La Traje de Mestiza

Central Bank Collection

Portrait of Andrea Dayrit
by Simon De la Rosa Flores

Like the Baro’t Saya, the Traje de Mestiza had four components: the blouse with pagoda sleeves, the camisa (baro), a shawl or kerchief that was worn over the shoulders, the pañuelo, (alampay), the floor or ankle-length skirt, falda (saya), and an overskirt, the sobrefalda (tapis). The camisa and pañuelo were worn as upper garments. The pañuelo, in particular, was a class of its own because of its scallop edging of feminal charm and treasured embroidery: the sombrado (shadow stitch) on piña—a textile that was derived from red pineapple leaf fibers that are still being utilized today for the Barong Tagalog.*

Detail of the design on a pañuelo with sabog (scattered) embroidery that defined the Traje de Mestiza and even the Barong Tagalog.

*Barong Tagalog: an embroidered long-sleeved formal shirt for men. The Barong Tagalog is a national dress in the Philippines.