FOR all you ‘Rayanistas’ out there that have yet to pick out your ‘Baju Raya’ for this weekend, there’s still time to think about it.

Year after year, stores all over the country offer similar types of traditional outfits for this festive season, such as your regular baju kurungs and kebayas. However, for those that want to change it up a little, there are heaps of options out there, if you know where to look.

While baju kurungs and kebayas are still very much the thing to wear, many have steered away from convention and are going for the kaftan, or long dresses, trend.

For those that love their jeans and pants, pairing them with a flowy loose top or a kebaya top is a pretty fashionable option as well. Most knee-length kaftans can also be paired with tights or leggings.

Dressing up for Raya can be tricky so we got some local designers to share some advice.

Designer Syomir Izwa, whose trademark touch is pleating, hopes to steer people away from conventions with his Raya collection.

“Many modern Raya designs incorporate modern trends and things you see on international runways, like structured shoulders and puffy sleeves,” said Syomir. “Beading and embroidery are really traditional elements to Malay dressing, but are becoming a thing of the past and should only be used in moderation.”

He advised those that absolutely adore intricate details like beading and embroidery to choose a small area for these elements, such as the neckline or cuffs.

“If you want sheer elements in your dress, be careful about wearing anything too see-through. If the sleeves are sheer, maybe choose a higher neckline for more coverage,” he advised.

“For younger people, avoid big embellishments and print that’s too heavy for example bold designs in gold and red. Choose softer colours like yellow, lemon green and turquoise,” he said.

Delila RNC of Anggun Collection encourages young people to go for flowy tops which they can pair with jeans, pants, or a traditional sarong.

“Designs have changed a lot over the years. Instead of the usual floral print people are opting for more artsy and modern designs,” said Delila. “Sequins are a big hit too, adorning necklines and cuffs.”

Kaftans, like this one from Anggun Collection, are all the rage right now.

Kaftans, like this one from Anggun Collection, are all the rage right now.

She realises that trying to look stylish, young and traditional at the same time may be challenging, but says there are ways to achieve it without shocking the relatives too much.

“As many of the chiffon and silk tops are see-through, you could wear matching tube tops and singlets underneath to hide your undergarments. It’s economical as well because these tops can be worn all-year around for different occassions,” she added.

Designer Amir Luqman said that younger people this year will be looking to mixing and matching pants and skirts with flowy tops.

“They will do their own styling, like pairing a kebaya top with jeans and long skirts,” he said. “It’s all about being comfortable.”

If you want to wear a sheer top for this Raya, pair it with a tube top or matching singlet underneath.

If you want to wear a sheer top for this Raya, pair it with a tube top or matching singlet underneath.

For his label, he actually came up with a new design in the form of a ‘baju kurung T-shirt’.

“It’s actually made of soft cotton but it looks like a kurung top. You’ll feel like you’re wearing a T-shirt and it’s really comfortable for Raya visiting especially,” he explained.

Amir notes that young people should focus less on detailing (like intricate stitches and embroidery) when choosing their Raya clothes and explore the various cuttings that are out there; for example, structured sleeves, gathered waistlines and tiered and layered hemlines.

“Just remember to go for soft colours and avoid animal prints,” he advised.

For those who want a more traditional look, the one piece kaftan is all the rage in boutiques nationwide right now.

The Arab-influenced style is comfortable, stylish and simple. While many kaftans come with beading and embroidery along the neckline, there are heaps that come with structured shoulders, bell-shaped and puffy sleeves and modern cuttings.

Many kaftan designs come with a ‘hidden’ string inside the material which can be used to tighten or loosen the dress to your heart’s desire.

These are available in most boutiques and stores, so happy shopping ‘Rayanistas’, and Selamat Hari Raya!

Tell us what you think!

Go top