Kebaya is the traditional clothing of Java, especially in Yogyakarta, Surakarta and Central Java, and worn with kemben, tapih pinjung and stagen. Kebaya is worn on daily activities or special occasions by Javanese women whether they are just common women or from royal family. In a formal ceremony, a woman wears kebaya with chain pin with jarik with batik motive, the hair is bun and decorated with earing, ring, necklace and bracelet, and with a fan.
For daily outfit, Javanese woman wears kebaya with kemben, setagen and jarik. Kemben is used to cover breats, armpit and back as it is wide enough. Setagen is wrapped over belly to tie tapihan pinjung. Lately kebaya is worn on certain occasion only, such as in a ceremony. Javanese know two kind of kebaya, short kebaya and long kebaya. Short kebaya only cover unto the hip, but the long one unto the knees. Short kebaya is made of cotton, plain or with one plain color. Currently kebaya is made of silk, brocade, nylon, stripe or synthetic material. Long kebaya usually is made of velvet, brocade, silk or nylon that is stitched.
Kebaya is matched with batik that is draped. Setagen is covered by weaving with bright color. Scarves are worn they should be made of batik, striated fabric matching or dyed ikatcloth. In addition to striated fabrics, gabardine fabrics may also wear a tartan fine with the following color combinations: dark green with black, purple with black, blue being theblack, yellow with black and red brick with black. Completeness of jewelry can be worn a simple form of small earrings and pendant with matching necklace, ring, bracelet and a pair of hairpin on the bun.
Long kebaya usually is made of velvet and brocade. Sundanese, Madurese and Balinese also wear kebaya. The length reaches knees. Usually velvet kebaya is black or dark red and decorated with golden color round the edge. The bun is deecorated with jasmin and tusuk konde from gold. While the jewelery is very simple, only a curvy comb worn on head. On non formal occasion, the hair is not decorated with jasmin and konde.
Male clothing, especially for royal families are floral beskap, with blangkon, stagen, keris, and sandal. This complete clothing is called as Jawi Jangkep.
Basahan Clothing is the most complete traditional clothing in Indonesia and can be found in Keraton Surakarta, Central Java. Every clothing shows stages of the wearer. In wedding ceremony, bride and groom from royal family wear various traditional costume, according to the stages of the procession : midodareni, ijab, panggih. and panggih ceremony. In Midodareni procession, the bride wears kejawen clothing with sawitan. Sawitan consists of long sleeves kebaya, setagen, and batik jarik. While the groom wears Jawi Jangkep consists of atela, udeng, sabuk timang, jarik, keris and sandal.
In ijab procession, .the bride wears kebaya and jarik and the groom wears basahan clothing. Basahan consists of kuluk matak petak, dodot bangun tulak, stagen, belt and cinde, white long trousers, keris warangka ladrang and sandal.
In Panggih procession, both wear basahan. Basahan is an open shoulder clothing style, and body wear some kind like bustier called kemben. dodot bangun tulak or kampuh, sampur sekar cinde abrit with green or blue base color and yellow or white motive. Kemben is used to cover the chest. Dodot cloth uses batik with alas-alasan motive, with 4-5 meters length and a main part of basahan. Selendang cinde sekar abrit is red scarf with black motive and jarik cinde sekar abrit is made of gloyar cloth, with red as base color and decorated with whie and black flower. This kind of cloth is worn like jarik only without wiron, folded part on one end of the cloth. The groom wears basahan, consists of dodot bangun tulak. Consists of light blue kulik matak , setagen, timang belt, epek, dodot bangun tulak, sekar abrit cinde trousers, keris warangka ladrang, kolong karis, selop, and necklace. In Panggih procession usually bride and groom is dressed up with jewelleries. Groom wears necklace, timang, ring, pin and buntal. While bride wears cunduk mentul on her hair, comb, centhung, necjlace, bracelet, ring, pin, earring, and timang/epek. Different thanthe previous stages, after panggih procession, the bride wears kanigaran clothing, consists of kebaya, jarik, stagen and sandal. While the groom wears kepangeranan clothing consists of kuluk kanigoro, stagen, takwo cloth, timang belt, jarik, keris warangka ladrang and sandal.
Bride and groom are also put on make up on their faces and on the hair, to make them having a better look. For bride, the make up is very detail, from face, eyes, cheeks, and lips.
Javanese clothing, whether it is for daily clothing or for special occasions has symbolical meaning. The clothes usually are decorated with geometric motives, swastika (star and moon), animals (bird, snake, bull or dragon), plants (lotus, jasmine), nature and even human.
Geometric motives are found in batik.
In Java, clothing has various functions, such as practical, aesthetic, religious, social and symbolic function.