The Etiquette Rules Of Wearing Filipiniana Barong Tagalog
For many generations now, barongs are still worn for numerous Filipino events, and their prominence is expected to not fade away any time soon. The different types of barongs may be based on the fabric used, design, or embroideries, and the event dictates which variation is fitting to be worn. Regardless, there are etiquette rules that should not be ignored no matter the occasion.
When you are asked to wear a barong, the chances are the event is a formal one. That means that your outfit should look not only prim but also sophisticated. Even if your polo is rather decorative like some modern barongs nowadays, elegance is still your outfit’s goal. Therefore, you’re not advised to simply wear it however you like, not only for aesthetic but also practical purposes.
(Men wearing barongs at a wedding ceremony)
The Proper Way of Wearing Barong Tagalog
Wearing a barong isn’t really that complicated, and most Filipino men have already worn it at least once in their life. However, not everyone who wears it can pull off the sophisticated look, and that’s what you should be going for. With that considered, here are a few tips to keep in mind when wearing a barong.
Select the perfect fit for you
In terms of physical comfort, the fit is the most significant factor. You can’t just wear whatever barong is at your disposal as long as you can fit in it. Otherwise, you won’t be able to move much, or the excess fabric will keep getting in the way. Likewise, the fit also matters when it comes to how the barong will look on you. You will want it to wrap around your body enough that it doesn’t look stuffy or baggy. Here is how you will determine if the barong perfectly fits your figure.
For the length, the barong itself should reach the bottom of your butt. That is around the middle point between your shoulders and the base of your feet. If cut too short or too long, it would look awkward. For the sleeves, the length should cover your wrists and not go past that. Also, make sure that the seams on the sleeves are not located any lower than the top of your shoulder.
When it comes to the form, make sure that you can still maximize your range of motion when you try wearing your barong. It’s supposed to not feel suffocating for your chest, armpits, and upper back, yet not too spacious at the same time. For the collar, the available space should allow you to fit a finger in. Any tighter than that, and you won’t be able to breathe with ease.
Choose a matching undershirt
Barongs are made with breathable and translucent fabrics such as abaca, cocoon, jusi, and piña. That means that what you wear under your barong is visible, and that’s why it should be put into consideration when you’re dressing up. If the undergarment or undershirt that you’re wearing is not suitable for your barong, may it be in terms of length or color, your whole getup is as good as over.
Therefore, skip on the tank tops, as those are too eye-catching, and exposed skin doesn’t look good under the barong. Instead, get yourself a long-sleeved Camisa de Chino, precisely one that doesn’t clash with the color of your barong. It will make the whole outfit look minimal and refined, and it is also breathable and lightweight, which is more comfortable to use.
Don’t attach a boutonniere
For formal events like wedding ceremonies, boutonnieres are ideal for adding that perfect finishing touch to your whole look. They usually come as a combination of small flowers, such as rose and baby’s breath, and they are attached to the left lapel of the coat. However, if you are wearing a barong, those should be avoided. After all, barongs are made of loose fibers, so pins can damage them.
Complete the look that goes with your barong
The whole look doesn’t end only at the barong. You shouldn’t disregard your pants and shoes as well. No matter how fitting and exquisite your barong is, its beauty will be overlooked if the rest of what you’re wearing don’t match with each other or are too tacky.
The bottom pair should ideally be black tuxedo pants long enough to cover the whole length of your legs. Wear long socks with a matching color so that your ankles or skin will not be exposed when you sit or cross your legs. You can then wear patent slippers, leather shoes, or a shined lace-up, and the color shouldn’t clash with your whole outfit as well. Also, keep in mind that you should fasten up all buttons in your barong for a formal and respectable look.
Above all, what matters the most is still your confidence in wearing your outfit, and that applies not only to barongs but in everything you wear. One of the best approaches in boosting your self-esteem when you’re dressed in a barong is knowing for yourself that you’re wearing it right.