Jackson Tailors - tailors suit makati
Jackson Tailors Dress Shirt Polo in Makati store has 10 collar styles ranges, each with its distinct specialty. It can outline your personal style, or express the business for the day. As you very well know, every armor, has that simple yet very appropriate variable that will define your objection, target and intent. And before Filipino suit enthusiasts goes on to disregarding bespoke shirts, let us help you decide otherwise, as we tell you the stories behind each and every collar style available in our Tailor shop in Makati. We did not include the Club Collar since it is rarely used in Philippine Polo designs although it really is one for the Philippine fashion trend.
(1 3’8 rear collar height, removable collar stays option)
2. The Semi Spread Collar
It is oftentimes mistaken with the Classic because both have two and a quarter collar height. You will barely notice the ¼ inch additional spread or tie space wherein it allows you to go bare or open collar (tieless). Very flattering for all face shape because it allows neutral projection. This style is the middle ground design of the Classic and The Spread Collar.
(1 3’8 rear collar height, removable collar stays option)
3. The Spread Collar
Classic English, the London Collar, The Old school collar for the kids, but really it’s the old classic way of collar style. Rarely seen in the Philippine Business attire ensemble because one slim is in and Filipinos rarely wear the larger tie knots, even in weddings, as a groom or the Dads, or Ninongs. But it is the dressiest most distinct of all collars and we still then and again tip our Executive clients to go for this bold look that can demand a masculine presence. With its three inch collar points and six inches of collar spread that allows that Windsor, Ascot or Cravat to make its point in any occasion.
4. The Button Down Collar
The preppy look or in today’s standards the look. A more semi-formal polo collar with its practical design credited to the Polo Players who needed their collars to stay put which the Brooks Brothers immortalized in their products. The weekend shirt goes well with khakis and or in gingham texture even in plaid. This used to be a Friday dress down look but from what we are seeing it has become a more of a junior officers go to shirt for a more conservative business attire. The classic collar spread button down is 3 inches collar height with a 3 inch distance so you easily go without a tie or don on one. But from what we are seeing it’s become common to widen the spread to up to 6 inch spread
5. The Eyelet Collar
The dressier version of the button down collar, this formal collar style holds down the collars with a pin, which is comparable to cuff links. It is uncommon in the Philippine tailoring scene but very voguish and purposeful because it brings the two collar points together and supports the tie knot making it look prominent. Redefine your look with different pins like dumbbell, safety pin or clip style allowing delicacy in pointed collars. We see a lot of eyelet collars moving away from the points into a club collars (rounded ends). Go gold or silver, this collar style is definitely a polished look.
6. The Wing Collar
Arguably a white tie collar design because it is considerably used for bowties only, but commonly seen in Philippine black tie events as well with a tux. This collar style has really stiff collar ends folded out to resemble the wings where it got its name. Has a 2 and 1/8” collar end in front height and one and a half rear collar height. It has almost zero spread width and definitely does not need any collar stay.
7. Small Wing Collar
Tailored exactly like the wing with only a smaller fold.
8. Mandarin Collar
The second if not the primary go to collar style for the Filipino tailor of the polo in the Philippines which they refer to as the Chinese collar. Popularly used in rtw for sale barong tagalog in Makati shops and all over the metro manila regions. The younger generation pinoys prefer this more stylish look to the more traditional dress shirt look of the 9 other collar styles. 3/4 inch height all around and like the wing has no collar end spread and definitely does not need any necktie. Nehru suit designs have a good say in the promulgation of this style in our barong tagalog, because soft linen Indian styles have always been interesting for our Philippine tailors and such trend easily overflowed to the polo designs.
9. Band Collar
Tailored exactly like the Mandarin Collar with quarter of an inch higher in height. But here is where the confusion begins for most interpretation of Philippine tailoring methods. I am going to go a little technical here so for most readers, you may skip this part. The band collar is one inch in height which is basically what most Philippine tailors use for the Chinese collar, it just goes to show how the transition got lost in translation.
Dress Shirts or Polo in the Philippines. Long sleeves Polo. Short sleeves Polo that Filipinos love so much that most companies even use this cut for our polo barong tagalog. It has a collar and a front opening from collar to the bottom of the shirt. Closed up with either buttons or shirt studs which are usually used for formal occasions.
The Philippines used to be the number one supplier of pearl buttons. It was our number one export back in the days. Sadly we rarely have suppliers and most of our pearl buttons can be bought in Hong Kong. Nevertheless, some polos use casual buttons, but Jacksons tailors make a point to fancy up the shirt with proper buttons.
