A warm summer day and a pinstriped suit (or any suit) is a difficult combo to pull off, especially when staying out of the heat of the sun is not an option. And when you’re going to be visiting a client or business partner, the last thing you would want is to be dripping buckets all over. A quick fix is to normally just take off the coat and keep the tie on, the switch provides a bit of cool comfort, but that comes at the price of sacrificing style. Now, what if there was a piece of formal wear that looks classy and dignified, but lets you keep cool and comfy in the sun? Enter, the barong.
No Sleeves, But Formal
Formal wear tends to have long sleeves -usually ones you can use cuffs on. But not all formal wear are made equal, like the short sleeved barong. Yes, the Barong Tagalog has a short sleeved variant. Two quick and obvious things about having short sleeves is that your skin gets to breathe more and your arms gain a bit of maneuverability. The other less noticed factor is something other people will see: you look fresh. Not just because a barong keeps you cool even during summertime, but also because the short-sleeved look feels just right for the environment. As most barong tend to be a little see-through, they are visually light on the eyes, adding a slightly delicate and soft touch which accents the barong’s manly and rigid cut. This contrast is airy (not just visually, but literally too), and is akin to the sight of a nice cool breeze passing through curtains.
Bring It to the Country Club
While a short sleeved barong has a great look and good arm movement, we certainly do not recommend wearing it when teeing off on the green -there are proper regulated shirts for that. On the other hand, if you’re just heading down to have some brunch with friends under the sun, this is a great way to bring some unique style and class to the table. And unlike the other gents who may have to take off their coats (especially when the tables have been set al fresco), anyone in a barong can simply take their seats without worrying about their outfits.
Time for Field Work
Whether you’re checking a local warehouse without specialized cooling or needing to be out on the hot streets, getting all steamed up in your office wear is not a pretty sight. Good thing is, the barong has you covered. Whether you go with short or long sleeves will be a personal choice (or depending on what your activities will be), but both will help keep you cool and comfy while ensuring that you stay professional looking all day long.
And yes, long sleeved barongs are also cool to wear -the lightness of barong fabric is unmatched in formal wear. They look incredibly elegant but at the same, they are also highly functional. And depending on the type of camisa de chino you wear underneath, you can control the amount of breathability on your arms.
The barong is a two-piece suit. There’s the barong on top, and underneath is the humble camisa de chino. This little undershirt may not seem like much at first glance. But it is an amazing piece of wear. First off, it is usually made from smooth cool fabric. It will not get in your way and depending on the fit, you may not even notice that it is there. Second, it comes in short and long sleeved versions. The more common ones are short sleeves. though depending on the barong on top or the planned usage, you may want to opt for longer sleeves. Word of advice, when you’re going to wear long sleeves barongs in direct sunlight, do choose the long sleeved camisa as it will help protect the skin on your arms better.
The primary purpose of the camisa is to provide a layer of cloth between the skin and the barong. It also helps highlight the color of the barong you chose by providing with a neutral background color (most camisa are either white, off-white, or black).
Summer Nights Call for Something Black
The black colored barong is a great choice for late night cocktails. Not only does it have that formal suave that you would want while mixing in with the early cocktail crowd (which sometimes tends to be a bit of a very formal affair), it has just enough style to be good enough to bring to the after party without calling for a change of wardrobe. The darker color looks cool on the eyes, which is a great fit for evening parties and events. More often than not, the semi-translucent look gives the barong a sense of depth, which is a great way to stand out from among a sea of flat-matted blacks and grays.
Mix It Up with Colors
If you are planning to attend something a little more on the festive side of summer -like the opening of a modern art gallery, or the launch of a trendy new product, or the premiere of the latest summer blockbuster, then you may want to consider choosing a barong that is a little more colorful than usual. Turquoise blues and soft scarlets are always a great choice, they stand out just enough to make a statement, but are just classy enough to stay on the more formal side of things. Or you can go really loud with something like a vibrant yellow, because nothing takes the spotlight better than a strong ensemble color. Of course, while the barong has plenty of style, it is up to the wearer to provide the attitude.