ultimate guide to the guayabera

The Ultimate Guide to the Guayabera

8 min read

Choosing a guayabera is no easy task, just like choosing any other garment. Many factors come into play: your morphology and measurements, construction, weaving techniques, as well as patterns and collar styles.

To help you make the right choice, we have prepared the ultimate guide to the captivating world of the guayabera.

Discover its rich history, unique features and style secrets, enabling you to master this iconic shirt.

The Guayabera: A distinctive traditional shirt

What is a guayabera?

The guayabera is a traditional shirt that originated in Cuba, but is also popular in other Latin American countries such as Mexico.

It can be recognized by its distinctive features, including patch pockets, vertical pleats and embroidered yoke.

The guayabera is made from lightweight, breathable fabrics, making it an ideal choice for hot climates.

cuban guayabera shirt

What is the history of the guayabera?

The guayabera takes its name from the tropical fruit "guayaba" and is often associated with workers on Cuba's sugarcane plantations. Its origins date back to the 19th century, but its exact history is open to debate.

Some believe the guayabera was influenced by the shirts worn by Spanish settlers, while others believe it is the result of a blend of indigenous, African and Spanish cultures.

> Our full article on the history and origins of the guayabera

What characterizes a guayabera ?

The guayabera has several distinctive features. It generally has four patch pockets on the front, two on each side. The pockets are often decorated with pleats or embroidery.

The guayabera also features vertical pleats on the front and back, giving it an elegant appearance. Sleeves can be long or short, and are often adorned with pleats and buttons.

Guayabera weaves and patterns

Feeling good in your guayabera means, first and foremost, feeling comfortable. After all, it's in direct contact with the skin for hours on end. So the choice of fabric is obviously an important step.

The pattern of the guayabera, even if not essential, should also be chosen with care, as it makes your guayabera more authentic and striking.

What fabrics are commonly used for guayaberas?

Guayaberas are generally made from lightweight, breathable fabrics to make them comfortable in hot climates. Cotton and linen are the most commonly used materials, thanks to their natural, skin-breathing properties.

Some more modern models can also be made in polyester or rayon blends for ease of care and reduced wrinkling.

How to make a guayabera shirt

Tailoring plays a particularly important role in the quality of your guayabera. If your guayabera's seams aren't even, if the buttons aren't properly sewn, or if the "reinforcement swallows" (alforzas) have been forgotten, your guayabera won't stay in your closet as long as it should.

We're going to take you through the steps involved in making a quality guayabera, and show you the elements that make up the price of a guayabera.

Rules for choosing a guayabera

Choosing an elegant cut is an essential detail to ensure a distinguished outfit, but what makes it unique is that it adapts to your morphology.

We have put together a guide to cuts that suit your build, so you'll feel like your guayabera fits you like a glove (or a guayabera.)

> Our article on the golden rules for choosing a guayabera.

Choosing your guayabera collar

There's a wide choice of guayabera collars that can take you from a formal look, to an elegant twist, to an original allure. As you can see, beyond the fabric and pattern of your guayabera, the collar represents its DNA.

In this section, we've decided to introduce you to the different guayabera collars that can be found according to different face shapes and dress codes.

How to choose the right guayabera size?

To choose the right guayabera size, we recommend you take your own measurements and refer to the size guide provided by the manufacturer.

Guayaberas are generally available in standard sizes, but it's important to note that measurements may vary slightly from model to model. If you hesitate between two sizes, we recommend choosing the larger one for a more comfortable fit.

> See our guayabera sizing chart

Guayabera care tips

Once well worn, it's time to treat your precious guayabera with care. In this section, we'll look at all the tips for washing, ironing and folding your guayabera.

And believe us, some of the tips will surprise you, so if you want to know all the secrets about guayabera care, this is the place.

How do I wash a guayabera?

To wash your guayabera, we recommend that you first open all the buttons. Then, as with any garment, wash your guayabera with similar colors. It is strictly forbidden to mix your white guayabera with any other color.

Finally, we advise you to wash your guayaberas at 30°C maximum, and to measure the spin-drying, as the harder it is, the more you'll need to iron your guayabera. For an even more delicate wash, you can also wash your guayabera by hand.

> Our article on how to wash a guayabera

How to iron a guayabera

Once you've made sure your iron is clean, turn your guayabera inside out to iron it inside out. This will avoid any unexpected stains.

Next, we recommend you start by ironing the collar, then the sleeves, then the cuffs. Finally, iron the back of the guayabera and the front panels. Tip: iron it while it's still damp.

> Our article on how to iron a guayabera

How do I fold a guayabera?

There are several folding techniques, the most widely recognized being the "classic" fold. Very simple, it's done in the same way as folding a T-shirt.

You can also keep your guayabera on a hanger in your wardrobe to avoid wrinkles and have a guayabera available at all times.

How do I care for a guayabera?

Guayabera care depends on the fabric used. In general, we recommend following the washing and care instructions provided by the manufacturer.

Cotton or linen guayaberas can often be machine-washed at a moderate temperature and ironed at a low setting to eliminate wrinkles.

They are best hung to dry rather than tumble-dried. Please note that embroidered guayaberas may require hand-washing or dry-cleaning.