Long sleeves polos use woven cloth fabrics hence the crisp white shirt. It should be starched while ironed to keep its glorious look.
Collars varies differently upon design but must be cut close to the neck or basically it is a fail, hence bespoke shirts, Filipinos rarely have one made except for their wedding day. It can be button down, stiffened up with collar stands that you can buy separately, but basically stiff and standing up like the best soldier you should be. Gives you that effortless refinement.
Plackets all over, on the wrist, on the side cuts by your hips, makes it worth the extra effort for us tailors because it does make it extra special, like diamonds on a woman’s gown.
And that cuff. Shouldn’t be too stiff as a board but definitely sturdy like a woman readily assigned to do your bidding. Buttoned down , folded and buttoned, slightly curved or sharped up edged.
The dress shirt or polo is easily the number one go to piece of garment for any occasion. It can be a stand alone outfit, paired with a suit, paired with blue jeans, or partnered up with khakis on a boating trip you got invited to and you just need to look extra swanky.
Little trivia: Sharon Stone wore her husband’s dress shirt paired with a beautiful satin skirt to the Oscars. Imagine that. Amidst a sea of dior gowns, we have this sought after siren sporting a long sleeves white polo working the red carpet with her husband on tow and a gorgeous smile. But what caught everyone’s attention was of course the white polo, would you think to do so if invited to like say , a wedding? Amazingly it wasn’t on the worst dress list but actually The Talk Of The Town. What can we say, that dame knows how to walk the red carpet.
One must have a good tailor on call. It is one of those things that should have been taught by our parents. But the onslaught of ready to wear products, the need to have one custom made for us or better, bespoke for us, just seems to go with the wind. Philippine Tailoring is one of the finest in Asia. Being westernized is a product of Filipinos adapting easily to almost anything. We tend to love anything western and despite the heat, our ancestors loved sporting the coolest suit during our Spanish Colonized years. Ilustrados wearing a good suit was not uncommon, nor was it unbecoming. Dr. Rizal carried himself quite amorously in one and I saw a lot of old nostalgic photos of our colonized ancestors garbed in their filipino tailored suit. To church, to business, at a wedding, at a funeral. They loved wearing it. Most asians prefer to wear their own garbs, Indonesians in malongs, Chinese in cheongsams, Japanese in their robes. Our Barong Tagalog was fashioned after the morning tails of the west. It is quite enamoring how it evolved into a buttoned up close neck twosies. So looking back our tailors passed on so much and like so many other professionals, they tend to leave. So kudos to those tailors who are still here despite the 90s ready to wear boom, which Jacksons was admittedly part of. Supplying for Rustans, Landmark and SM, Jacksons second generation tailors thought to ride the bandwagon and go retail. However, we brought back bespoke. Quite frankly, we had chosen to let that one skill go, but our founder Jackson Chu surely taught us well and the British tailoring classic method is still alive in our work. Some of the british bespoke suit enthusiasts were able to to get a taste of what it is that keeps this method timeless. Cause basically anyone who wears this rare experience falls in love with it. We become used to loose clothing that we simply forgot how it is to wear something fitted to us. Alterations cannot simply replace what bespoke is and if you must since you love the brand, have us on call, because one needs a good tailor on call.
1. Bowling Shirts - popularized by Charlie Harper, this camper shirt oftentimes has one patch pocket on the right and a logo on the left. Fabrics varies from cotton to silk and colors are most likely to be two toned. It is perfect for Philippine menswear fashion because it is basically a short sleeve polo with style.
2. Floral Bowling shirt - like a Hawaiian shirt but has different collar color and most have smaller floral patterns with various flowers other than Hawaiian flora. Pinoy fashion must have since we are a tropical country with a lot of flora to explore
3. Red and Blush Colors - pop it up Pop. Filipino men can step up their game with this color trend for menswearph 2018. Red is self explanatory but check out this pant from our 2018 jack rtw, we will soon have a blush jacket to get you styled this year.
4. Utilitarian Look - cargo pants, workers look. Convenient too. This look has definitely evolved with a lot of different fabrics used for its pockets. Patch pockets with different colors and prints. Filipino men will love how this one will allow a lot of storage space for their gadgets.
5. Vertical Stripes - will make you look bigger, finally someone admitted it. Perfect for pinoys who unlike most westerners are smaller in frame. I guess this stemmed out from the bowling shirt stripe and just ran with it. This half inch stripes on lighter hued shirts can allow Filipinos to interchange from formals to casual Fridays pretty much easily.
90s styled shop with classical furniture and located along pasay road was the last HK Jackson tailoring shop until we reopened it in Mile Long Building.
