When it comes to “what to wear” I am sort of in the middle of a metamorphosis. Up until a few months ago, I wore shorts almost everywhere I went (not to formal occasions, of course!). I am beginning to change on that, though. Let’s have a look at my thinking on this subject before and now.
For most of the years that I lived here, I wore shorts, as I said. I tried to have decent looking shorts, not cut offs and such that were basically rags. A decent pair of shorts and a nice shirt were pretty standard clothing for me. If you saw me at the mall, grocery store, coffee shop or wherever, you would almost always see me wearing shorts. I still wear shorts if I am making a quick trip to the convenience store, or for wearing around the house. But, if I am going out, I usually wear long pants. Nothing fancy, just a decent pair of jeans, and a nice shirt.
Of course, when I used to wear shorts, that meant I’d wear sandals. Now, I find myself wearing usually a nice pair of tennis shoes, or even a more dressy shoe. My new look is a little more formal, and probably a little more accepted in Philippine society, I’d say. That said, I will also say that Philippine society is getting less formal when it comes to clothing, though. It used to be that wearing shorts out in public was a big “no-no,” but now it is pretty acceptable. Back in 1990 when I first came here to visit, you simply did not wear shorts out in public! These days, I would say that 25% of the people that I see at the mall are wearing shorts – Filipino or Foreigner.
If you are going to a formal event, or even a semi-formal event, I have relented, and I strongly suggest that you wear a Barong. I prefer a Polo Barong – short sleeves, because while it shows respect for Filipino custom, it is also more comfortable for me, and fits my style. I find it a perfect trade off between style and function. If you’ve been reading this blog, you know that I only bought my first Barong recently for a wedding. I liked it so much, and found it so comfortable that I’ve worn it to several meetings and such since then.
Now, you may be asking yourself – “if Bob says that it is becoming acceptable to wear shorts and dress casually, why is he moving in the other direction and ditching his shorts for most occasions?” Tune in tomorrow morning! My post tomorrow morning will answer that question.