Fashion in Indonesia

What is fashion?

Is it something popular that many like to wear? Is it something that characterizes a group of people?

If we approach fashion from this angle then I have to say Indonesia is a colorful place to look at!

First of all people here are very young at heart. From age 0 to 100 many would put on a T-shirt with cartoon characters. Some would wear rich fluffy-homey slippers with them. On the street, in the market or at the university. It is not unusual to see people wearing cute kitty pijamas in town, be it a granny with a Disney princess purse or a 5 year-old hanging off his Mum’s neck.

An important aspect of everyday fashion is the Indonesian โ€œbatikโ€. It is a technique of coloring textiles. They use tiny wax containers with a pipe end to draw intricate patterns on a piece of cloth. Then it gets dumped into a dye (everything will change color except the parts covered in wax). After this the fabric goes into hot water so that the wax would come off leaving the pattern in the original color. This is how they make 1 color, imagine how complicated it is to make many!

Indonesia’s different regions have their own traditional batik colors and patterns. Men wear batik shirts, while women wear scarves, and everyone uses sarongs! What is a sarong? You would ask… A long piece of cloth wrapped around the legs or the body (like a skirt or a dress). Tourists like to give these sarongs more purpose though! It can be a skirt or dress, yeah, and so much more! Towel, blanket, wrap-bag, bed runner, top, scarf, headscarf, beach mat, curtain, baby hammock, sling, rope, apron, table cloth and probably we’ve just started!

Besides batik we have to mention Indonesia’s handwoven silk textiles. These expensive pieces are used to make luxurious sarongs for special occasions like weddings. They go together with so called kebayas, which are like richly embroidered long blouses or cardigan like tops.

Indonesia’s designer fashion focuses on traditional elegant wear. Ideas are based on these lastly mentioned batik and silk fabrics and kebayas. Recently the Arab world has come more into view with flowing sandy colors and sophisticated turbans.

One of the most remarkable designers of the country is Ida Sofyan, who has been in the fashion scene for decades. She combines tradition with her own ideas. Taking inspiration from her homeland West Sumatra as well as other oriental cultures she creates dazzling compositions that will surely leave you speechless! Finding these pieces online can prove quite difficult, so I’ll leave you with some photos to enjoy ๐Ÿ™‚

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Photo By/Credit To Charlie Mawardi

Photo By/Credit To Charlie Mawardi


Photo By/Credit To Anto Dharsono

Photo By/Credit To Anto Dharsono


Photo By/Credit To Anto Dharsono

Photo By/Credit To Anto Dharsono


Photo By/Credit To Anto Dharsono

Photo By/Credit To Anto Dharsono


Photo By/Credit To Fauzan Hamdia

Photo By/Credit To Fauzan Hamdia


Photo By/Credit To Alfison Adam

Photo By/Credit To Alfison Adam

If you suddenly have the urge to get something for yourself, have a look at our shop of little treasures here!ย Shop TYS!

Cover Photo Credit To

By: Beata Czifrik


Author: Beata Czifrik

I left behind a secure life with all modern boxes ticked: education, career, money, home, 40 pairs of high heelsโ€ฆ I went to Indonesia for a year to study arts. That year changed my life. During that time I learned to see the value of life, of every single moment. I learned to appreciate โ€œlittleโ€ things like food and shelter, people and love. That year started me out and since then I have been following the same path of seeking, learning and growing. I live off my jewelry, sometimes I actually work for money. Most of the time I travel and do work exchanges. I have spent months working with horses in the Sierra Nevada Mountains of Spain, with the loveliest people in the incredible countryside of Vermont, US and with a real horse whisperer in Hungary. I have done some farm work too in the amazing scenery of South of Spain, on a Mennonite style farm in Belize, and on the Highlands of Bogota. Hostel work cannot be missing from my repertoire either, While working in hostels, I fell in love with traveling in my first bar job in Hungary, enjoyed a unique city life in Kuala Lumpur, hiked the mountains of the Lake District in England, lived a jungle life in Guatemala, surfed in the Pacific in Ecuador and enjoyed the magic of the Canary Islands. During my everlasting travels I have learned many skills and crafts. After drawing, embroidery and some fabric work I ended up making macrame jewelry. Macrame is a technique that uses tiny little knots to create a shape and pattern. I work with semi-precious stones and create unique fiber art around them. I work with no hurry, and with careful attention and love, to always be able to pass on a perfectly made piece that carries beautiful positive energies.

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