Old authentic wools on wood carved display cabinets. Innumerable prototype samples of suits trousers and polo shirts for rtw presentations. That's how I came into the Jackson Web.
HK Jackson tailoring the formal menswear supplier.
SM under Tonichi Nocom and SM Department store in-house products; Landmark under their own brand Jack owned by my sister in law the eldest of the four siblings; Rustans under Black Label and other brands that my husband Jeffrey Chu supplied for given to him by their other sister.
That was the HK Jackson Tailoring I knew.
Second Generation Tailoring Family Business. The number one formal menswear supplier in Metro Manila.
Little did I know the vast history behind it, their well loved Mother, widowed so young and the father who left behind a legacy so preponderant that we will be tackling it in three series.
Who was Hong Kong Jackson? Who is the man behind the name?
He was the famous Shanghai Bespoke Master Cutter from Hong Kong that Filipinos and Chinese men during the 60's and 70's lined up for just to own a Jackson Chu handiwork. Beloved by his tailors, the budding first gen Fil-Chi Community, his Filipino family and his lovely young wife Rosario.
Borne in the little garment district of Ningbo, China. Jackson Chu learned tailoring from his secondary schooling. Ningbo or Ningpo, is a northeastern Zhejiang shen Province just outside Shanghai, it means Calm Waves. Its tepid waters was the reason it became a popular Merchant Overseas Trading Port.
With its infamy came foreign interests and attacks. But peaceful trade became possible when the Portuguese assisted in keeping the ports safe enough for British Traders to come in along with British Bespoke tailoring.
That even after Ningbo's economic decline to Shanghai in the 1800s, British Bespoke Tailoring was still taught in their high schools. Ningbo in turn became the Garment City to which they are still well known for in Today's China.
Jackson Chu was the best in his craft. He was able to rise above his peers and land him a good job in metropolitan Shanghai. The young tailor's handiwork was so exemplary that most Chinese Communist Party leaders favored him. A skilled tailor with enough wit and charm to enable him to rise above from any situation and cement his network of high officials in the Chinese Communist Party.
And when the right time came, those high officials were his key to realizing his dream.
Young Jackson Chu was admired in Shanghai but he was not happy.
He wanted more than what Shanghai was offering. With his powerful connections he secured passage to Hong Kong.
He went home to Ningbo to say his goodbyes to his family. He did not know when he will see them again, if they would see each other again. But he braved it and ventured into the unknown. It would take another 15 years before he risked going back to Ningbo, with him his Filipina wife, the lovely Rosario Chu.
What would it have been like to cross the 2400 km Pearl River back then? What was he thinking as he saw the pearl colored shells that lay at the bottom of the riverbed? Did he cross to Lantau Island? Or was it in Heishawan? Known then as Canton river, this was the estuary you cross from China to Hong Kong.
We will never know what he was thinking but we do know it was so monumental that Jackson Chu incorporated it to his emblem.
Aboard a Chinese Junk Ship, he would always say, I crossed to Hong Kong aboard a Chinese Junk ship.
Til the end that Chinese junk ship is still embroidered on the patches of his suits. On the logo of HK Jackson Tailoring designs. On the Insgnia that illuminated Arnaiz Avenue at night in the 80's and 90's where his Jackson Building stands to this day.
Hong Kong was the hippest country to go to, back then. The new Shanghai. Trendy to a tilt. The Singapore of their time. This vogue atmosphere was teeming with fashion forward people, already a very cut throat industry with many local tailors using British style tailoring. Amongst one of the budding tailors was fellow Ningbo countryman (kababayan) Ascot Chang. He was making waves as a shirt maker in Kimberly road. For a FOB Shanghai Tailor it must have been very intimidating, foreboding. But Jackson Chu had the style and charm that gave him the competitive edge. Although it was not as easy as Shanghai, he nevertheless managed to become a Master Cutter in Hong Kong.
The already middle aged Jackson's fate changed drastically when a Filipino Sartorial enthusiast and Politician lured him to work in his country. The Philippines. A nascent country, the pearl of the Orient, a novel adventure that would seal his destiny because this is where he would meet his beloved wife Rosario.
He moved to Manila and worked for a Tailoring shop along Taft. He was the favorite cutter of a famous Fashion store. His reputation as famous Shanghai tailor with impeccable hands brought in a lot of customers. And as providence allowed, Jackson Chu fell in love with the young Filipina merchandiser Rosario Ganac. Equally competitive as he was, Rosario proved to be the best partner for Jackson. She was business savvy and had a good head on her shoulders that when they married, it was a whirlwind of events that led up to the most influential Tailoring shop in the Philippines.
