The Beauty of the Bridal Kebaya

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Kebaya bride dress
Me and my Kebaya
While most modern brides are perfectly happy with wearing modern and Western wedding dresses designed by the world’s top designers, a traditional wedding dress is a great way to pay homage to your culture and your country.

Whether you’re from Malaysia, Brunei, Singapore or Indonesia, wearing a bridal kebaya is a great way for you to infuse your country’s culture into your modern wedding.

The Kebaya

Kebaya Wedding dress
Kebaya Wedding dress
The “kebaya” is a form or traditional blouse that is worn by women in Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia and Brunei. Most kebayas are made from diaphanous materials, and are worn with a songket, a sarong, batik or any traditional knitted garment that has a colorful and detailed motif.

Most traditional women prefer the bridal kebaya over Western wedding dresses, not just because of the clothing’s cultural significance, but also due to the silhouette the dress creates. The right kebaya can easily accentuate your figure, giving you an incredibly feminine appearance.

Kebaya Styles

Different Colors of kebaya
Different Colors kebaya
To help keep up with the public’s demand, more and more fashion designers are looking for ways in which they can modify the kebaya design and turn it into a more fashionable dress. Most designers are also experimenting with different gossamer fabrics like lace, to create more delicate and appealing bridal kebaya.

Kebayas come in different colors and designs. The key to finding the perfect kebaya is looking at its embroidery or detailing. While most casual kebayas have simple floral embroidery, you will find more formal and intricate designs on kebayas with almost completely sheer jackets decorated only with delicate gold or silver embroideries.

The kebaya is definitely a great way for a bride to look her sexiest without revealing too much skin.

Historical and Cultural Significance of the Kebaya

Astonishing Red Kebaya
Astonishing Kebaya
There is much speculation as to where the kebaya could have originated. There are some who say that the kebaya originated in the Middle East, while others argue that it may have come from nearby China. Whether it was Arabia or China that brought us the wonderful kebaya, there is no denying how quick the use of this garment has spread from one island to another.

History states that the kebaya was first worn by women in the northern parts of the Indonesian archipelago. In a short time, the use of the kebaya began to spread rapidly, until women from Sulawesi, Java, Malacca, Borneo and Sumatra began wearing this beautiful garment as well. Prior to the 1600’s, only women of privilege or female members of the Javanese monarchy were allowed to wear the intricate and delicate kebaya. Today, anyone and everyone can wear this beautiful garment.

Orange Floral Kebaya Dress
Orange Floral Kebaya
After Dutch colonization, the kebaya took on a new role as the formal dress for the European women in the country. During this time, the kebaya was made solely from mori fabric. Modifications made to this traditional costume later introduced the use of silk and embroidery to add design and color.

Today, a variation of the kebaya called the “nyonya kebaya” has been introduced to the Western market. The nyonya kebaya traditionally refers to a dress that comes complete with beaded shoes and a sarong. Today, nyonya kebaya blouses are sold sans-accessories. These blouses can be worn with denim pants and slacks.

Although not as sophisticated as couture or bridal kebayas, nyonya kebaya blouse can be worn with a simple sarong, if you’re planning on having an outdoor or casual and intimate wedding.

See video below to know more about Kebaya.

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