Netted 'kebaya' embroidered with purple and green hibiscus motifs

The 'kebaya' was worn by Malayan women, many who often could make such clothes for themselves. The 'kebaya' often incorporated stylised floral motifs especially the bunga raya (or hibiscus) found in abundance in Singapore and the Federation. The 'kebaya' top is secured by three brooches and usually worn with a kain sarong (waistcloth). The Malays usually wore it with a corset, which helped to accentuate the wearer's slim figure. As the fabric was thin, women would wear camisoles underneath, until brassieres became popular in the 1950s.