Together the couple built up HK Jackson Tailoring along Taft avenue. Rosario's networking skills and Jackson's impeccable craftsmanship launched this small tailoring shop into the most sought after store in Manila.
But what really cemented their name in this industry was the Cashmere Wool that they were able to bring in Metro Manila. With the help of his Political contacts both here and in China, Jackson and Rosario were able to supply Manila tailors the finest of Chinese Cashmere before the ports of China were even open.
Cashmere was introduced to the US by Bernhard Altman only 10 years before the Chus brought it in Manila from China. It was just a Kashmir shawl that was used as suiting fabrics by the Europeans and brought to the US by the Germans.
The Chus would risk getting detained in China just to export these Chinese wools. China still closed to foreign trade gave 48 hour passes (visas) to visitors. Using his charm and connections once again, Jackson Chu this time with his new wife Rosario would journey to Shanghai ride a small boat to Ningbo buy the wools cross back to Shanghai and unto a Passenger ship back to Manila. Well we can just surmise that the risk also involved visiting time with his family who were still living in Ningbo, but it nevertheless led the prevalence of these fabrics in Metro Manila.
The tailoring shops were scrambling to purchase from Jackson Chu.
The Shanghai Master Cutter had finally turned Entrepreneur. They were fast becoming the most proactive tailoring business in the Industry. The risks the couple took paid off and their business had become well known as the Hong Kong Tailoring Shop with the Shanghai Master Cutter who was selling Authentic Cashmere wools from Shanghai.
In his late 50's Jackson took on another first. His most ambitious project yet, but it was not in the tailoring industry.
Jackson Chu has moved up from being Master Cutter to Entrepreneur and together with his equally Impresario wife Rosario they began constructing the Jackson building.
It was one of the first commercial building along Pasay road and the biggest of their time. Quite impressive because Pasay road was still a residential area then. Jackson always had the foresight and Rosario the arm to see it through.
Jackson Building behind New World Hotel is still one of the most stylish building in Makati. Bauhaus Designed four stories high, Pasay road’s first elevator building. It is still the most impressive forethought in Makati along with Ayala’s dream of a Business District.
This may be just one of his legacies; one he shares with his children his beloved wife and the city of Makati, but it wasn’t his greatest.
His childhood background in Ningbo is what remained with his family and friends. His handiwork, his craftsmanship in menswear design, his tailoring style that has already passed on to innumerable tailors in Manila. Shanghai, British. Studying authentic British Bespoke tailoring in Slim’s Makati, I am already finding out that it didn’t really diverged so much,
His love for Bespoke tailoring created this web of life that even his brother whom he was able to bring to Manila in the late 70s from Communist China will never forget.
This is what tailoring is to most who understand it.
The love for beauty and art can transform you and the people around you. Amazingly I, who came from a Real Estate background found myself caught up in his web. His wife’s love for her Shanghai Tailor gave her the strength to carry on his legacy even after being widowed so young. His Filipino family from marriage always had fond memories of him. His daughters became well known in the garment industry in Manila. His first son keeps on redesigning high fashion and became one of the first Menswear ramp models.
And his last heir, my husband, Jeffrey Chu who has the underlying eye for Menswear design. Although he won’t admit it, Jeff has already innovated the first Tuxedo Barong and the first open Jacket tuxedo that of course has now proliferated to the markets of Divisoria.
Jackson and Rosario’s visionary spirit passed on to their children to excel and innovate Philippine Fashion Industry.
But that is another story.
Jackson Chu was beloved by the Filipino tailors who worked under him. Shanghai tailoring proliferated in Manila due to his love of teaching his craft. His tailors would tell us stories of how Jackson Chu trained them, molded them, mentored them in Bespoke tailoring. One of his tailors passed this on to other tailors and the cycle is simply astounding.
The butterfly effect of the Portuguese saving the ports of Ningbo that has influenced Asian British Tailoring, from Ascot Chang of Hong Kong to Jackson Chu in Metro Manila. The Kashmir fabric that came from Mongolia as shawls and in turn became Cashmere suiting fabrics for the Europeans. Traded in America by a German spearheading a global product that launched the affluence of Jackson Chu in Metro Manila Tailoring Industry. Astounding.
1. Suit - Filipino men won't admit it but you definitely use it in almost all of the formals these days. Have one fitted for your body, because nothing spells out sad than a lopsided suit.
