Black 'kebaya biku' with embroidered yellow roses

The kebaya biku (which refers to a kebaya style with simple scalloped embroidery along the borders) has been used as everyday attire by Peranakan Chinese women since the 1930s. The kebaya tops, secured by three brooches, can be paired with classical Javanese-styled sarong bottoms that are distinguished by their stylised motifs running diagonally across the batik cloth and colour (indigo or soga brown) or 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.