Tygie: The Rebirth of Modern Filipiniana Clothing | Tygie

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Lady Barong Skirt Bolero Blouse Heirloom

Tygie: The Rebirth of Modern Filipiniana Clothing

by Ayam

“‘Pag naka-suot ka ng Filipiniana, ika’y kagalang kagalang, ka-respe-respeto.”

-Teodora “Tygie” Gonzales

Modern Filipiniana has been evolving from a traditional ceremonial outfit into a staple part of everyday Filipina’s closets. This integration has been possible due to innovative designs that preserve the traditional components while introducing new, stylistic changes. These products include revamped versions of the Terno and the Barong for women. Modern luxury brands who promote this type of clothing also give importance to local fabrics and artisans in order to empower them and the local textile industry.

Luxury fashion brands such as Tygie aim not just to showcase Filipiniana clothing but also to show how it can be integrated into everyday clothing. From office wear to casual outfits, Tygie has got you covered with their vast array of designs. These apparel come in a wide variety of measurements in order to cater to people of all shapes and sizes. Look through the color choices of each Tygie category in order to find the best one for you. 

Read on to learn more about the rebirth of modern Filipiniana clothing and how you can incorporate it into your daily life.

Modern Filipiniana by Tygie

The name Tygie comes from the founder herself, Teodora “Tygie” Gonzales. As a person with a burning passion for Filipino culture, she felt that it was a waste that Filipiniana clothing was worn only a handful of times in a year. In order to solve this dilemma, Tygie was born.

Clothing brands such as Tygie aim to elevate Filipina wear by modernizing well-known Filipiniana designs and revamping the image of the Filipiniana gown. Besides changing up its look, pieces from the more traditional version are separated and matched with more modern forms of clothing. For Tygie, modern Filipiniana was born to clothe customers with dignity and respect without compromising its style and heritage. In order to show exactly how Filipiniana wear can further evolve, Tygie separates their clothing into two categories: Filipina Wear and Heirloom.y

Filipina Wear

Clothing under the category of Filipina Wear are parts of the traditional Filipiniana Terno that are converted into modern designs. Products found under this type include blouses, skirts, or top wraps. Customers can choose from a variety of designs and colors to cater to women of all skin colors, shapes, and sizes. These pieces are designed specifically to be paired with more modern forms of clothing in order to make your outfit stand out.


Heirloom’s category includes modernized designs on the traditional blouse and skirt Filipiniana Terno. These make use of the well-known delicate and intricate hand embroidered designs of the traditional Filipiniana Terno. However, Tygie designs promote multiple parts of the country by adding designs that represent different types of flora in the Philippines as well as traditional Filipino tattoo art. Some designs also include hand-painted prints made by skilled artists.

The challenge with modernizing traditional Filipiniana clothing is that it has always been strictly seen as a form of traditional attire.

The Evolution of the Traditional Terno

There are a number of advantages to modern Filipiniana clothing compared to its more traditional counterparts. First and foremost, the traditional Terno can be difficult to maneuver around during your everyday schedule. Modern Filipina wear adjusts to this by splitting up the pieces of the Terno in order to match it with modern clothing that you can better move in. Secondly, modern Filipina wear is not afraid to change the set notions of society on how a woman should dress. This can be seen through the creation of Barongs specifically designed for women. However, the main difficulty with modernizing this type of clothing is that people cannot unsee the formal aspect of this clothing as it has been ingrained in the culture for years.

The origins of Terno can be traced back to the baro’t saya. This traditional Filipino clothing is made up of four iconic pieces: a blouse, a folded rectangular piece of fabric worn over the shoulders, a small rectangular cloth, and a long skirt. Most of the designs were layers of stripes and checkered patterns that were used to display wealth.

During the Hispanic colonial period, the ensemble of the baro’t saya was changed due to the effect of globalization. It still did not look like Terno, which we know today, as it was made of multiple layers that created a large ensemble once put together. The new ensemble was called the Maria Clara in honor of Jose Rizal’s character from his novel, Noli Me Tangere. This dress was supposed to show a woman’s modesty, elegance, and femininity. It consisted of the following pieces:

●    Camisa

○    A camisa is a collarless blouse made from piña fibers. They are translucent and soft, making them easy enough to be shaped into bell-type sleeves. These types of sleeves were so popular that they were coined as “pagoda”.

●    Pañuelo

○    A pañuelo is also made from piña fibers but are shaped into a square. It is meant to be folded triangularly and worn over the shoulders like a big collar. To top it all off, a pin or brooch secures it into place. This was a sign of modesty in women as they covered their napes and their upper bodies.

●    Saya

○    A saya is a skirt that hangs from the waist in order to cover the lower part of the body. These were made of multiple sheets, either single or double, which were called “panels”.  

●    Tapis

○    A tapis is a knee-length over-skirt that is meant to hug the hips. Women could either choose plain designs or designs that contrasted from the pattern of the saya. 

The late 1940s is when the Terno we know and love started to take shape. This was the era when the clothing was turned into a single piece dress with the iconic butterfly sleeves. After the 1986 EDSA Revolution, people had difficulty separating the Terno design with the controversial Marcos regime due to its constant use by the late dictator’s wife, Imelda Marcos.

