Take them to the seaside, on errands, or for lounging at home.
Living in the tropics, Filipinos know how to dress easy. On top of the list is the daster, the localized term for the duster, which in the Philippines refers to the ubiquitous, traditional house dress worn mostly by mothers and grandmothers while doing, well, housework. The pambahay staple has been picked up by a handful of contemporary local brands, bringing it beyond mere loungewear (or workwear for the homemakers) to “life wear.” The details may vary—Owa Sylvia memorably makes hers in candy pastels and with pockets, while Ta LouLou offers a variety of shoulder straps, but they all retain that distinct billowy style, making them perfect for work, errands, or lounging.
Brands like APARA, Ta LouLou, Charina Sarte, Trude Lizares, Tayo Studio, and Estudio Azucar bring the unfussy staple to the forefront, establishing the daster as a quintessential Filipino uniform, one that suits many people, regardless of their age, body type, and lifestyle. For the beach,
While typically worn casually with flat sandals or espadrilles, some have styled it for the city with sneakers or chunky fisherman sandals, topped it with denim jackets and baseball hats.
For The Minimalist: APARA
APARA is a slow fashion brand that offers versatile wardrobe staples in neutral hues. With a minimalist approach to fashion, the label elevates the daster silhouette with soft and breathable materials in versatile shapes. Their selection comprises of midi dresses, strapless tops, mini skirts, scoop dresses, and ribbed tanks in earthy tones. When it comes to transitional dressing, APARA’s dresses should be your next go-to.
For Garden Parties: Ta LouLou
Founded by Carmencita “Cit” Sioson and Denise “Den” Juan, Ta LouLou is a slow fashion label that merges minimalism with creativity. With empowering pieces that accentuate one’s features, the label’s feminine designs add a hint of romance to your style. Cinched at the waist and with voluminous frills, Ta LouLou’s daster adds structure to the roomy shape of the silhouette. With oversized bows, straps with floral appliqués, and silk adornments, the brand’s take on the airy frock is one to watch.
For A Vacation Getaway: Charina Sarte
Charina Sarte’s refined pieces are made for women, designed by a woman, and made by women. With an all-female staff of seamstresses, each tropical garment is made in the Philippines. Her take on the daster is a billowing silhouette defined by an A-line cut. On who she imagines wearing her pieces, Charina Sarte tells Vogue Philippines, “…Sun-kissed and barefoot watching the sunset with [a] cocktail on hand wearing Charina Sarte. Perfection!” Although the majority of Sarte’s pieces are resortwear, the essence of some dresses are similar to the daster’s with an emphasis on comfort and a sophisticated a-line silhouette.
Photographer: Clara Segui
For Relaxed Moments: Trude Lizares
Trude Lizares is known for its artful, ready-to-wear pieces that nail the effortless aesthetic. Sustainable and handmade, the label’s maxi dresses are ideal for the beach, an afternoon outing, or even for a simple grocery run. Made from 100% organic pure linen in down-to-earth hues (ocean, clay, stone, and olive included), their A-line pieces are impossibly figure-pleasing. With an assortment of dusters and slip dresses, every piece provides sartorial relief with flattering nip-waisted silhouettes and unconventional details like symmetrical inverted T-necklines and puff sleeves.
For A Foray Into Cottagecore: Tayo Studio
Tayo Studio brings fashion and sustainability together with its collections of feminine yet understated pieces. Found in vibrant hues, Tayo Studio’s take on the daster skews towards prairie frocks that hit above the knee. With billowy bottoms, pastel colors, and soft pleats, these modern dasters keep you cool in warm temperatures.
For Summery Prints: Estudio Azucar
Designer Arleen Sipat-Sutton of Estudio Azucar focuses on Filipino craftsmanship with her resortwear collections. Non-constricting silhouettes are blended with soft-to-the-touch fabrics in the label’s intricate dresses. Prioritizing easiness and breeziness, playful textures like ruffles and feathers are complemented by a punchy color palette in Estudio Azucar’s collections. Their Pavane Off-Shoulder Dress comprises of a plaid ensemble with a wrap belt for a cinched waist, giving off a daster feel with its loose silhouette.