2. Barong Tagalog - Saves you a lot of headache in choosing an outfit and perfect for any dress code
3. Black Trousers - Chinos, denim or joggers, easily go from sloppy to edgy.
4. Plain T-shirt - You wear it everyday, dressy and casual, fitted or loose. You won't fail paired with a lot of bottom choices.
5. Polo Shirt - Collared for business, designed to keep things streamlined.
6. Denim - washed, ripped, blue, indigo, black
7. Sneakers - White is the way to go, clean crisp neat.
8. Dress Shoes - Balmoral, wingtip, loafers, brogue, lace up boot, whole cut leathers
9. Watch - affordable to expensive, this is a basic and safest jewelry you can rely to keep you classy
10. Sunglasses - a pair of aviators or wafers can be healthy for your eyes and others too, if you know what I mean. Definitely made the top 10 cut because hey, we live in the Philippines.
The Barong Tagalog is more often than not referred to the Formal Wear in Piña fabric with Calado and embossed embroidery. Truly a Filipino Heritage as I illustrated in my past journals, this form of clothing has evolved with the times due to the painstaking efforts to keep true to Filipino Nationalism.
Popularity catapulted and cemented by the efforts of our Political Leaders beginning with Manuel L. Quezon towards our present day President Rodrigo Duterte. And used in so many APEC conventions, signifying comradeship.
During President Magsaysay's Presidential Campaign, the beloved of the Masses Mambo Magsaysay rolled up his Barong Tagalog sleeves up to his elbow. And when people ask us if the suit makes the man or the man makes the suit. Well I guess President Magsaysay's persona and personification has proven positive on both aspects. His was a variation of the Barong Tagalog that sealed the fate of the Barong. The Barong Tagalog took to the more casual look of the Polo Barong.
The Polo Barong is used by almost all of the office uniforms in the Philippines. Colors are bountiful as well. This lesser formal version comes in different hues and shades. Light Blue colors are amongst the favorite of most businesses however white still remains the most preferred of the norm.
The gusot mayaman fabric is used for most of the shirt jacket variety of the Barong Tagalog. Reminiscent of the Guyabera shirt due to the fabric used such as Linen, Rami or cotton but without the pockets. This has shorter sleeves and the transparency as you may well know varies with different fabrics. Jusi is the more formal choice for this variation.
Westernized, Colonized, Modernized. However you want to see it, the evolution of the Barong Tagalog just molded well with the times. On its trail is a lot of history and a lot of nationalism which to most of us truly appreciate since we are still trying to preserve those lost.
Or maybe its commercial appeal stems out from the mere fact that it is a tropical country and that most of us really feel comfortable in it. The lightweight hue colors brings out the easiness amidst some harsh humid days. To walk from one building to another can be gruesome in sweltering heat that brings me back to the topic of trend vs comfort.
So how do people wear the Barong Tagalog.
1. Camisa De Chino underwear. Should be Long sleeves with tone on tone or cream. Gina Silk or Linen. Vneck or with buttons.
Shirt skirt should go down as far as your Piña Barong, to keep it fashionable and elegant.
2. Another option we usually recommend is a lined barong. We sew in a second layer called the lining, but still lightweight and a little less transparent.
3. Black Trousers is commonly used. Other visually acceptable colors for trousers are tone on tone of the Barong Tagalog, like say cream or khakis for lesser formal venues. However, as per usual here at Jacksons Tailors, we also made a Barong Tagalog with Tuxedo Pants. Single Galon cream colored blended wool that stands out amongst the younger generation who seems to want more visceral presence.
4. Pointed Collars should be buttoned...... always.
5. Oxfords or Panted Leather Shoes a must but of course if dress code is less strict like say in a beach venue, sandals are ok to match with those fashion forward khakis with barong. It's a party and barong tagalogs tramples down all that dress code barriers.
For Polo Barongs (Officewear, Casual Wear)
1. For undershirts
Short sleeved shirts
Sando ( sleeveless undershirt for men )
2. Buttoned Unbuttoned, rolled up (for the long sleeves) styled nicely.
3. Black Trousers a norm for the Office, Khakis, Chinos, Jeans
4. Patent Shoes for the Office, all kinds for Sunday fundays or casual Fridays.
If we had stuck to the norm, our Barong Tagalog would have surely died out with our ancestors. Given that the times have given way to practical and voguish, the last one being the key word. So yes we can bend the rules, yes we can wear the sando under the very see through Piña fabric, but keep it stylish, elegant, CHIC.
We owe it to the Barong Tagalog, the one special heirloom of our Philippine Ancestry. The reason we don't sweat under a thick cotton westernized polo during our lunch break. The soul of Pinoy craftsmanship. The only national costume that beats out the tailcoat to any white tie event. The Most meticulously preserved symbolism of our past and still unfinished history of our Filipino designers and stylists.