With this rich history, one could say that traditional Filipiniana wear stayed reserved for special occasions due to the limited motion one would have in it. With the traditional baro’t saya, it’s multiple layers made it difficult to freely move around in and also made it difficult to keep cool in the extreme heat. With the traditional Terno, its tight body fit made it difficult to wear every day. This is where modern Filipiniana comes in. 

The Rebirth of The Terno

As discussed earlier, modern Filipiniana clothing has ushered in the rebirth of the traditional Filipiniana. In order to better fit the active lifestyle of a modern Filipina woman, traditional Filipina wear would also have to undergo a massive redesign. The overhaul would open doors for Filipina women to wear Filipinianas to work days and even out on gimmicks with their friends.

A good example of this can be seen in Tygie’s Lory Filipiniana Blazer, which is the perfect way to complete a modern Filipina’s work outfit for the day. Imagine the top of a Filipiniana dress, but turned into a blazer with yellow flowers hand painted all over it. Pair this with a good top and comfortable sandals and you will surely turn heads once you walk through your office doors.

For a night out with friends, consider making use of Tygie’s Ditas Wrap Blouse. This is a blouse made of the same local fibers but has a bright red color. Match it with dark pants in order to really let the bright color pop. If you want to go for an effortless but graceful style, invest in Tygie’s dame skirt, which has a light look to it due to its material.

For special occasions, Tygie has selections that range from a traditional Terno dress to Barongs specifically made for women. The similarities between the Elia Hinabue Dress and the traditional Filipiniana, one can definitely be seen at first glance. But the more you look into it, the more you will start to notice the intricate and modern details.

As modern Barong Tagalogs have made their way into the workday of Filipino men, Tygie also gives its valued customers the same experience. The Keanna Lady Barong Dress is a good combination of the two styles. Experience the comforts of a dress with the clean style of a Filipiniana barong. Tygie’s Nicole Lady Barong is more like the traditional barong, with the same shape and the same translucent properties. However, the unique part about Tygie Barongs for women is the types of embroideries seen on it. It has delicate designs that make use of various Philippine flowers.

The rebirth of modern Filipiniana clothing has once again highlighted the superior qualities of local materials in making clothing comfortable.


Promoting Local Materials

Tygie highly values promoting local materials from the established Philippine textile industry for the creation of their modern Filipiniana clothing. Natural fibers used are piña, cocoon, hinabue, and jusi. For ethnic textiles, the company uses T’nalak, Abel Iloco, Hablon, and Inabel. Other fabrics used are organza, chiffon, and shantung. 

These local materials give a unique texture to all their pieces. It is soft as well as breezy as the fibers allow for a steady breeze to always go through it. Another determining factor of the local textile industry is its eye-catching designs. The use of patterns and different colors make up the iconic textile design. Each area in the Philippines has its own specific design patterns that have been passed down through generations. It is said that these designs were inherited through dreams.

For the design of specific Tygie pieces, Ms. Teodora co-designs them with Ivy Nario. The company prides itself on highlighting its collaborators in order to further promote Philippine artistry. The aim is to empower the local community to keep the traditions and the local textile industry alive and flourishing. With items that embody the unique Filipino identity and by highlighting the artist’s craftsmanship, Tygie is definitely a clothing brand that genuinely cares about their cause. 

Introducing Filipiniana into Everyday Wear

The challenge with introducing Filipiniana into everyday wear is the competition from various other companies aiming to do the same thing. Another challenge is that people still have the preconceived notion that Filipiniana should only be worn during Linggo ng Wika or for formal events. Tygie aims to change all of that by introducing new types of modern Filipiniana wear. With their Terno pieces that can be easily matched with modern clothing and newly designed Terno dresses, the modern-day Filipina will definitely be able to easily incorporate these designs into her closet. These outfits are what make a Tygie lady.

The perfect image of a Tygie lady is one that embraces diversity through modern Filipiniana wear. No matter what age, size, color, or race, Tygie women’s wear will definitely add a good surprise to your everyday clothing. This type of clothing will boost your confidence and will help you develop a strong sense of self. Strong women such as yourself will be able to show off your nationalism and sense of style all in one. All in all, a Tygie woman is one who dresses with dignity, respect, and comfortability in mind.

These are just some of the main takeaways from the rebirth of modern Filipiniana clothing with Tygie. Try it for yourself in order to experience the spectacular designs of local artists.

Experience the Rebirth of Modern Filipiniana Clothing with Tygie!

Filipiniana clothing has gone through multiple evolutions throughout the years. For the majority of the lifespan since its creation, this type of clothing has only been worn by Filipinas during special occasions. They also stuck with more simple and traditional designs in order to encapsulate the “Maria Clara” image. However, modernization has now allowed for modern Filipiniana to be worn as part of a Filipina’s everyday clothing. Not only that, but the designs have diversified in order to include all different types of Filipina – no matter the age, height, skin color, or size.

Click here to experience the rebirth of modern Filipiniana clothing with Tygie. Support luxury brands that highlight the importance of catering to women of all shapes, sizes, and colors. Show off the skilled craftsmanship of Filipino artisans with designs that highlight hand embroidery and beadwork. Break set expectations of how society thinks women should dress. And finally, be part of the modernization of Filipiniana clothing.


Support Philippine products and support Tygie!

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