Old School Filipino Fashion (in pictures)

Barong Tagalog

This is traditional formal wear for men and women in the Philippines. Think tuxedo and ballroom gown.

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The Philippines spent 450 years under Spanish rule. The Spanish town square inevitably became the center of social life. Nowadays, Filipinos still gather in a common space, but instead of a town square they use the mall. Everyone here goes to the mall. Everyone.


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A tropical sunset backdrops a gigantic Christmas tree that’s been up since September. It’s got to be Christmas in the Philippines.

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A more stylized barong (men) and wrap (women) are the next step in Philippine traditional wear.


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This is a more typical traditional women’s dress, though I’m not sure about the chunky necklace.

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This barong isn’t shear and moves beyond the more traditional, formal off-white color. The wrap is actually the same wrap (but a different color) as pink and white number above.


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Another barong. A hipper, more business version of a dress. More jewelry of questionable origin.


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Malls here are a bit like the U.S. malls except in the Philippines the mall is packed every day with crowds you’d only see around Christmas time in the U.S> The energy is different, to say the least.


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The mall staff reflects the inexpensiveness of labor. Malls are crawling with friendly workers eager to help you with your purchase. How many gray-vested sales people do you see here?


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On weekends, this sight isn’t unusual. Five sales people within a one rack radius of each other, all looking to close a sale.


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The average height of a Filipino male is 5’4”. There exist, therefore, certain niche markets.


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Instant height. I had to give it a try.


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Shoes on. Not bad, if I do say so myself.


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Shoes off. Can’t stop laughing because of the dramatic step-down in height and pride.

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Since barongs are tuxedo wear I’d say you’re looking at a couple of James Bonds. The jeans, t-shirt (Restore Haiti!), and sneaky price tag notwithstanding.



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