The Barong Tagalog folks.
Biblioteca Nacional de Madrid - The Colonial Imaginary. Photography in the Philippines during the Spanish Period 1860-1898 Exhibition Catalog by Sociedad Española de Acción Cultural en el Exterior (SEACEX)/Casa Asia Hosted at the National Museum of the Filipino People, Manila, Philippines (Nov. 2006-Feb. 2007)
The Barong Tagalog is distinct due to its embossed embroidery.
The Filipino Ma-I bartered with the Chinese. Exchanging kapok, beeswax and 1349 Daoyi Zhilue lists cloth of various pattern. Zhu Fan Zhi on the other hand states they bartered yuta cloth. In exchange the Filipinos received the "porcelain, trade gold, iron pots, lead, colored glass beads, and iron needles"
Thus began the legacy of the embroiderers of Laguna.
I believe this is when Calado was borne. Not in the House of Balconies in Spain, but in the shores of Laguna. That list up there is what one needs to embroider a calado which is what I think looks exactly like fishing nets, which I assumed was incorporated magically with European embroidery. The Spanish are claiming that it was around 1700s when they invented the Calado.
I used to wonder why Laguna? Why not Cebu, or Panay? And so now we know. But what catapulted this fate is during the Philippine Spanish Era when the Franciscan nuns settled in Laguna, taught European style embroidery to the wives of the fishermen. This in turn gave birth to the most spectacular embroidery of The Barong Tagalog.
The delicate embossed embroidery is what draws the people to this piece of art. Scallops, Flowers, Paisley, Scrolls with the delicate Calado are intricately hand embroidered for its emboss effect.
Nowadays Computerized embroidered barong has captured the hearts of most menswear fashion designers. It gives a more sharper embroidery patterns. But nothing beats Hand embroidery. There is a lot of spirit poured into it that oozes out of every stitch. Though if not an expert you won't find the difference, but if an enthusiast, you would really find the intricacy uniquely beguiling.
Other forms of embroidery used are the Alforza or pinpricking and Lace inserted appliques (mostly for the ladies). And lastly the newly introduced Hand painted barongs. Ultimately it is hand embroidery and Calado that epitomizes the art of the Barong Tagalog.
Embroidery is mostly concentrated on the Pechera or Torso. In the 60's full Calado designs were popularized.
The clean finish at the back is most important because it is done on the sheerest natural fabric fiber. The main ingredient of this piece of art.
The Piña Fabric
Piña is the Spanish word for Pineapple. Borne out of the Island of Panay in a fishing village called Kalibo (popular because it is the gateway to boracay).The Piña Fabric made out of the Pineapple leaf that has been pulled or split away to form fibers called the Bastos. Also used for the hairs of the Saints statues in Catholic Churches. They are long and stiff strands that can also be turned into abaca-like ropes. The Bastos are again are again scraped into a finer filament called the Linawan. They are washed and hung to dry for weaving process. Looms are usually built with coconut timbres, however the weft is wound in bamboo. About a meter a day are woven and braided into a piña cloth.
But it is the most favorite fabric of sewers and embroiderers alike. Because it is all natural, the smell is simply amazing. It is the stiffer version of silk. Looks like silk, but stiffer.
I accept the stiffness of it. The authenticity of it. The natural texture of it. Better than making it softer with polyester and or cotton. Although if you wear it everyday, trending it up with incorporated fibers has had its fair share of demand. But nah, I prefer the original stiffler.
And speaking of stiffness, we move on to the evolution of fabrics used for the Barong Tagalog:
1. Jusi from abaca or banana silk
2. Banana Fabric but with limited geometric designs.
3. Piña Cotton is a combination of 2 natural fibers that gives a softer feel. Sample seen in picture on right.
4. Organza used for affordable barong tagalog
5. Jusilyn another rtw favorite because it is economically practical
6. Rami Linen is used for Gusót-Mayaman
6. Poly Cotton used for office barongs or polo barong (popularized by President Mambo Magsaysay more on this in our next journal)
The synthetic fibres have already used non woven methods and faster fabric production. They are also less see through than the natural woven fabrics.
But some tries to keep true to the Piña look making their fabric translucent.
The translucency varies but the more authentic Piña is more valued for its sheerness. Men should wear an undergarment. We oftentimes use the Camisa de Chino which I had mentioned in the previous journal.
The Camiso de Chino is the original frock. The Filipinos must have bartered this form of clothing from the Chinese hence the name, but it basically looks like what the early Punjabis wore. And what was clearly illustrated in the Boxer Codex.
