If you’re looking for ways to explore and experience the culture of the Philippines, one of the best ways to start is by immersing yourself in their traditional attire. Filipino traditional costumes are colourful and distinct and show an appreciation for the country’s long history. From embroidered designs to intricate detailing, these staples represent Filipinos’ proud tradition of crafting fashionable clothing.

This article will explore the different Filipino Traditional Iconic Attire 

Barong Tagalog

The Barong Tagalog is a garment native to the Philippines and is one of the most recognisable traditional Filipino attires. Its history can be traced back to the pre-colonial era when men and women wore similarly structured garments known as the “baro”. It has since evolved into what we now know as the Barong Tagalog, which men usually wear at formal occasions like weddings and other events.

The design of the Barong Tagalog consists of fine-weaved fibres, usually made of pineapple or abacá (a type of banana-based material) or jusi (silk). The shirt typically features embroidered designs symbolising “good luck” to the wearer, such as birds, floral motifs, and other designs depending on geographic region and personal preference. Additionally, some shirts may include an internal lining of rayon or cotton for extra comfort.

The Barong Tagalog has been popular among Filipinos and non-Filipinos for many years. In modern times, it has become a staple for traditional Filipino weddings and cultural events and is worn as casual attire by some individuals. It continues to be popular due to its classic look and intricate embroidery, making it a timeless wardrobe staple within Filipino culture.


Filipiniana is a traditional attire in the Philippines popularly worn for formal events such as weddings, parties and religious ceremonies. It is usually composed of intricate designs and vibrant colours that symbolise the culture and heritage of the Filipino people. One of its most prominent features is a silhouette-shifting style that allows the wearer to move freely and confidently, making it a staple in Philippine fashion.

The history of Filipiniana dress can be traced back to the 19th century when American influence heavily influenced the Filipino sense of style. Inspired by the Spanish mantilla, Filipiniana dresses were created using locally sourced fabrics such as piña-seda, jusi and sinamay, which were often embroidered with delicate lace and beading. Modern influences have been integrated into the design as time went on, creating long-flowing skirts and exaggerated bodices.

The popularity of this look can be attributed to its versatility. It can be worn to more formal occasions such as weddings and special events; or for more casual wear for everyday activities. It has also been embraced by many younger generations who have created modern interpretations.


Filipino traditions are a great way to discover the culture and beauty of the Philippines. The two iconic attires, Barong Tagalog and Filipiniana, represent the distinct heritage and values of the Filipino people. Whether attending a formal event or simply looking for a unique way, these iconic attires will make you feel proud and beautiful.

At Mestiza Filipina, we proudly offer you our modern Filipiniana dresses that elegantly combine tradition with style. Our handcrafted designs are perfect for brides, nights out, and special occasions. Browse our online store to find the perfect dress or contact us about custom design options today!

Written by Louisa Parkinson

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