The traditional costumes for Malays are being classified into 2 categories for men and women . For men, we have Baju Melayu and Tanjak . And for women, we have Baju Kurung , Baju Kebaya , Baju Kebarung and Tudung .
These Malay traditional costumes are usually worn during Hari Raya Puasa, Hari Raya Haji, wedding occasions and sometimes visits to relatives. It can also be worn at any time of the day.
Baju kurung was introduced after the Islam came to Tanah Melayu at the 20 century
Baju kurung is the loose clothes and cover the body which suitable for the Islam country
Baju kurung can be suited with ‘songkek’ or ‘batik’. Usually, wear with ‘kain selendang’ or scarft.
Nowadays, baju kurung can be found in different styles. These clothes are being tailored so that they suit the person wearing it. Among the baju kurung that have been tailored are "baju kurung labuh", "baju kurung moden", "baju kurung cekak", "baju kurung Kedah" and others.
The baju kurung looks quite like men’s wear. It is a simple knee-length blouse worn over a long skirt pleated at the side.The outfit is completed with a selendang or tudung around the shoulders or on the head . Baju kurung too can be matched with "kain songket", "batik" or even "pelikat".
The baju kurung is more liked by people because it covers the whole body except for the palms and the face which is considered to be polite. The baju kurung is more suitable with the teachings of Islam as it is not exposing the whole body except for the palms and the face.
Songket is a fabric that belongs to the brocade family of textiles . It is hand-woven in silk or cotton , and intricately patterned with gold or silver threads. The metallic threads stand out against the background cloth to create a shimmering effect. In the weaving process the metallic threads are inserted in between the silk or cotton weft (latitudinal) threads. The term songket comes from the Malay word menyongket , ‘to embroider with gold or silver threads’. Songket is a luxury product traditionally worn during ceremonial occasions as sarong , shoulder cloths or head ties. Tanjak or Songket headdresses were worn at the courts of the Malay Sultanates .Traditionally Muslim women and adolescent girls wove songket; "some boys and men are also weaving today". Traditionally-patterned Sumatran textiles embody a system of interpretable emblems.
In Indonesia, songket is produced in Sumatra , Kalimantan , Bali , Sulawesi , Lombok and Sumbawa . Outside of Indonesia, further production areas include the east coast of the Malay Peninsula and Brunei . Songket weaving is historically associated with areas of Malay settlement, and the production techniques could have been introduced by Arab and Indian merchants. Historically, production was located in politically significant kingdoms because of the high cost of materials; the gold thread used was originally wound with real gold leaf .