The last time I saw them worn was more than 20 years ago. My grandmother who was a Penang Baba Nyonya only wears see through lace kebaya and her sarong. Her kebaya does not have any buttons but is kept together with a kerongsang, a 3 piece jewellery brooch that pins the kebaya together.
The kebaya has gone through much changes but remain the same style and cutting throughout. Nowadays, there's hardly anyone who wears them see through, but Rizalman made this classic kebaya looking like a dream from his 2003 Kerongsang collection.
I still have my grandmother's kebayas. They were hand stitched with beautiful embroidery and they are vintage. Very doubtful if they could fit me now....not unless I shed the few tyres and many kilos...
Below pictures are from Tourism Penang, and it's a down memory lane for me because I remember my paternal grandmother, a Nyonya from Penang wearing one of this kebaya exactly like this. Either in see through lace, or very thin fine organza, muslin or cotton, always showing a hint of the undergarment and worn with a matching sarong.
The beautiful actress Umie Aida, wearing a classic see through lace kebaya and sarong!
Beautiful hand stitched details
This modern see through kebaya was taken from here with the same classic style..what I would do to wear this
A modern kerongsang, always linked with a chain. I remember my grandmother's kerongsang were nothing like this, they were bigger in size, elaborate, intricate and beautiful.
Read all about the Babas and Nyonyas here Tourism Melaka and History of Nyonya Baba (Peranakan) | Jonker88.com