The Traditional Filipino Fashion


The earliest native men wore rough cotton waist-length doublet shirts without collars throughout the pre-colonial era.

A pane intended to hang between the legs and mid-thigh covered their loins. The women were dressed suitably in short dresses with sleeves. The women also wore a pane, enhanced with a vibrant belt, that extended from the waist to their feet.

The men and women topped off their sense of style with jewelry and accessories that enhanced the beauty of their bodies.


Spanish colonizers brought their sense of style to the Philippines at this time, and this eventually affected the way Filipinos dressed. 

The locals were taught how to wear shoes and hats by the Spaniards. 

Unfortunately, many of the goods were only accessible to the most privileged and wealthy people “Barong,” standing collared shirts with lace and gem decorations, were first worn by men.

                                                         traditional filipino spanish

In addition, sashes were worn high across the waist with loose-fitting pants and either slippers or shoes.

In addition, native women of the Philippines began to change their traditional attire into a much more conservative style known as “Baro’t saya” in order to honor foreign priests.

traditional filipino dress


traditional filipino dress in these exquisitely influenced outfits for formal events like weddings and presidential meetings. In addition to being worn for traditional purposes today, these garments are of a quality appropriate for a nation with such a tropical climate.


Filipino males were first exposed to “Americana” during the American regime – not a lady, but Westernized clothes and jackets.

traditional filipino american

Women wore “Panuelo,” the national dress of the Philippines, and “terno” dresses with short sleeves in the shape of butterflies. The majority of favoritism at that time went to men, which the women deemed unfair. The different ways that men and women dressed during the American regime are a symbol of the power struggle between the Americans and Filipinos.

Although they were  in a time when jobs and colleges were becoming more accessible, Filipino women felt that their clothing styles did not present them “professionally.”




traditional filipino present

In contrast to how the natives dressed back then, the styles seen today are different across the nation. Imagine how past generations might react to what today’s teens are wearing. 

Filipiniana clothing wasn’t truly worn every day a few years ago. Most women today do not view it as essential apparel for everyday or even special events.

The women of the Philippines did not previously dress in such provocative ways. Long dresses frequently concealed legs. There were numerous changes to Philippine fashion throughout the twenty-first century. 

There are different variants of how the fashions of today are worn.

Men’s apparel has evolved as well, moving from formal attire to “baggy jeans” and plain white t-shirts. Fashion has historically been a reflection of one’s identity based on what is popular. The “barong tagalog” and the “Filipiniana terno” are still frequently used today to symbolize Filipino tradition and culture, despite the fact that fashion has altered throughout the ages. It is encouraging to note that the people of the Philippines have not lost sight of their origins or traditional values. 


If you ever visit the Philippines, wander the streets and have a look at the local attire. The apparel is so exquisitely created that it will leave you breathless. 

Photos from Google

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