Baju melayu is one of the choices that come with so many interesting stories behind it. As we always see it as the uniform for festive season like Hari Raya, or the attire you don during formal events, the baju melayu modern is a lot more than that. From the history, the choices and up to the way you don it, baju melayu modern has been the best cultural representation for our traditions.
Photo Credit: https://genemartino.com.my/
1. Baju melayu modern comes with more than one choice
Nope, we are not talking about the colors, but the two-piece garment has two types, despite it looks almost similar. If you look closely, besides the hem, and the way it’s sewn, the obvious difference is based on how the collar is made; one called Cekak Musang, and another one is called Telok Belanga.
Baju melayu cekak musang’s collar is sewn into two different plackets that run to the middle part of the top. The plackets have five buttonholes that are fastened together with the stylish studs that are also known as “butang baju melayu” or “kancing”. The kancing will usually be sold separately and comes in a variety of designs and styles.
Contrary to cekak musang, baju melayu telok belanga comes with a simple collar. The collar doesn’t have any plackets but it’s a round neck design with one single button. The uniqueness of the telok belanga design is the collar that is hemmed with stitching called “tulang belut”. Tulang Belut that could be loosely translated as eel’s spine gives a neat and perfect finishing to the baju melayu that is famous among Johoreans. According to the history, this baju melayu was designed for the Southern Royal family and fast became a choice for the rakyat
2. The samping represents your marital status
Yes, you read it right. The way you wear the samping represents your marital status! Before we proceed into that, please note that there are two methods of wearing samping. For baju melayu cekak musang, the samping is worn above the top. On the other hands, for the baju melayu teluk belanga, the samping is worn below the top rather than above
Interesting, right? You could probably google it now, to see the differences.
Here comes the trick for the single women out there. If you see a guy donning a full set of baju melayu modern, look at the edge of the samping. If it’s below the knees, sorry girl, he is unavailable. Find another one that is wearing samping above his knees, that’s the guy for you. And also note to all wives out there, please make sure your husbands wear his samping right, so we don’t confuse his status!
That’s the interesting facts of the baju melayu modern. It may look simple, but the way you choose to wear it carries a lot of messages that signify our culture that we shall continue to embrace.