Definitive Guide to Wearing a Barong Tagalog
1. THE FABRIC. The fabric is the most important element in constructing a Barong Tagalog. It greatly affects the look of the barong in a way influencing the appearance of the person wearing it. Each fabric has its own individual character and charm. Therefore, a wise choice of fabric can result in an exquisite fashion that can be carried over into the way you carry yourself. To learn more about our fabric selection, please click here.
2. THE DESIGN. There are countless designs to choose from and to help you narrow these down, we have classified our designs by design form and type of embroidery (traditional, ethnic, and art deco) that can be further combined to create a design style (pechera, raya, batok, etc.) that may or may not conform to a regular form or structure. If you want to appear subtle or if you want to wear the same barong every chance you get, then keeping your barong understated with a pechera style is the best option. However, if you want to appear sophisticated, you can always go with a raya or batok with sleeve patterns. For a more intricate piece, you can add a FRONT or FULL all-over calado to any design style of your choice. To learn more about our design classifications, please click here.
3. THE EMBROIDERY. This is somewhat related to the fabric. The overall value of a barong is greatly affected by the fabric and the type of embroidery used (whether made by hand, combination of hand and machine, or just machine). The fabric and the type of embroidery can complement or can devalue each other. To get it right, just remember, hand embroidery goes well with piña, piña-silk, abaca, and cocoon. It also goes well with jusi if the design is ethnic. Machine embroidery, on the other hand, goes well with cocoon and jusi. To learn more about barong embroidery, please click here.
4. THE FIT. A barong with a perfect fit feels better and looks better. This will give you added confidence that will allow you to project the most positive version of yourself. A barong with a perfect fit has the following characteristics:
- The collar should hug the neck with just the right space allowance that you'll be able to fit one finger in it.
- The seam where the sleeve attaches to the body should not go lower than the point on top of your shoulder where your arm meets your body.
- Fits comfortably around the chest, armpits, and across the upper back giving you a full range of motion
- The sleeve length should come down to the wrist.
- The barong length should come to the bottom of your butt.
5. THE UNDERSHIRT. The barong undershirt is usually overlooked but this is one important aspect that can make or break your appearance in a classic barong. The light, delicate, and translucent barong fabric makes the undershirt visible and the gaps created by an off-the-rack shirt underneath the barong make the look inexpensive. This becomes worse with a white short-sleeve shirt increasing the contrasts. To address this problem, choose a custom-tailored long-sleeve Camisa de Chino that will complement the natural color of your classic barong and wear it untucked. If you prefer to wear the more formal coat barong, which is a garment made of heavy materials, then an off-the-rack long or short sleeve cotton shirt to be tucked in your pants is recommended for better comfort.
These pointers will surely help you gain prominence in a Barong Tagalog. However, don't forget that the most important thing that can make or break your overall appearance is still, your self-confidence.