Omar Ali boutique was established in 1935 by the late Hj Omar bin Ali. He used to be an apprentice for a Japanese lady who specializes in creating women’s ballroom gowns, especially for the wives of British expatriates living in the country back then.
As World War II loomed, the Japanese seamstress had to leave the country and return to Japan, Consequently, before her departure for home, she had bestowed Hj Omar with her tailoring business and had already imparted her tailoring skills to him during his apprenticeship. As World War II continued with expatriates leaving Malaya in droves, demand for ballroom gowns had dwindled completely.
Hj Omar then had to concentrate on the next best skill he had mastered which was making the traditional baju Melayu. He opened his first shop within the Masjid India enclave in 1935 and successfully built a reputation as a maker of good quality baju Melayu. By the early 1970’s, he pioneered the practice of making “ready-made” baju Melayu available in set sizes such as Small, Medium, and Large. Previously customers had to “custom make” all their baju Melayu as such attire was not readily available off-the-rack.
Our first prime minister, Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra Al-Haj was a customer of Omar Ali. He requested to modify the traditional 5-button baju Melayu into a 3-button version with a Mandarin collar as he feels more comfortable with such a design. We named this design the “Tunku Collar” baju Melayu, however now it is more popularly known as the “3-button” baju Melayu.
Omar Ali is now a very well-established boutique with branches throughout the Klang Valley and Putrajaya. We are probably the only traditionally based boutique with heritage as most of the other tailors are quite new. We cater to both traditional and modern apparel for men, ladies as well as kids. It is within our integrity to always strive to maintain the highest quality in our clothing line, which is why it is no surprise that we are already catering to the needs of our customers who are into their 4th generation!