Clothes make the man. This old adage still holds true today. By carefully selecting the cut, trim, fabric, and colors that we wear, we create a visual message telling the world who we are. And when it comes to formal wear, most men turn to suit jackets in order to say that they mean business. It is a predictable, and safe choice. But we are not most men. And nothing instantly tells the room that you are a cut above the rest by literally wearing it, in the form of a well-chosen barong that is.

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The barong is traditional formal wear; it is lighter and at times, more colorful, than the traditional “power colors” of suits. It is fashionable, unique, and eye-catching. Wearing a distinct style of fashion when everyone else is wearing a variation of the typical suit is not a common choice to make. But here’s several great reasons why you may want to make that choice as well.

It is Hot

Well, fashionable is pretty hot in its own way but we are talking about something far more literal: the weather. Men are creatures of habit, and dropping the typical suit for a barong is not an easy swap to make. Unless you realize that a simple choice like that can mean the difference between sweating buckets all day or staying cool while everyone else is burning up.

The barong is made of lightweight fabric, the weave matches this trait as well. That means that air flows freely through it, allowing body heat to naturally escape instead of being soaked up by a thick suit. This also means that if there’s a fresh breeze, it will help keep your skin feeling fresh.

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If you have got a major formal or semiformal function in an outdoor area, like a groundbreaking ceremony, the barong will keep you cool and dry. Good heat regulation means you not only feel better, but you can think better as well. But aside from keeping you fresh, the barong has good mobility. Which is perfect for when:

You Need to Get Moving

Ever tried any action that required raising your upper arm above shoulder height while wearing a suit? It is almost always impossible  to perform without putting stress on the stitch (or worse, tearing it). There are some suits designed with a little bit of give around the shoulders, but they sacrifice the form factor to achieve the freedom provided by the cut. Most importantly, if you really want to have flexibility of movement, you will want to take off the suit first.

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For barongs however, you can move however you want, whenever you want. Without the thick double lining of a suit, a barong provides flexibility that rivals that of a button-down dress shirt. This flexibility comes from the very same traits that makes barongs so cool to the skin: the fabric and thickness.

The barong is far more than just good functionality, however, it is also about style. And a barong is the right piece to wear especially when:

It is Time to Stand Out

A good bespoke suit tells the people around you that you are a man of culture. But a barong can tell the whole crowd that you are the man of the hour. A suit’s design cannot be bright and flashy without being loud and outrageous. On the other hand, a barong allows you to don a dazzling style but still stay quite classy and fashionable.

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Barongs have several key design elements that makes it stand out even in crowds. First off is the combination of fabric and color. You can choose a brightly colored dye for a barong and still maintain the dignity of a true gentleman. Much like other traditional formalwear in other cultures, the ability to bring color into a sea of similar hues makes for a striking effect.

The second is the embroidery, and it is this signature feature of the barong that makes it truly unique. Embroidery can be very subtle, matching the shade of the barong’s fabric means that one those who are close enough to the wearer can actually see the intricate patterns. On the other hand, one can also choose a barong with embroidery that is in contrast to color of the fabric. This creates a strong emphasis on the design -which can range from basic patterns to really intricate motifs. And while the design is usually in front, there are barong with embroideries that reach up all the way to the shoulders.

Of course, you can more with a barong other than stealing the spotlight. And practicality is not only limited to form and function. With a barong, you can also be practical with regards to your budget. After all…

A Good Barong Can be a Bargain

Sure, some of the best barongs that have very exquisite designs and fabric materials can be quite steep in terms of price. But with the average barong, it is possible look as sharp and stylish as a tailored suit at a much lower cost. Despite the intricate workmanship of the embroidery, a barong does not use as much fabric as a regular double-lined suit jacket. And that is how this traditional attire manages to help you stay on budget without sacrificing style.

Beyond the cost, the ability to grab the attention of the crowd, and its lightness and comfort, a barong can also help you establish your own look.

A Barong can Showcase Your Individuality

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This is without a doubt, the most impressive feature of a barong. There are a wide range of designs, fabrics, colors, embroideries -each one giving a barong a distinctly unique look. A suit jacket, by the nature of its cut and design, is rarely unique. Sure, one can have a wild design variation on a suit, but then the piece becomes something that can no longer be worn in a formal event. The barong on the other hand, is traditionally unique. This allows you to choose a personal style and still be formal enough for any event.