Not to mention the Henley Shirt, but still a post Camisa de Chino clothing. So what we see here on top are the what I see as precursors of the Camisa de Chino. Maybe we can associate it also with the Long Johns of the west, since it is really used as an underwear.
Nevertheless, for our foreign readers it's an earlier version of the Henley Shirt. We recommend using fabrics like Linen or Gina Silk to construct this inner shirt. It should be light and the same color as your Barong. It must also be of same length, sleeves and skirt. We much prefer to just line up the Barong tagalog with it especially if constructed for a groom.
Trousers are usually black wools. It is the preferred choice, however we modernized our barong tagalog into a suit barong that used tuxedo trousers. Still in Piña Fabric with single galon.
We end this journal with this, because our next and last journal of the barong tagalog will be focused on the do's and don'ts of the barong. You see, this is where you may gauge if the suit barong is a blasphemous design, or simply just another barong tagalog version.
Til next time guys and please like us in Facebook
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Today we will be talking about the mighty Barong Tagalog, otherwise known as the Barong.
And due to the fact that this is, The most iconic of our Filipino heritage, I will be breaking it down to three journals. The Historical part. The Creation of the Barong and the Etiquettes involved in wearing one.
And with that we begin with the History of the Barong Tagalog.
The Barong Tagalog or the Barong is the Filipino National Dress. We use it in almost all occasions. Formals, Business and for Sunday formals. We oftentimes simply call it the barong, leaving out the tagalog.
Outside the Philippines the barong has a different definition. Barong is a lion like creature in Indonesian Mythology. While some Western countries knows the bolo (philippines large cutting knife) or the smaller version of it as the barong and I would think in the Arnis ( Filipino Martial Arts).
So basically to reiterate that we are referring to the National Clothing of the Philippines, we have to remember to use Barong Tagalog and not just the barong. But that is if you are outside the Philippines or speaking to a foreigner.
And speaking of foreigners. The Ma-i (Earliest Filipino natives accounted for by Chinese Song Dynasty Documentarian Zhu Fan Zhi)bartered with the Chinese back in 971AD. Whilst the Spanish came to our shores in 1521.
After which there was a huge change in the Philippine way of dressing up.
The Barong is derived from the word Baro. Which in Filipino simply means piece of clothing, an attire, damit panlalaki (menswear). What a lot of historical background materials available in the internet seems to forget though, is that, it basically ends there. Baro an attire of the Filipino natives back then is entirely different from the Baro of the Colonized Filipino.
The Baro or Attire of the ethnic groups residing in the Philippines before the Spaniards met them can be visually seen from the Boxer Codex. And just to give you a bit of history lessons re this codex, it contains 75 coloured, yes coloured illustrations of the Far East inhabitants in their damit (garb, clothing, apparel). In it are 15, to say the least, Philippine Archipelago inhabitants showing off their Baro which they later on found out as the Filipino word for Clothing. And all these you may research in Wikipedia or if you are able to personally go, in the Lily Library of Indiana University.
You will see Native Filipinos garbed in their most distinctly Mayan outfits and a bit of Elaborate Muslim Garbs which are still reminiscent in today's Muslim costumes. The Barangays mostly located in the now called Visayan and Luzon Islands were the Mayan influenced natives while the Mindanao Islands is where they could have a met the Muslim (Islam followers) Natives. But most likely the ones they were able to illustrate were already migrants working under the Barangay royals of the Visayas since the Baros were not as elaborate as I think a Muslim garb would have been if they had a better stature in life.
So moving on, I discovered that most of the Baro illustrations were reminiscent of the Camisa de Chino or the underwear of the Barong and not the Barong we know of it today that is translucent and very distinctly see through. Hence the need for a Camisa de Chino, Chinese Camisole. Clearly this needs to be recognized since it is basically our History.
There has been great discourse in the History of the Barong. And as I produced it in my video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E-4VilQP1Ko&list=PLO9vXDu5Z4JW2ZL1PWc99n_fwNWQmp8U4&index=6, I took great lengths to showcase the debate surrounding our National Dress.
On one side there is the clearly misguided Baro being the first Barong Tagalog and on the other side is an undisputed "legend" of Spanish Apertheid impositions on our colonized ancestors.
When I first heard about the legend, I never really paid much attention to it. Being young and really, its been a century since it happened, so who really cares. I still really do have feelings of indifference to it. But that it being debated is really a wonder. I guess Spain has taken offense at what is being written especially that the Barong Tagalog has ultimately been eternally ingrained in our Heritage, well I don't know how to write this part since I don't want to get political.
