Depicting the Types of Traditional Clothing in Singapore for Women

Clothes are the intrinsic part of the cultures solely based on the places and regions of livelihood. Many countries follow a single culture with common rituals and traditions, and others may have a diverse cultural background.

That said, Singapore is a country that supports a diverse cultural approach which brings us to their clothing aspect. Singapore enjoys a pretty diverse culture in terms of rituals, traditions, and dresses. It is a small country but incorporates the people of India, China, Malays, and a smaller fraction of Eurasians. Having this multi-racial population becomes the reason for a wide range of ethnic wears and dresses. The denizens, especially females, of Singapore follow various types of traditional clothing in Singapore. It eventually represents stated diversity.

Here are some of the most prominent dresses that represent Singapore’s clothing diversity.

Baju Kurung

Baju Kurung is the traditional clothing of the Malays women who belong from Malaysia, Indonesia, Brunei, and Thailand. The dress might seem simple to the eyes but is the gorgeous one and highly adored in the region. It is even the national costume of Malaysia, making it one of the most sought-after dresses. The beautiful dress is usually of bright vibrant colors, which are the perfect fit for occasional or traditional events.

The upper piece of the dress is a long blouse with a length usually midway between the knee and hips. This blouse can have loose, tight, or hybrid fitting as the individual female wants it to be. The lower part of the dress is the skirt which is also long and touches the feet. The entire attire gets usually matched with a matching scarf worn around the neck in various conservative states.


The Indian ethnic-based dress is the most celebrated in the surrounding regions of Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, and Pakistan. It is an astonishing piece of clothing that can be readymade or hand woven with various types of threads, including silk, cotton, nylon, and so on.

This dress has two components with it; a Saree and a Blouse. Saree is the long cloth essentially without any stitches, and the blouse is the upper part of the dress. Women wear a blouse on the upper body, and it covers the section from the shoulders to the upper waist (mainly the breast part). The saree is draped on the lower body with multiple folds around the waist. The last 2 meters of the saree get extended to the upper body known as Pallu. Sarees have the highest flexibility among all dresses as one can wear them in over a hundred unique styles.

 Popular websites like WomensFashionFun are famous for their artistic Saree collection and other traditional clothing in Singapore.


This collarless dress is also famous in Singapore as an exquisite traditional alternative for women’s fashion Singapore. The kurtas (also Kurtis) are immensely popular in Southern Asia and nearby countries. They can be plain with vibrant colors or have repeated designs to create beautiful patterns.

They are pretty much similar to the Baju Kurung but have the flexibility of having different lengths. The kurta length can vary from being of thigh, knee, or calf-length while having a sleeve (half, elbow, forearm lengths) or being sleeveless. It has the advantage of being a highly aesthetic choice that accentuates the female body. This upper dress (Kurta/Kurti) goes well with the palazzos and pants (the lower part of the dress). In addition, many women prefer to sport a beautiful matching dupatta around their necks to complete the Kurta set.

The fundamental difference between Kurta and Kurti is that the latter is the shorter version of the former in terms of length. Kurti generally has bicep-length sleeves or is sleeveless, whereas kurta gets recognized by their full-length sleeves.


Cheongsam is the epitome of traditional elegance, popular in Singapore among women. The female denizens wear this to complement their social status and love to show their modern touch & ethnicity.

Talking about its design, it accentuates the women’s body with its slim-fit look and side cuts within the boundaries of aesthetics. The most common colors are red and blue with beautiful designs and patterns. It is a single-piece dress with a collar made of either cotton or silk threads.

Sarong Kabaya

This ethnic dress is dignified clothing of the Nyonas in Singapore and is popular in Malaysia, Indonesia, and Brunei. It is the hybrid approach to fitting, where the blouse is a tightly-fitting attire and the skirt is made of beautiful batik with slightly loose-fitting. The blouse is generally heavily embroidered to give the royal and tempting look that complements the body language.

Ending Thoughts

The clothing styles might be drifting towards a more modern and stylish approach. However, a large population still loves to sport the ethnicity and traditions to show respect by wearing ethnic dresses. Especially when it comes to the women’s clothing domain, it has a multitude of attires. Women still prefer to wear traditional dresses in Singapore on various special occasions. Moreover, many believe to show their support and love for ethnic wear, which still outweighs the other trendy outfits.

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