Undying Fashion: Filipino Traditional Costumes

Amidst all the fashion trends that arise today, we all go back to one common type of clothing when it comes to digging deeper into our culture and history. Looking back to the roots, here are the traditional costumes that Filipinos used to wear in the early times.


Barong Tagalog: Officially declared as the national costume of Filipino men, this attire is traditionally made of a pineapple cloth that is woven from pineapple leaves. This is worn over a Chinese collarless shirt and exhibits the loose lines of Chinese sources and its tropical appearance of Indo-Malay costume. However, Barong Tagalog today can be made out of different materials and can even come in various colors.


Mestiza: A Mestiza is a formal dress that is elegantly made of high class lace and fabric decorated with carefully made embroideries, processed by the hands of the finest makers in town. It is basically just the classy version of baro’t saya. It is known for having elegance through its butterfly sleeves which can be worn during formal occasions.


Maria Clara Dress: Named after the mestiza heroine from Jose Rizal’s novels, this costume was originally from the shirt and skirt attire of women called “Baro’t Saya”. This Maria Clara dress features a paneled skirt of silk or satin that reaches the floor in length and has four separate parts: Camisa, the collarless waist length and bell sleeved top; Saya which is bubble shaped and floor – length; Panuelo, a stiff neck covering; and Tapis, or an overskirt.
Kimona Dress: originated from the Visayas, this is the attire that can be worn for everyday either as casual or formal attire. Typically, this is worn with a skirt, a West Visayan wrap called “Patadyong”.

Igorot: Diverging from the type of attires mentioned above, this one is used by the tribes in the mountain province of the Cordillera ranges. They have their distinct costume that made them different from the rest of the tribes in the country. Through this clothing, their culture, personality, religious practices, and rituals were reflected. It is a simple long strip of cloth that is woven by the hand worn by men while the women use the longer and wider cloth so they could wrap it around the body like a skirt.


Malong: Traditionally used as a garment of different tribes in the Southern part of the Philippines; originally from the Maranao tribe, this usually displays the social and economic status of the one wearing it. It conveys royal status and could also function as a skirt for both men and women. Additionally, it can also be a blanket, bed sheet, prayer mat, and many more.