Style

Ramon Magsaysay Sr.’s Greatest Style Moments

Our seventh president was a staunch proponent of the barong and the aloha shirt.
IMAGE National Library of The Philippines via Presidential Library and Museum
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Few of our presidents have been quite as popular and as well-remembered as Ramon Magsaysay. His legacy will always be one of modesty and concern for the common man: he famously opened the doors of Malacañan Palace to the people, even insisting on dropping the “palace” and just calling it Malacañang; and that he be referred to as “Mr. President” rather than “His Excellency.” Magsaysay is remembered for anecdotes like these, as well as a growing economy, inclusive agrarian reform, and positive nationalism.

Along with these, Magsaysay will also be remembered for what he wore—specifically, that his sartorial inclinations were to the barong and the aloha shirt. One could argue that these were visual expressions of his brand of leadership. That he was always seen wearing a very casual aloha shirt lent itself to his image of a modest, no-frills president; and the barong might have been an extension of the nationalistic feelings that he was trying to promote. But regardless, President Magsaysay did wear them with style. Here are a few of of his greatest style moments:

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Of course, President Magsaysay will always be remembered in a tailored barong with elegant detailing.



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But that didn’t mean that he wouldn’t wear a suit. In fact, he also wore an array of light-colored suits with double-breasted jackets and dark neckties, sometimes with eccentric prints and patterns.



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He’s also been known to wear white dress shoes, including one pair of cap toe derbies with dark accent trim.



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President Magsaysay’s hair part, which is close to the middle, was also part of his signature look.


But he was always most stylish in the different aloha shirts he’d wear.


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Including this one shirt with a checkerboard accent print, that could easily be from Karl Lagerfeld's upcoming Vans collection.


And as far as presidents go, few are stylish enough to pull off sunglasses during an indoor meeting.


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