Sunday, 2 October 2011
As for the sarong, batik from Java is used. Locally known as "batik Jawa", there are several cuts to choose from. The more shapely ladies would love to show off their lovely legs with a sarong with a slit in front. The slit would only show as they walk.
"Now you see it, now you don't" is supposed to be so seductive that jealous husbands would not allow their women to be seen wearing these costumes outside the house. A more modest version does not have slits, but instead adorned with pleats at the seams in front so that the movement is not hampered much.
There are two basic styles of nyonya kebaya.
1. with long jacket (known as kebaya labuh)
2. with the short jacket (kebaya pendek).
Kebaya labuh is usually worn by elderly ladies. The cut is straight, and the length comes down to the knees, sometimes almost to the calves. The material is still sheer, and anak baju is also needed. A set of brooches (usually a set of three) are used to secure the front of the jacket. A chiffon embroidered handkerchief is cleverly tucked at the collar completes the look.