Haven’t finished your Hari Raya shopping? Tengku Sofiah Aishah lists some must-haves and where to get them
LAST-MINUTE shopping isn’t a good buying strategy... as one may grab something only to regret it later.
But with Hari Raya drawing close, traders are eager to clear stock and this means some goods are marked down considerably.
So if you have not completed your shopping, here are some items and places you may want to consider.
One of the city’s oldest shopping malls, Ampang Park Shopping Centre is one the best places to shop for baju raya as it has many boutiques selling different designs of baju kurung, kurung moden, kaftan and the like.
From simple, plain designs to those with intricate beading, you can find them all here. Most of the designs are acceptable but you have to look around as some of the better shops may be hidden in nooks and corners. Prices range from RM100 to over RM1,000.
Baju Melayu and kurung for kids are available here too. They may be a bit pricey but they are oh-so-adorable!
Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman (TAR) and Masjid India are packed with affordably-priced cotton kurung. Prices here can be as low as RM50 for baju kurung.
While I love polka dots, I just don’t like them on baju kurung. Some are really cute though, but you need to choose the right colour combination.
I especially love English-inspired floral designs. They are so... English. Cotton kurung is not too flashy and you can wear them to work too.
Although kurung Pahang (with its wider opening top) is more popular nowadays, I think they make petite women look even shorter. Italian cotton is the softest and most comfortable but English and Japanese cotton are good too.
For online shopping, Matase Sutera (www.matase-sutera.blogspot.com) offers a variety of colourful ready-made baju kurung in batik designs. The abstract designs are simple yet stunning. The loose kebaya is a fusion of the modern and traditional. I love the combination of dark colours with pastels. They are youthful but not dowdy.
The fabrics are mostly crepe and cotton. Crepes are fragile but they are soft and comfortable. Some are see-through but this is easily fixed with an inner T-shirt or a spaghetti strap. Prices start from RM300 to over RM1,000.
Accessories are always a great way to jazz up your outfit and they don’t have to be real gold and diamonds. Some kiosks in Ampang Park have really pretty necklaces.
If your outfit is already overwhelmed with flowers and sequins, opt for matching chunky ring and play Victorian princess.
Jalan TAR is a heaven for those who wear scarves. The trend keeps changing and I have no clue about what’s in and what’s not. There are just so many different styles available. Headscarves are no longer limited to the square ones since Hana Tajima and Yuna make covering up look trendy.
There are now rectangles, triangles, and somewhere in between round and triangles. Slip-on scarves with ‘awning’, shawl, tribal, beaded, tri-tone — it’s all here. Looking at the rainbow of colours, I spot at least five different shades of red. The trick here is to walk around and compare prices. Some of the best places with the best prices are not in plain sight.
Again, Jalan TAR wins hands down if you’re looking for dainty pins. There’s a bazaar behind Masjid Jamek LRT station offering miscellaneous items in a variety of shapes and sizes. Eventually you will find the perfect brooch to match your scarf.
Dokoh, the traditional necklace set comprising three or more flat plates of gold or silver — much like the kerongsang (brooch) — can also be found here. Choices may be limited but are affordable whereas in exclusive boutiques, such items are sold at equally “exclusive” prices. Dokoh is traditionally worn with kebaya but it looks good with a plain baju kurung as well.
A clutch will complete your glamorous outfit but with today’s handphones getting bigger, this may not be practical.
While most handbags in Jalan TAR are tacky-looking, you can find some nice ones. You don’t have to get branded bags to be stylish. Instead of one designer bag, isn’t it more fun to buy a few in different colours from bargain shops to match your Hari Raya costumes?
These are better bought in shoe shops. Beauty is pain sometimes but not when it comes to feet. I like my shoes to be of good quality. You may also be doing a lot of walking during the festive season so it is crucial that you wear comfortable shoes.
Why look further? Vincci and Nose (at most major shopping centres) have cute flats and wedges for less than RM100. Opera (1Utama, Paradigm Mall) has always been my favourite for stiletto pumps.
Primavera shoes may be more suitable for work than events but Charles & Keith and Eclipse (Mid Valley) may have that strappy heels you’re looking for.
Those with big budgets can check out Aldo (1Utama, Mid Valley) or Nine West (Suria KLCC).
You can find nice clutches at reasonable prices at accessories shops such as Bonita (Mid Valley, Sunway Pyramid) and Evita Peroni (Mid Valley). Wider choices at slightly higher prices are available at department stores such as Isetan, Tangs, Parkson and Metrojaya.
HOW TO GET THERE
• Don’t drive. It’s more convenient to take the LRT to the city.
• To go to Ampang Park, take the Kelana Jaya line LRT and stop at the Ampang Park station.
• To get to Jalan TAR on the Sentul line LRT, stop at the Bandaraya (near Sogo) station. Stop at Masjid Jamek if you are on the Kelana Jaya line.