I’m known notoriously among my friend groups for wearing jackets even when it’s 33 degrees out in the summer. And not because I insulate heat like a Northern European, but because functional outerwear is the friend you need to survive Metro Manila’s crazy weather.

The Philippines only has tag-ulan and tag-init, but those two love to commiserate—it’s never just one or the other. Basically, you just don’t want to be too hot, and you don’t want to be too cold, either. (And you most definitely don’t want to get rained on). So how do we stand in front of our closets in the morning and make sartorial decisions we won’t regret by lunchtime?

Below, 3 jacket looks that channel my inner hubadera while still making sure I can brave the elements (whatever the day’s elements may be). Layering, ladies, it’s all about layering—and then un-layering when the situation calls for it.

THE “THICK ‘N THIN” LOOK

For days that show potential chill, most people make pants or jeans their go-to, but denim can be unbearable when sandwiched with 16 other people in a jeepney built only for 12. Which is why I love this puffer!
Thanks to its thick and puffy sleeves, I’ll feel cozy when it gets windy, but once the clouds finally part for the sun, it can come right off and find a new home tied around my waist. Then it’s my dress’s time to shine: its ultra-thin fabric makes for extra breathability you never knew you needed until summer hit. Win-win.
GET THE LOOK: My own jacket. Prim and Proper Lucy Front Dress, P899, available here.

THE “WEATHERPROOF ANYWHERE” LOOK

Ah, the windbreaker: the unofficial school uniform of the Filipina college student. It’s so easy to get away with a mini skirt and a sleeveless graphic tee when you’ve got temperature control courtesy of a light, reversible (it’s all white on the opposite side!), fickle-weather-friendly item like this piece.
Its oversized style lends an air of coziness that balances out the bare legs my mini skirt is showing off. In this outfit, I could hop on a hot and crowded train, squeeze myself into an equally hot and crowded gig in QC, then brave the cold midnight air on my way home without feeling inadequate.

GET THE LOOK: Dos Outerwear Corto in Azul Windbreaker, P1,399, available here. Mantou Mini Skirt, P799, available here.

THE “VERY CUTE, BUT ALSO VERY BUSY” LOOK 

This outfit is perfect for days when you have to be in three cities in one day. There are just too many errands, and the weather shouldn’t stop you from depositing your rent check in time.

The hoodie I’m wearing is made with reclaimed fabric rescued from landfills, so you’re not only surviving the hot environment, you’re helping to save it, too. Paired with a miniskirt adorned in the palm leaf print that we’re seeing everywhere these days, this seemingly simple ensemble is a functional head-turner…especially in the summer heat.
GET THE LOOK: Lazy Fare Lazy Cropped Hoodie, P300, available here.

Our weather’s never going to behave, so we might as well step out the door ready for each and every possibility. A versatile outfit is definitely handy, but don’t forget to pack your essentials: an umbrella, some sunscreen, extra flats or slippers in case your heels give out, and water and face mist to keep hydrated.

This summer, it can be easy to get caught up in what you need from an outfit, so don’t lose sight of what you want from it—dress for the weather. Dress for the version of yourself you want the world to see you in, be it rain or shine.

What are your favorite outfits that help you survive Metro Manila’s weather? Let us know in the comments section below!

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