The Amazing Baju Kurung – Choosing The Right One
You might have noticed from the mini-bazaars popping up at your HDB void deck that Hari Raya is coming up in a few weeks! (The fact that you’re fasting should also be a giant clue, by the way.) Now is the perfect time for us to discuss the key factors that go into choosing the ideal Baju Kurung!
Disclaimer: I’m sure there are many advanced aspects to this delicate procedure that I can’t even begin to cover. For example, I might not be qualified to advice you on many police-car escorts you might need to maintain the tightest possible security after you’ve transformed your neckline and wrists into the ultimate Golden Chance showroom, or the recommended type of neck brace you might need for when you finally take off the brooch condominium that’s been sitting on your head the whole day. This is merely a brief guide, but I hope you will find it useful nonetheless.
3 basic elements to consider when choosing your Baju Kurung:
This actually depends on whether you have a choice or not. When it comes to shopping for Raya clothes, choice of colour becomes an elusive luxury applicable only to the lucky few. If your mom is bent on color-coding her genetic line-up like pre-nazi scientist, then you’ll just have to oblige her and go along with it. Your mom did give birth to you; I guess the least you could do is to let her visually announce her breeding prowess to the general public once every year.
If you do have a choice, stick to light or pastel colours to ensure minimal instances of heat stroke! I know wearing black is cool and it looks really glamorous with shiny gold accessories, but I tried that one year and I ended up looking like a science project on the various stages of evaporation and condensation. It’s not so cool when people look at you and wonder if it’s raining outside.
There is one side effect to Ramadhan that we all secretly look forward to – weight loss! It’s pretty common to find your pants a lot looser and your chins much tighter after a few weeks of fasting. When the time comes to buy a new Baju Kurung, I can understand how you might get excited about finally saying L instead of XL, or S instead of M!
Even so, it might serve you well to choose a Baju that is slightly forgiving to your frame and gives you some extra space to breathe and blossom horizontally. There is going to be a lot of visiting and eating happening all throughout the month of Raya and the only ketupat in the room should be the ones on the dining table.
Trust me, you don’t want to be caught in a situation where you can only exhale when nobody’s looking. While I don’t think there’s anything wrong with having some jelly in the belly, I understand how you might feel self-conscious about broadcasting it to everyone in high definition.
So please prioritize on comfort when it comes to Baju Kurung size and always remember that you will have to sit down at some point. If the changing room in the boutique doesn’t have a chair that you can test-drive, demand one!
Accessories for the Baju Kurung have been evolving at such a delirious rate! I’m relieved to see that ladies have now invented ruffled tudungs so that your faces will never again be out-shined by your living room windows. I’m also fascinated by the introduction of newfangled awnings with little sparkly clips in the middle so it looks like fringe that’s been parted to reveal a cheeky peek of diamante. What man doesn’t yearn for a girl with a hint of bejeweled scalp?
But my absolute favourites are the fashionable long jewel-studded chains that ladies now love to pin onto the top of the tudung to simply hang loose like a bedazzled whip! I’d love to imagine it spinning around and lifting you off from house to house but I doubt our research and development specialists at Tanjung Katong Complex have come that far.
Your choice of accessories really depends on how much attention you’re planning on getting. Ladies, resist wearing jewelry that can cause airplanes in the sky and ships at sea to become disoriented.
Guys, I know we’ve come to love our Songkok brooches very deeply. But unless it’s on standby to shine the Batman logo into the night sky in the case of emergencies, it shouldn’t be visible from outer space. I’m not sure what the standard number is these days, but I think one brooch per Songkok should suffice? You’ll have to consult the bling experts at Geylang Bazaar on this one!
So there you go, the 3 basic paragons of choosing a Baju Kurung! I actually truly enjoy observing all the wild fashions that come out to play every Hari Raya. Do you know of any new trends coming out this year? What’s your favourite style or accessory? Tell me in the comments below![divider]
Rafiq is the resident funny guy at Muzlimbuzz.sg. A big fan of movies and television, he is a freelance writer who blogs at www.omgsianz.org