Nevertheless, I hope my Spanish readers wont take offense but clearly it is shown, in my humblest opinion, that the Barong Tagalog emerged during the Apartheid times of the Philippines Spanish Colonized Era. So we have since been occupied by two more western countries, one successful and the other not so much. So really fellow pinoys, no such drama is needed. We should actually embrace the evolution of the Barong Tagalog.
And with that here is the legend.
which I will just link here:
But just to give you a jist, the Spanish Colonizers, in fear of dissidence from the colonized Filipinos (Tagalog Filipinos), required them to wear a see through baro (clothing) in order for the Spanish ruling class to detect if the Indios (slang for Colonized Tagalog people) were carrying a weapon.
Hence the translucency which we now know as the barong tagalog.
Or I would say the clothing of the tagalogs.
So there, that is the history of the Barong Tagalog. But wait there's more.
The Indios barong in turn evolved into this beautifully crafted clothing required menswear. Our colonized ancestors added fabulous embroidery and fishing net like sewing methods called the Calado ( which we will be tackling in our next journal) that sealed the Barong Tagalog's Perpetuity. The Meticulously handcrafted embossed designs suddenly changed the course of the Barong tagalog from its "humble" Apartheid roots to an acceptable Menswear formal to both Black Tie and White tie events.
Understanding why there is so much debate is confusing me. It really is too long ago, ancient times. I do not think we should change it. But embrace beautiful symbolism of how Filipinos just live with it attitude. Which I think and believe the new generation should harness for new adversities in our country's future.
" Let yourself be open and life will be easier. A spoon of salt in a glass of water makes the water undrinkable, a spoon of salt in a lake is almost unnoticed." - Buddha-
We should also give accolade to our Filipino Embroiderers from Laguna (Ma-i), Filipino tailors, Filipino Designers and Politicians as well.
The dashing President Manuel L. Quezon became the poster boy of the NEPA rallying cry of "Buy Filipino". Whilst the beloved of the masses President "Mambo" Magsaysay for reinventing the Barong Tagalog. ( More on these in our next journals)
They, along with the Franciscan nuns who taught the Lumban Pinoys how to sew, are the people behind this illustrious Barong Tagalog.
This is the last in our series about our three menswear formals. Today we will be talking about the most formal of all dress codes.
The white tie, tail coat.
Used only in royal affairs, state dinners and formal balls.
This time we prohibit any altercations to this evening wear.
It is a white tie dress code that although may be constricting, with the proper tailor, can be quite comfortable and elegant.
As mentioned before the tailcoat is distinct from the morning suit primarily due to its vents. A tailcoat is made with worsted wool and silk lapels and only peak lapels.
Covered buttons are a must, made from the same wool of your coat.
The tailcoat is derived from its design of the coat's tail.
The center vent rises up to the waist just like a morning coat. But has a split in the middle of the coat's skirt.
Turning it into two "tails". Hence the nicknames claw-hammer tailcoat and swallow tailcoat.
It is actually a very sexy design because it brings the eye straight to the waist.
Yes my eyes are up here.
From the waist it extends down to just above the bend of the knee combining a meticulous detailing of a straight line with a gentle curve at the end.
Very precise that only a bespoke tailor in the Philippines can achieve.
We only wear a Marcella shirt or commonly known as the Pique shirt. It is the one with the stiff front shirt with single cuff and detachable collar.
Nowadays the Pique is associated with honey comb. I don't really know why since the Dress shirt is a weave whilst the casual polo pique is a knit.
Watch out for our series on shirts and dress shirts.
For now we leave it at that so we can move on to the trousers.
The paired trousers should always have a double gallon or braiding at the sides and it should be high waisted. We of course use the same wool fabric.
The ensemble must always be donned with a Marcella waistcoat. Either double breasted or single breasted cut at an appropriate length.
No compromise and No cummerbunds.
It is also a must to use silk grosgrain bow tie. Made with the same white Marcella fabric of the waistcoat and shirt.
And lastly and more complicatedly, the court shoes or the opera pumps. Have one made because it is unheard of in Manila ready made shoes.
Bespoke all the way. From the coat to the socks which should be silk and white.
Rarely do you attend white tie events and it is quite an honor to be invited to one. Don't you think the event requires you to be more none o'rdinaire
Just like your Boutonniere should not be a fake. We recommend fashioning yourself with a carnation.
Basically wear what we wrote and you are good to go.
Luckily though being Pinoys, we can skip all that and just wear a barong. Because the Mighty barong is good for both black and white tie events.
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