How To Create Makeshift Modern-Traditional Baju Kurung With Separate Pieces

14 July 2018



If you've been visiting Affordorable for a while, you might know my affinity for loose abayas and caftan dresses for celebrating Eids as well as for attending weddings here in Malaysia, but the traditional baju kurung will always have a special place in my heart — especially the ones tailored especially for me.

I have fond memories of the time when my mom used to send out metres of materials to her tailor every year during Ramadhan to get baju kurung made for her and us three little daughters — usually the same exact material, same exact colour and prints and all, just so that we all matched.

As we all grew older and developed our own taste in style, the tradition was no longer carried out, and most of us found buying ready-made baju kurung/ baju kebaya, abayas and caftan dress to be easier.

See: My last tailored modern baju kurung

    When the recent Eid rolled around, I was very glad to have an old red caftan-abaya to wear as I had no time to shop for a new outfit, but as open house invitations came my way I found myself longing for a good old beautiful pair of baju kurung. Not even the more shapely, more fitted modern versions, but the loose shapeless traditional kind.

    See: The electric blue traditional baju kurung I "stole" from my mom and learn about the difference between the classic shape of traditional baju kurung and the standard modern baju kurung

    Since I wasn't "feeling" any of the existing baju kurung in my collection (and some old ones didn't even fit me anymore!), I decided to wear a "makeshift" pair last weekend for a day of open houses. It really can be as easy-peasy as combining two separate items to form something resembling a baju kurung. The easiest is to opt for a demure-looking top and pair it with a fitted maxi skirt in a matching hue!




      I chose a tiered sleeved black top (last seen with cutout boots!) and a black-grey-red songket-print "skirt", with a gunmetal grey scarf as my hijab. I'm pretty pleased with the result, so hope you guys like it too 

      PS: Curious to know more about baju kurung? Wiki can help.


      Wearing: Tiered sleeve top  |  Songket-print skirt from Berjaya Times Square  |  Mango heels  |  Kate Spade "Piano" clutch

        Just click on each image to see previous "makeshift" baju kurung on Affordorable:

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          1. Lady, I love the rhythm of your style. Get it? Get it? That's my pick-up line if I'd seen you looking all stylish holding that Piano bag! Where do you find these things! Hahah. I love your makeshift baju kurung because it does truly look like a coordinated set. And the songket print goes with your gunmetal hijab. And the silhouette from top to toe is so anggun. I wanted to say elegant, but I've said that already. Sincerely, me, always in awe.

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            1. I GET IT, that's clever, hahaha!

              I used to go into Kate Spade outlets a lot so I have this collection of kitschy clutches and bags from the brand, but I rarely do so now; as cute as their things are, I'm now so aware of how hard they are to work into everyday outfits.
              Plus, they're not exactly cheap, not at all! But what I have I wear as often as I can.

              My "baju kurung" DOES look like a proper set, right? I'm so pleased you think so, even though it is so not. One of the challenges when I dress up is finding a matching scarf but in this case, I had this shiny gunmetal grey one that went so well with the songket thankfully!

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          2. This Baju Kurung is lovely Liyana. I think your creativity is happily challenged by the pursuit of something tasteful but unique. The fabric of the skirt seems to lend itself to many color choices for the top. You look beautiful from the top of your scarf to the bottom of your shoes! Love, Jude

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            1. Thank you so much, Judy <3 It's true, multicoloured pieces can seem overwhelming at first but then again they always make dressing up easier sometimes, by just pairing them with something in every single colour splashed on them =D

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