Filipinianas are traditional Filipina dresses made of pinya (pineapple) and other natural materials. It is the female counterpart to the Barong Tagalog worn by men.

A history student might recall the barong and baro't saya from the Spanish colonial period. Meanwhile, Filipinos wore light kimonos throughout the Japanese occupation.

Today, the Filipiniana is not commonly worn by the majority of women on a daily basis (or even for special occasions unless it is required by the dress code). While this era’s designers and brands are admirable for reimagining traditional dress, some elements can be lost in translation, resulting in a lack of authenticity and a counterfeit appearance.

Read on to discover everything you have to learn about today’s modern Filipiniana. 

The Filipiniana: A Classic Modern Piece

Contemporary interpretations of Filipiniana have been featured in recent fashion shows, events, and fairs such as Artefino, Katutubo Pop-Up Market, and the annual MaArte Fair.

Although young designers' reimaginings of Filipiniana are admirable, fashion industry veterans claim that authenticity has been lost.

Designers and brands must create designs that are both traditional and contemporary. This means artists and designers appreciate the beauty of the Filipiniana dress and want to emulate it, explore it, and showcase it to the world through wearable designs.

Filipiniana, a broad term, is used to describe anything with an indigenous touch or local design code. In order to bend the rules, you must first understand the Filipiniana identity thoroughly. Artist, author, and co-director of Slim's Fashion & Arts School, Mark Lewis Higgins, believes that we must not always take the Filipiniana concept too literally.

Revolutionising the Filipiniana

Higgins also believes that fabrication, execution, and design should be improved in order to truly showcase the Filipiniana. Some brands will succeed while others will fail by nature.

Never too literal, some incredible and iconic Filipiniana works simply go through refinement. To keep the public interested, all brands and designers must be constantly innovative. This may necessitate delving deeper into design codes and providing smart, appealing interpretations of them.

Filipiniana has a long way to go before it is established as a popular form of dress, let alone one suitable for daily use, but given the creative minds of today's fashion industry, modern Filipiniana will not be a passing fad.

Casual Filipiniana Style Suggestions

Filipinianas were once considered extreme fashion for Filipina women. It was worn to parties and events by wealthy women. Today, they are mostly seen at wedding costume parties and on the red carpet.

Filipinianas are sophisticated, lightweight outerwear. It is ideal for state functions, weddings, and large gatherings. A Filipiniana, on the other hand, can be modernised. It's thin and lightweight, and it looks great with a tank top and shorts or linen pants and a top.

A Filipiniana can be dressed up or down. Combine it with shorts, a T-shirt, and sneakers for a more casual look, or with a solid dress and heels for a more formal look.

4 Ways to Wear the Modern Filipiniana Style

1. The Filipiniana as a Top

To wear a Filipiniana casually, skip the tank top and just wear the dress. Weekend ensembles include boyfriend jeans, sneakers, and a bomber jacket.

2. The Filipiniana as a Dress

This could be a costume. To avoid looking too formal for Buwan ng Wika, pair cream with light pink or beige with brown. They will appear softer after blending.

3. The Filipiniana as Pants

If you want to appear both polished and relaxed, simply pair a Filipiniana with your favourite stretchy bottoms.

4. The Filipiniana as a Midi Skirt

This soft bottom could be a summer must-have. When paired with a Filipiniana cropped top, it becomes feminine and romantic.


The one thing we must love about fashion is its ability to evolve through time and make us feel good on a daily basis. Now that we can revolutionise modern Filipiniana, we can incorporate it into our style and recognise the beauty of this classic Filipino piece. 

Are you looking for modern Filipiniana pieces? Mestiza Filipina is here to give you your newest fashion wardrobe through authentic and beautiful Filipino culture. Shop our collection today!

Written by Louisa Parkinson

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