kurung that I settled on. If you have any interest in any of the following (Mom, Karen...), please send your payment (cash only) and size ASAP, for supplies are limited!
|( Alligator....a personal favorite^ )|
|My baju kurung|
|My other two baju kurung|