how to choose a guayabera

How to Choose a Guayabera

9 min read

The guayabera, this emblematic piece of men's wardrobe, is much more than a simple garment. It embodies elegance and style, while remaining an undeniable pillar of men's fashion. Whether casual or formal, the guayabera is an integral part of our sartorial identity.

Quality, always quality, is an essential criterion when it comes to choosing a guayabera. Because beyond appearances, a carefully executed cut and quality material are the two fundamental elements for impeccable dress.

It's true that guidelines on guayabera are not exhaustive, since every man has his own style and preferences. Whether you consider it a wardrobe staple or the ultimate symbol of elegance, there's no denying that the guayabera is a must-have.

There are a multitude of guayaberas to choose from, in different fabrics, styles and price ranges. As with other wardrobe basics, it's essential to pay particular attention to fabric quality, tailoring, cut and finish. Investing in good guayaberas means making the wise choice to prioritize quality over quantity.

In this article, we invite you to explore all aspects of the guayabera, answer your questions and guide you in choosing this essential piece of your men's dressing room.

Whether you're a fashion enthusiast or simply looking for practical information, we're here to accompany you and help you make the best choice for your unique style.

A brief history of the guayabera

The emblematic guayabera has a fascinating history that goes back many centuries. Originating in the tropical regions of Latin America, this elegant yet practical shirt was created to meet the needs of local workers in hot and humid climatic conditions.

The story goes that the guayabera takes its name from the word "guayaba", which means guava in Spanish, referring to the garment's typical breast pocket, perfect for storing a fresh guava. Over time, the guayabera has become a symbol of cultural identity and heritage in many parts of Latin America.

If you would like to find out more about the history and fascinating origins of the guayabera, we invite you to read our dedicated article, which explores this aspect in depth.

You will discover the intriguing details of its evolution through the centuries and dive into the captivating stories surrounding this iconic piece of clothing.

The different guayabera fabrics

When looking for a guayabera, it's important to start by determining the material. In addition to color, cut and finish, the choice of fabric is essential, as it can have a significant impact on its appearance, comfort and durability.

Here are some common options to consider:


cotton guayabera shirt

Cotton is one of the most popular choices for guayaberas. It offers optimal comfort, good breathability and a pleasant softness against the skin.

What's more, cotton is easy to care for and can be found in a variety of weaves and finishes to suit your preference.


Linen is another popular choice for guayaberas. Known for its lightness and exceptional breathability, linen is ideal for warm climates. It has a naturally wrinkled texture that adds a casual, elegant touch to your outfit.

What's more, linen is hardwearing and durable, making it an excellent investment for a quality guayabera.

linen field guayabera

The cotton-linen blend

Some manufacturers offer guayaberas made from a blend of cotton and linen. This combination offers the benefits of both materials, combining the softness of cotton with the lightness and breathability of linen. This creates the perfect balance between comfort and functionality.

If you'd like to find out more about the different fabrics used to make guayaberas, we invite you to read our dedicated article, which explores the characteristics of each material in detail.

Discover the advantages and particularities of each choice to make an informed decision when buying your guayabera.

The different guayabera collars

When it comes to the collars of guayabera shirts, you will commonly find two main styles: the classic collar and the mandarin collar, also known as the Mao collar.

The classic collar features a traditional shirt collar with pointed ends, adding a touch of sophistication to the garment. On the other hand, the mandarin collar offers a clean and minimalist look, characterized by a short, upright band collar.

These two collar styles are the most prevalent in guayabera shirts, but variations and customizations can also exist, showcasing the versatility and personalization options available in this iconic garment.

How to recognize a quality guayabera?

When you're looking for one or more guayaberas to add to your wardrobe, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, look at the seams and sleeves. Next, you'll want to scrutinize the finishing touches, such as the collar, cuffs and buttons.

Don't panic, we'll go over each point here and try to give you as many tips as possible. It's important to remember that, in addition to the quality of the guayabera, it's important to pay systematic attention to its cut and overall fall once worn.

A guayabera must be adapted to our body shape, because a guayabera that's too big or too small can quickly look unattractive and not at its best.

Fabric quality

Barring exceptional cases, as with all clothing, quality is generally reflected in the fabric used.

Let's face it, a guayabera is essentially made of cotton, linen or a mixture of the two, threads and buttons, nothing more. For this reason, don't hesitate to touch the material and check the thickness of the fabric used.

embroidered guayabera shirts


In the vast majority of cases, the quality of a guayabera depends on its seams. They must therefore be precise and regular throughout the garment.

It's easy to see this, as you can take a look at the seams once you've got the piece in your hands. Yes, it's a little more difficult on the Internet, even if the photos generally show the product to best advantage, but you'll realize this when you receive the guayabera.

On a guayabera, we like the stitches to be relatively discreet and close together. Even if you don't systematically take out your tape measure, especially when you're in a store, you should know that from 6 stitches/cm, you have quality seams that will last over time.

In fact, if you count slightly more, it's even better. To check their strength, as with denim, don't hesitate to pull on the different pieces of fabric.


Sleeves are another important point not to be overlooked when looking for a guayabera. In ready-to-wear garments, the sleeve seam is an extension of the seam that joins the back and front panels of the guayabera.

However, offset seams can be found on certain high-end or made-to-measure models. This is not a defect, far from it, but rather an interesting technical detail.

Even if it would be hard to notice without knowing it beforehand, shifting the seams will bring a certain comfort and freedom of movement, thus avoiding possible wrinkles.

The collar

Let's move on to the collar, an element that's also very important. More than a detail, a well-stitched, even collar adds elegance to the garment.

Depending on our preferences and morphology, it's important not only to choose the right collar, but also to check its quality. A poor-quality collar will considerably detract from the look of your guayabera.