Do guayaberas shrink?

Guayaberas may shrink slightly after washing, especially if made from natural fibers like cotton or linen.

To avoid shrinkage, we recommend following the manufacturer's washing instructions, washing the guayabera at a moderate temperature and air-drying or tumble-drying at a low temperature.

If you want to be on the safe side, you can opt for a slightly larger size when purchasing.

How to wear a guayabera: tips for creating different styles

How to wear a guayabera

The guayabera, a versatile shirt, can be worn in a variety of ways to create unique styles. For a casual look, pair it with linen or cotton pants, complemented by matching sandals. If you prefer a more formal look, opt for dress pants and leather shoes.

The guayabera is traditionally worn on the outside of pants. However, you can wear it inside your pants for a unique retro-chic look.

Whether you opt for a long-sleeved guayabera or a short-sleeved guayabera, don't forget to play with details such as pleats and embroidery to enhance the traditional beauty of this piece.

celebrities wearing guayabera

What to wear with a guayabera shirt

A guayabera shirt goes well with a variety of bottoms, depending on the occasion and the style you're going for. You can wear it with dress pants for formal wear, jeans for a casual look or linen pants for a more sophisticated look.

Add matching shoes and accessories such as a leather belt to create a harmonious look. A hand-woven jipijapa hat and sunglasses can also complete your outfit, giving it a tropical touch.

How formal is a guayabera?

The guayabera is a shirt that can be adapted to different levels of formality. In a casual context, it can be worn to informal events or casual outings.

For a more formal occasion, you can choose a guayabera made from a more refined fabric and adorned with more elaborate details, and combine it with dress pants and leather shoes. Either way, the guayabera adds a distinct touch of style and elegance.

Can I wear a guayabera with jeans?

Yes, you can certainly wear a guayabera with jeans. It's a great way to create a casual, versatile look. Choose dark-colored jeans and pair them with a guayabera of your choice.

You can choose to wear it tucked into the jeans or on the outside, depending on the look you want to achieve. Complete your outfit with casual shoes or loafers for a modern look.

What pants go best with a guayabera?

Several pant options work well with a guayabera, depending on the style you're going for. For a casual look, you can choose linen or cotton pants in neutral tones. Colors like beige, white or navy blue go well with guayaberas.

For a dressier look, dress pants (black pants) in a color that matches your guayabera are a good choice. You can also opt for jeans for a casual yet elegant look.

Finally, you can also choose pants in a color that matches the embroidery or details on your guayabera to create a harmonious ensemble.

Should I wear an undershirt under a guayabera?

Wearing an undershirt under a guayabera depends on your personal preference. Some prefer to wear an undershirt for greater comfort and to prevent perspiration from staining the shirt.

However, if you feel comfortable without one, that's perfectly acceptable. Choose an undershirt in a neutral color, usually white, which will blend discreetly under your guayabera.

> Our article on what to wear under a guayabera

Can anyone wear a guayabera?

Yes, anyone can wear a guayabera. It's a versatile shirt that suits different body types and styles. Whether you're a man or a woman, young or old, you can find a guayabera to suit you.

There are different cuts and sizes available on the market, and you can choose the one that suits you best.

What shoes to wear with a guayabera?

The choice of shoes depends on the style you want to adopt with your guayabera. For a casual look, you can opt for leather sandals, espadrilles or loafers.

For a dressier look, dress shoes such as leather derbies or tassel loafers are appropriate. Make sure the color of your shoes complements your outfit.

Can I wear a jacket or blazer over a guayabera?

Yes, you can wear a jacket over a guayabera for a dressier, more elegant look. Choose a slightly fitted jacket that doesn't distort the silhouette of the guayabera. Linen or cotton jackets are a good choice to complement the guayabera's summer style.

Yes, you can combine a guayabera with a blazer to create a unique look. Choose a blazer in a color and fabric to match your guayabera. Make sure the blazer has a slim fit for a modern look. You can wear this outfit to semi-formal occasions or cocktail parties, adding a touch of tropical elegance.

> Our article on how to wear a guayabera with a blazer or jacket

What hat to wear with a guayabera?

To complete your guayabera look, you can opt for a tropical-style hat, such as a panama, a woven straw hat or a superb Mexican jipijapa hat.

These hats harmonize perfectly with the guayabera aesthetic and add a touch of casual sophistication.

Where can I buy guayabera shirts?

Where can i find guayaberas near me? This is a question we are often asked.

This is one of the essential pieces in our men's dressing room, and many of you ask us for advice when it comes to making a choice. While our advice may differ according to body type and budget, we often come back to the same shirt brands.

You can find guayabera shirts in various fashion stores, boutiques specializing in ethnic clothing or online. Look for reputable brands that offer quality guayaberas and a wide choice of styles and sizes to suit your preferences.

You can also browse traditional Latin American clothing boutiques for authentic options.

When it comes to finding the best guayabera shirts, look no further than our Linen Horse online store.

Our expert team carefully crafts the finest guayaberas on the market, made in the heart of the Yucatan. Enjoy superior quality, a wide range of styles and dedicated customer support.

Discover your ideal guayabera and don't hesitate to contact us if you have any questions.

guayabera store

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