Baro't saya is the
national dressof the Philippinesand is worn by women. The name is the contraction of the Tagalog words "baro at saya", meaning "blouse and skirt".
This indigenous mode of dressing of the natives of the
Philippineswas influenced during the Spanish Colonization of the archipelago. From the original, half-naked style, the bare upper torso was gradually covered with a short-sleeved, collarless blouse called "baro". [ [http://www.seasite.niu.edu/tagalog/Cynthia/costumes/baro_at_saya.htm baro at saya ] ] The whole look has evolved into a many-layered ensemble of the: "kimona" or inner shirt; the "baro" outershirt with its usually gauzy materials, fine embroidery and wide sleeves; the "pañuelo" or piano shawl, starched to achieve a raised look; the "naguas" or petticoat (in the song "Paruparong Bukid," for example, "naguas de ojetes" refers to petticoats decorated with eyelet patterns which are visible underneath the saya); the "saya" proper, laid over the starched petticoat and bunched at the back to mirror the "polonaise" which was in fashion during those times, sometimes fashionably as "de cola" or with a finely embroidered train; and the "tapis" - a wrap covering the upper half of the saya.
Some variations of the national women's dress are the "Maria Clara", having an "alampay" or "pañuelo", a large kerchief wrapped around the shoulders, and the more daring "terno" (which sometimes disposed of the pañuelo altogether), having the butterfly sleeves and streamlined look which mirrored the then current tastes and influences of American colonists. This was especially popularized by the former First Lady
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