The Classic Trend of White Shirts in Indonesia


  • Tyar Ratuannisa Crafts and Tradition Research Group Faculty of Arts and Design Institut Teknologi Bandung
  • Imam Santosa Institut Teknologi Bandung
  • Kahfiati Kahdar Institut Teknologi Bandung
  • Achmad Syarief Institut Teknologi Bandung



Clothing style, identity, Joko Widodo, white shirt, Indonesian trend fashion.


The white shirts are one of the basic types of clothing for men, which have become a classic fashion trend and are recognized in almost all parts of the world. White shirts have a long history in Western clothing. Changes in this clothing usually lie in the type of collar and sleeves as the inner for suits as men’s formal wear. White shirts were originally worn by elite consumers rather than the middle class. The middle-class people rarely wore white shirts because a special washing treatment was needed for white shirts. In addition, since shirts were used for work, they were used repeatedly as many times as possible. In Indonesia, the use of shirts or clothing similar to shirts was discovered in the 17th century as the inner layer of a jacket (kalambi) that was influenced by Western clothing. The purpose of this research is to found out the role of white shirts in Indonesia, since as found in Western culture, white shirts in Indonesia have their own history after the colonial period. The method of this research is a historical approach to see how they experience changes related to social identity that distinguishes the wearer from the upper and lower classes and also political identity. Political identity is one of the identities of white shirts especially in the 2010s during President Joko Widodo's administration. The research found that the embedded political identity does not principally change the function of white shirts in Indonesia as they do not always reflect political tendencies. Moreover, like clothing, they are neutral and do not mark the identity of either men or women.

Author Biographies

Tyar Ratuannisa, Crafts and Tradition Research Group Faculty of Arts and Design Institut Teknologi Bandung

Crafts and Tradition Research Group and Craft Study ProgramFaculty of Arts and DesignInstitut Teknologi Bandung

Imam Santosa, Institut Teknologi Bandung

Design Science and Visual Culture Research Group Faculty of Arts and Design Institut Teknologi Bandung 

Kahfiati Kahdar, Institut Teknologi Bandung

Crafts and Tradition Research GroupFaculty of Arts and Design Institut Teknologi Bandung 

Achmad Syarief, Institut Teknologi Bandung

Man and Industrial Design Research Group Faculty of Arts and Design Institut Teknologi Bandung 


Ali, M. (2019) Timses: Baju Putih Identitas Jokowi Sejak Awal Pemerintahan., retrieved at March 18, 2020.

Angus, E., Baudis, M., Woodcock, P. (2015): The Fashion Dictionary: A Visual Resource for Terms, Techniques and Styles. Carlton Books Limited.

Atmasari, H. & Hadriani. (2019). Filosofi Kemeja Putih Jokowi., retrieved at March 18, 2020.

Barnard, M. (2007). Fashion sebagai Komunikasi [Fashion as Communication]. Yogyakarta: Jalasutra.

Blaszczyik, R.L. (2008). Producing Fashion: Commerce, Culture, and Consumers. Philadelpia: University of Pennsylvania Press.

Frings, G.S. (1987). Fashion: From Concept to Consumer. Pearson 9 Edition.

Holland, G., and Jones, R. (2017): Fashion Trend Forecasting. Laurence King Publishing.

Hu, X., Kaplan, S., & Dalal, R. S. (2010). An examination of blue- versus white-collar workers’ conceptualizations of job satisfaction facets. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 76(2), 317–325.

Hennessy, K., et al. (2012). Fashion: The Ultimate Book of Costume and Style. Dorling Kindersley Limited.

Hutabarat, E. (1999). Busana Nasional Indonesia [National Costume of Indonesia]. Direktorat Sejarah dan Nilai Tradisional Direktorat Jenderal Kebudayaan. Depdikbud, PT. Karia Cipta Mandiri.

King, C.W., and Ring, L.J. (1980): The Dynamics of Style and Taste Adoption and Diffusion: Contributions From Fashion Theory. Advances in Consumer Research (Vol. 7), 17-21.

Lombard, D. (1996). Nusa Jawa: Silang Budaya. Kajian Sejarah Terpadu. Batas-batas Pembaratan [Nusa Java: Cross Culture. Intergrated Study of History. Westernized Boundaries]. Jakarta: Gramedia Pustaka Utama.

Nordholt, H.S. (2005). Outward Appearances: Trend, Identitas, Kepentingan [Outward Appearances: Dressing State and Society in Indonesia]. Yogyakarta: LKIS.

Raymond, M. (2010). The Trend Forecaster’s Handbook. London: Laurence King Publishing Ltd.

Saravanan and Venkatasamy, N. (2015). Fashion Trends and Their Impact on The Society. Bannariamman Institute of Technology, Sathyamangalam. India.

Sproles, G.B. (1974). Fashion Theory: A Conceptual Framework. Advances in Consumer Research (Vol. 1), 463-472.

Veblen, T. (2001). The Theory of the Leisure Class. The Modern Library.

Walker, J.A. (1989). Design History and History of Design. London: Pluto Press.

Yahia, B.K. (2016). Cultural Congruency and Shocking Buzz Campaigns: Contrasting The Opinions of Professionals and Consumers. Journal of Marketing and Consumer Behaviour in Emerging Markets 1 (3) 2016. University of Warsaw Faculty of Management.

Yuswohady, et al. (2019). Millennials Kill Everything. Jakarta: Gramedia Pustaka Utama.

Zaman, Moh. Alim. (2001). 100 Tahun Mode di Indonesia 1901- 2000. Jakarta: Meutia Cipta Sarana & DPP Ikatan Busana Indonesia “Kartini”.

Photo sources:

Dewi Magazine, rubrik Hot. Januari 2016 issue.

Dewi Magazine, rubrik Hot. Januari 2017 issue.

Dewi Magazine, rubrik Liputan Khusus. Februari 2017 issue.

Femina Magazine, number 23/XXIV – 13-19 June 1996.

Femina Magazine, number 39/XXIV – 3-9 October 1996.

Hennessy, K., et al. (2012). Fashion: The Ultimate Book of Costume and Style. Dorling Kindersley Limited.

Kholifah, Alif. (2014). Inilah Daftar Kekayaan Menteri Kabinet Kerja Jokowi., retrieved at March 18, 2020.

Prastiwi, Devita. Tinjau Kebakaran Hutan, Jokowi Salat Minta Hujan hingga Berikan Peringatan. Retrieved at March 18, 2019.