Jackson Tailors - tailors suit makati
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)