Don’t you love how Singapore is such a melting pot of cultures – and styles?
Feast your eyes on these Asian traditional ethnic clothings: They’re so beautiful, you’d wonder why some people stopped wearing them every day!
(image: Wong Weiliang/herworldPLUS)
The cheongsam is a body-hugging one-piece Chinese dress for women. The original cheongsam was wide and loose, covering most of the woman’s body, revealing only the head, hands and the tips of the toes. With time, though, it was tailored to become more form-fitting. Perhaps a symbol of women’s liberation, perhaps an evolution of style. The men’s equivalent is called the changpao, its most prominent feature being the similar mandarin collar on the jacket. (Find out what auspicious colours to purchase or wear a cheongsam for this Chinese New Year!)
NEXT: The Indian Sari →
A single length of fabric which can be almost 10 metres long is draped around the body. It’s typically wrapped around the waist, with one end draped over the shoulder, baring the midriff, but can also be worn in dozens of different ways. We love the vibrantly coloured, richly ornamented ones in particular!
NEXT: The Malay Sarong →
The sarong, meaning “sheath” in Indonesian or Malay, is a large tube or length of fabric, most often with woven plaid or checkered patterns, or brightly colored by means of batik or ikat dyeing. It’s often worn wrapped around the waist; ; today, they’ve also been popularized as maxi skirts, summer dresses, and more.
NEXT: The Peranakan Kebaya →
Looks familiar? That’s because it’s the traditional clothing that the Singapore Airlines’ stewardesses’ uniforms modelled after. Typically adorned with brocade or floral pattern embroidery, the kebaya gives the wearer a classy, feminine air; the look is completed with brooches, jewelry and beaded sandals.
NEXT: The Vietnamese-style conical hat →
Also worn in some other cultures like the Philippines and Cambodia, this style of hat was traditionally worn by farmers for its functional purpose – used primarily as protection from the sun and rain, the straw hat can also be dipped in water and worn as an impromptu evaporative-cooling device.
NEXT: The Korean Hanbok →
“Hanbok” literally means “Korean clothing”. Traditional women’s hanbok consists of jeogori, a blouse shirt or a jacket and chima, a wrap-around skirt, which is usually worn full. The ensemble is often called chima jeogori. Men’s hanbok consists of jeogori and baji which means pants in Korean. The poufy cut and luxurious fabric gives the wearer a gentle, kind look.
NEXT: The Japanese Kimono →
“Kimono” translates literally to “thing to wear” (although we reckon it’s too rich a garment to simply be termed as any other “thing to wear”). They’re wrapped around the body, always with the left side over the right and secured by a sash called an obi at the back. The history behind the kimono is rich – individuals of different statuses, married and unmarried women, for instance, wear different styles of kimono.
NEXT: The Chinese Cheongsam→
By Pinky Chng, October 2017
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