Evolution of Philippine Costume

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Maria Clara


The Maria Clara dress is an elegant formal outfit for women. It is considered a mestiza dress because it is an ensemble combining indigenous and Spanish influences. The Maria Clara dress became very popular during the Spanish era since its emergence in 1890. The name was taken from the legendary Maria Clara, the heroine of [...]



The Balintawak is a traditional Filipino costume that has a shortened skirt, with puffy butterfly short sleeves, plaid textile, and low cut bodice and at times plenty of ornate embroidery. It was worn during picnics and other jaunts into the countryside. The balintawak was deeply associated with Antipolo, a favorite summer destination for [...]

Traje de Mestiza


At the turn of the century with the Spanish and Spanish American war, the Filipinos asserted themselves through crystallizing their identity with costume. For four hundred years, Filipinas wore plain wrap-around skirts (saya) fashioned out of opaque plaid or striped cotton and sinamay varieties, and the baro (blouse) fashioned out of sheer lace fabrics. In [...]



In the historical account of the Filipino women's dress, the most prominent among them is the “Terno”. The terno comes from the Spanish word “to match” which was composed literally of two parts, the lower and the upper part. The Filipino terno alludes to the matching of the blouse and skirt, joined at the waist [...]

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