Rolling with Style: The Art of Wearing the Guayabera

5 min read

The guayabera, an emblematic piece of men's wardrobe, comes in a variety of styles and colors. Whether you're a fashionista or not, everyone owns at least one.

While the short-sleeved guayabera is ideal for summer days, the long-sleeved version offers unrivalled versatility. In fact, it can go from formal to casual in the blink of an eye, simply by rolling up the sleeves.

But beware: rolling up your sleeves is not a trivial act, and requires a precise technique. There are several ways to do it, each with a specific intention.

In this article, we guide you through the different ways to roll up the sleeves of your guayabera.

1. Why roll up the sleeves of a guayabera?

Rolling up the sleeves of a guayabera isn't just a question of style or trend. Above all, it's a matter of functionality and comfort.

In hot weather, rolling up the sleeves allows better ventilation and avoids discomfort due to perspiration. It also gives your outfit a more casual look, ideal for an evening out with friends or a relaxing afternoon.

What's more, it can be a stylish solution when you're out and about in fluctuating temperatures: indoors with air conditioning, then out in the sunshine.

Finally, rolling up your sleeves can be seen as a sign of commitment and readiness to act, especially in a professional context. As you can see, this practice combines both aesthetics and practicality.

Now that we've understood the importance of rolling up your sleeves, let's take a look at how to do it with style and efficiency.

2. How do you roll up the sleeves on your guayabera?

Let's start with the most popular method: the classic roll-up.

2.1. The classic way

As the saying goes: classic is timeless. A guayabera, whatever its material, can instantly be transformed into a casual piece with an urban nuance, especially if it's cleverly paired with other elements of your outfit.

Classic roll-up sleeves are instinctive and unpretentious. There's no need to aspire to or iron a perfect fold. You're aiming for a relaxed but still polished look. If your guayabera has buttoned cuffs, start by making a first inward fold. This preserves the sleeve's original length while adjusting the size of the wrist.

Next, make a second outward fold, ensuring that it is the same width as the first. Ideally, this fold stops at the forearm, which is generally considered the optimum point for rolling up the sleeve.

Finally, check whether your guayabera is equipped with a button to fix the cuff. If it doesn't, don't worry: if your fold is well made, it will stay in place. But what if you want to add a touch of elegance while having your sleeves rolled up?

2.2. With a formal look

Can you combine formal elegance with rolled-up sleeves? The answer is a resounding yes. But it all depends on how you roll up your sleeves and what you wear to complete your outfit.

An impeccable roll-up combined with ripped jeans won't evoke formality. For an elegant look, opt instead for tailored pants.

Formal roll-up differs slightly from classic style. It's more polished and shouldn't extend beyond the elbow. Ideally, it should reach the upper part of the forearm, combining comfort and mobility while slightly relaxing a formal outfit.

Guayaberas with double cuffs are often chosen for formal wear. So, after the first two inward folds, make a third fold, this time outward, but shorter than the previous ones. This fold will ensure an aesthetic finish, while ensuring that the rolled-up sleeve stays in place.

For those who like a bit of daring and spontaneity, rolling up irregularly could be your choice.

2.3. Irregularly rolled up

Every style has its followers and its names. What we call irregular, improvised or "made in the moment" could be evoked by others, such as the sailor or bohemian style. This way of rolling up sleeves recalls a retro aesthetic, straight out of the 50s.

Unlike the methods we've described above, this roll-up is the least structured. It doesn't require uniformity of pleat size. In fact, the number of pleats is no longer limited to two or three; make as many as you like, ensuring that the sleeve reaches the forearm or biceps.

The "relaxed" aspect of this method means that the fabric will undoubtedly form a few extra pleats. But don't see this as a flaw: it's precisely this imperfection that creates its charm.

Bear in mind, however, that a little ironing will probably be necessary after wearing your guayabera in this way.

With the different ways of rolling up the sleeves in mind, let's now turn to another variant of the guayabera: the short-sleeved one.

3. When to opt for a short-sleeved guayabera?

3.1 Summer: the ideal season

At first glance, you'd be wise to opt for a long-sleeved guayabera - which you can always roll up for added style. However, if you're irrevocably drawn to a short-sleeved version, the ideal time would be during the summer vacations.

Summer is synonymous with lightness, where a casual look is the order of the day. Imagine a guayabera adorned with playful prints, combined with light-colored Bermuda shorts; on the footwear side, espadrilles are perfect.

3.2 The urban guayabera: audacity pays off

Another option - which might surprise or even scandalize some - is to wear a short-sleeved guayabera in an urban setting. While there's a risk of stylistic faux pas, mastering the look perfectly could be a game-changer.

Opt for a more streamlined version, in harmonious colors, while respecting the morphology of your silhouette. A few well-chosen accessories and you've got a dandy chic look without breaking the bank!

4. Which looks to wear with a short-sleeved guayabera?

We've talked about roll-up techniques and the choice between long or short sleeves. But which garments should you pair this iconic piece with?

4.1. With jeans

Jeans are that timeless basic that every man has in his wardrobe. Their versatility is their strength: they go with just about everything.

For a casual lunch with friends or a night out on the town, there's nothing better than jeans in the cut that makes you look your best.

Pair them with a short-sleeved guayabera for a look that's both classic and casual. This combination is a sure bet that never fails to make an impact.

4.2 Chino pants

Less formal than suit pants but more elegant than jeans, chinos are the perfect compromise for a style that's both chic and casual. Pair them with a short-sleeved guayabera for a timeless look with a formal touch.

Make sure, however, to keep the sleeves rolled up at forearm level to maintain harmony in your outfit.

4.3 Shorts

Ideal for days at the beach or summer outings. The choice of roll-up depends essentially on the occasion. If you're invited to an elegant seaside dinner, opt for a classic or casual roll-up for your guayabera.

If, on the other hand, you're planning a casual stroll on the beach, you'll want to opt for a messier roll-up. for a totally summery look.

The guayabera, a timeless must-have

The guayabera is more than just a piece of clothing: it's a reflection of history, culture and unrivalled style. Its versatility, whether long-sleeved rolled up or short-sleeved, makes it suitable for almost any occasion.

Whether you're going for formal, casual or somewhere in between, the guayabera has a place in your wardrobe. And now, thanks to this guide, you know exactly how to show off this iconic piece.

For those ready to fully embrace this timeless trend, we invite you to discover our collection of short-sleeved guayaberas, where tradition meets modernity.

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