Barong Tagalog Inspired

Zara Top (similar)  |  Forever21 Faux Leather Shorts  |  Celine Luggage Tote
Michael Antonio Shoes (now $19!)  |  Celine Sunglasses  |  LUV AJ Crystal Cross Necklace

For those of you who may not know, I’m a third culture kid.  My parents are Korean, but moved us to the Philippines when I was 3.  I lived in Manila for the next 15 years until I came Stateside for college and the rest is history.  
Growing up in Manila, I saw men including my dad wearing Barong Tagalogs on a daily basis.  I always thought they were quite intricate and beautiful.  When I saw this top at Zara, the detailed embroidery caught my eye and it reminded me so much of a barong.  
It’s rare and special when an article of clothing becomes so much more than just that.  When it brings back memories of my baby brother proudly donning his very first barong as a 3 year old ring boy.  Or that time when I cried into my dad’s barong while waiting to get stitches at the hospital.  Moments I hold so dear in my heart brought back by this unsuspecting shirt.  How could I not pick it up?  That’s the story I told hubby anyway. ;)
To bring this very traditional top to modern day, I paired it with a teeny tiny pair of faux leather shorts.  I like how the modest top and the come-hither shorts are playing off each other.  
Do you have any articles of clothing that you hold dear? That bring back memories?  Please share your stories..


  1. First of all, you are rockin’ those leather shorts. I could only dream to wear those, they look fab. I love love love your story and the connection. I wish I had something like that. The only thing to come even remotely close is my red circa 1989 ‘The Black Dog’ T-shirt from Martha’s Vineyard that brings me back to my time spent on the island working summer jobs with good girlfriends. I wouldn’t be caught dead wearing it but can never seem to part with it because of the memories.
    Hope to see you soon! Beth

  2. Always so sweet and lovely in your outfit, you look great.


  3. Well what a beautiful way to bring back memories of your family. That top is just gorgeous. I think I may have seen it at Zara last month when I made a trip to San Diego, but they didn’t have my size ;( Clothing should always uplift us :)

  4. That’s such an endearing story.

  5. Adorable barong! My husband wore one to our rehearsal dinner as a tribute to my heritage. It really is a fine piece of art. I didn’t know you grew up in Manila. I moved here to college age. I went to La Salle.

  6. Beth: that shirt sounds awesome! You should rock it out w something classic like a pencil skirt!

    Jaela: thanks girl!!

    Beautygirl24: agreed! Hope you get your hands on one!

    Van: thanks for reading!!

  7. Donna: small world!! What year did you attend la salle? I went to international school manila and had friends that went on to la salle and ateneo!

  8. I attended on ’94 and we decided to move to US. Small world!

  9. gorgeous! I’m half filipino myself so I love this : )

  10. love the outfit and its inspiration!


  11. donna: Do you ever go back to visit? My parents still live there so I go every couple of years. I was just there last month and was amazed by how much it’s developed in the last couple years!

    pretty little things: I did not know that! Kamusta!

    StyleGodis: Thank you!!

  12. Love that top from Zara!

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