Philippine National Costume & Outfits

Despite the influence from various nations, the national costume of the Philippines is extremely magnificent, exceptional, lavish, and interesting, with bits and pieces from the natural resources seen in the land itself.

Based on an article from, the major factors that created the traditional dress of the Philippines are cultural traditions, climate, a way of living, and foreign conquerors.

Would you like to know more about the country’s national clothing? This post will discuss more the baro’t saya, its origins, and its rich history.

Barong Tagalog – The Filipino Men’s National Costume

Barong Tagalog is the national costume of men in the Philippines, originating from the northern portion of the land. It’s worn over a Chinese collarless shirt known as camisa de chino. Its long and loose lines feature could be traced to its Chinese sources, the casual tropical look of Indo-Malay costume, the extended effect of Hindu dressing, and the decorative restraint of European men’s clothing.

The fabric utilized for this clothing is made of various natural resources from the country, like banana fabric, just fabric, and pineapple fabric.

Keep in mind that Barong Tagalog is normally worn in ceremonial activities such as official business meetings, formal parties, and weddings. 

Philippine National Costume - Barong Tagalog & Baro’t Saya


Baro’t Saya – Filipina’s National Costume

Baro at Saya, also referred to as Filipiniana, is the national costume of Filipina. The wearing of this clothing originated from the Spaniards based on an article written by Philippine Folk Life Museum Foundation. In fact, it was worn throughout 400 years of the Spanish colonization. How amazing is that?

The ensemble in this clothing has many variations. One of the most sought-after variations is the Maria Clara Dress—a dress inspired by the female character in Jose Rizal’s novel Noli Me Tangere. The dress boasts a floor-length paneled skirt of satin or silk and is composed of four pieces:

  • the bubble-shaped, floor-length saya
  • the collarless, waist-length, bell-sleeved camisa
  • the hip-hugging, knee-length overskirt or tapis
  • the stiff, neck-covering pañuelo

Another famous type of baro’t saya is the Mestiza dress. It’s a formal dress made of expensive fabric and lace decorated with embroideries. This is promoted by Lady Imelda Marcos. Others even referred to it as the Imelda dress. Remember that this dress is sought for its butterfly sleeves and elegance.

Those variations of the baro’t saya are typically worn on traditional occasions in the Philippines like formal parties, pageants, celebrations, Flores de Mayo, weddings, and many more.