Filipino Fashion Culture

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Dress to Impress? More like Dress to Express
A Report on Filipino Fashion Culture During the 16th century, early Filipinos wore the native clothing. The canga and bahag are worn by the male while women wore sleeve dresses shorter than that of the men’s bahag. The canga is a rough cotton, usually made into a collarless sleeve-doublet that reached slightly below the waist and has a front opening, while a bahag is a long piece of cloth tied around a man’s torso so that it covers the loins and hangs between the legs and mid-thighs. (Snodgrass 110) In the 1700’s the Spanish introduced their dressy shirt and standing collar. They also introduced to the natives how to wear shoes and hats, but only limiting wearing those items to the rich and privileged people. The Barong Tagalog was also only used by the illustrados, and it was worn with a sash high across their waist with a loose trousers and slippers or shoes. Tagalog women also started to modify their traditional baro’t saya with longer lengths to achieve a conservative look as a form of respect to the foreign priests. According to The Evolution of Fashion, the Barong Tagalog of today “is an evolution of the canga wherein laces, trimmings and adornments, embroidery and buttons, and collars were added to the simple collarless shirt.” (Villaruel 110) When the American colonizers came after three centuries, Filipinos started wearing more American garments and less of the Barong Tagalog and baro’t saya. Men were given the

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