Another guayabera detail is the cuffs. It's important to note that there are several types of cuff, some of which can be customized. Like the collar, guayabera cuffs should be rigid, with fine, even seams. Buttons should be well positioned, with no protruding threads.

Among the different guayabera cuffs, we distinguish the square cuff, the two-button cuff, the Neapolitan cuff, the simple broken cuff, the simple rounded cuff and the musketeer cuff.

men wearing guayaberas

Details of a guayabera

In addition to the previous points we've covered together, I'd like to take a quick look at a few additional details that confirm the quality of a guayabera: the buttons, the presence or absence of one or more pockets, and the embroidery.

Let's start with buttons. The most prestigious brands (and others less so) use genuine mother-of-pearl. Difficult to recognize because of the many copies, you'll learn to recognize mother-of-pearl over time with your own experience. The thicker the mother-of-pearl used, the higher its quality and durability.

In addition to mother-of-pearl, there are buttons made of plastic, wood, resin or even mother-of-pearl pressure. Buttons add that little extra touch to the guayabera's finish. In addition to their quality, attention must be paid to the way they are sewn.

The most common is cross-stitching, but parallel stitching is also used (not as strong as cross-stitching).

Pockets are a practical and aesthetic feature of the guayabera. They can be found in a variety of places, including on the chest, on the lower sides of the shirt or even on the inside of the shirt.

Pockets add extra functionality to the guayabera, offering space to store small essentials such as pens, sunglasses or a cell phone. Moreover, pockets can add a unique touch of style to the shirt, especially when embellished with details such as flaps or embroidery.

Finally, embroidery is often used to embellish guayaberas and add an artistic dimension to the shirt. They can be found along the edges, on the pockets or even on the back of the shirt. Embroidery designs vary according to the style and tradition of each region where the guayabera is made.

Embroideries can include floral motifs, geometric designs or emblematic traditional motifs. Embroidery is a distinctive element that adds a touch of elegance and refinement to the guayabera, underlining the attention to detail and craftsmanship.

cuban guayabera shirts

How to choose the right guayabera for you?

Here are a few tips to help you choose the right size guayabera:

  • Shoulders: seams should be level with the shoulder bone.
  • Collar size: you need to be able to pass two or even three fingers along the side between the neck and the collar.
  • Sleeve length: unbutton the sleeves and let them fall, placing the arm alongside the body. Leave about 2 cm above the base of the thumb.
  • Chest size: there should be no tension at the third button (from the top). There should be no tightness when raising the arms.
  • Guayabera length: allow for a certain length, since guayaberas are generally worn outside pants.

To find out your size, see our guayabera size guide.

Different guayabera cuts

Today, guayaberas are generally available in two different cuts: fitted and straight. Choosing a guayabera also means making choices based on your morphology.

Here are a few tips to help you choose the cut of your guayabera.

Slim fit

The slim-fit cut has the particularity of being tighter at the bust and slightly shaped at the sides. Like slim-fit pants, this cut will contour the body without being too tight. The slim fit is said to be ideal for people with a "V" morphology, i.e. men with broad shoulders and a slim waist.

It's also recommended for those with an "I" morphology (slim with narrow shoulders and no tummy). However, you'll need to be careful with the size you choose: you shouldn't feel too tight, and the buttons shouldn't be under pressure. Here's a hint: if creases form at the buttons, the cut or size is not right for you.

Straight (or regular) cut

The straight or regular cut is the most classic cut of men's guayaberas (and always has been). Loose, comfortable cuts are making a comeback.

As the name suggests, it's straight. It won't draw body or bust lines. Less elegant than the slim cut for some, it's the cut most often found in our casual guayaberas.

The regular cut is easy to wear, but once again, you have to be careful about the size you choose. While it's generally suitable for all body types, it's best suited to people with a few curves and broad shoulders.

> Find out more about the different guayabera cuts

Where to find guayaberas ?

To help you in your quest for the perfect guayabera, here's a look at where you can buy them. Whether you prefer to shop in a physical store or online, there are plenty of options for finding the guayabera that suits your preferences and style.

You can start by exploring boutiques specializing in traditional or ethnic clothing, where you'll often find a selection of quality guayaberas. What's more, many local artisans offer their unique creations at craft markets or fairs, providing authentic, handcrafted pieces.

If you prefer to shop online, there are also many e-commerce platforms specializing in the sale of ethnic or traditional clothing. You can browse their catalogs and discover a variety of guayaberas in different colors, styles and sizes.

As experts in guayaberas, Linen Horse is proud to offer a wide range of choices for men. Whether you're looking for a guayabera with long or short sleeves, embroidered or solid color, for a special occasion or casual wear, our collection will meet your needs.

Our guayaberas are made in Yucatán, carefully crafted by our local artisans who perpetuate centuries-old traditions.

Feel free to explore our online boutique to discover our latest creations and find the guayabera that reflects your style and personality. We're committed to providing you with quality products, designed to guarantee comfort, elegance and a unique guayabera experience.

A brief guide to choosing the right guayabera

As you can see, buying a guayabera may seem straightforward. That really suits you is more difficult.

So don't worry too much about the fineness of the thread, the type of cuff or the collar... Trust your impression when you try it on, or at first glance:

  • Does the guayabera fit me well?
  • Do I find it comfortable?
  • Do I like the material?
  • Do I like the pattern and color?

That's really what matters. The other parameters are secondary.

Of course, studying a garment's construction allows you to recognize the quality where it's found, but buying a garment also involves your imagination.

Over time, you come to see the "personality" of a guayabera through the collar, the fabric, the cut, and so on.

Little by little, you'll discover that certain details will appeal to you more than others, and that's how your own sartorial sensibility emerges.

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