If you want to know what Filipinos wore before colonization, look no further than the Philippine ancestors. Before the Spanish invaded the country, women wore clothes called tapis. A tapis was a loose-fitting cloth skirt that was knotted at the waist or below the bust. The tapis provided women with weather protection and were still commonly worn as cultural attire in northern Luzon. They are also known as patadyong or malong.
The era was characterized by a variety of fashion trends. Men’s clothing remained largely traditional, but the fashion trend shifted to a youthful feel. Men began wearing a variety of different types of clothes, including “chinos,” flannels, and dresses. In addition, men continued to wear the “Americana” suit, which incorporated elements of the 1920s flapper trend.
Aristocratic women in Manila often changed their clothes four to six times a day. Some of the most prominent fashion designers in the country made it their business to recreate these traditional clothes. Some of these designers are now internationally known. In the case of the terno, Juanita Mina Roa, who was Aurora Quezon’s personal dressmaker, is responsible for introducing the two-in-one terno.
Barong tagalog is another popular Filipino garment that was worn by the Tagalogs of Luzon before the Spanish era. This sleeveless cotton doublet was worn by men and women. Its distinctive striped design was an indicator of social status and courage. People who wore red doublets were considered chiefs, while those who were ordinary wore black doublets.
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