The guayabera is a men's shirt popular in Latin America, the Caribbean, Southeast Asia, and the West Indies. It is also referred to as a "Mexican Wedding Shirt."Cite web|url=|title=Cuban Guayabera Shirt] Cite web|url=|title=Mexican Wedding Traditions]


The origin of the garment is disputed, as various claims for the distinctive style have been made in several Latin America countries as well as the Philippines.Cite web|url=|title="Guayabera's origin remains a puzzle."] Some Latin Americans believe that the guayabera was created in the Yucatán peninsula of Mexico, whereas alternate theories have held that Mexicans either stole the design concept from the "El Encanto" store of Cuba, or copied the trend from Cuban tourists who visited Mexico.Cite web|url=|title="Guayabera's origin remains a puzzle."]

The origin of the name "guayabera" may come from a Cuban legend that tells of a poor countryside seamstress sewing large pockets into her husband's shirts for carrying guava (guayabas) from the field.Cite web|url=|title="Guayabera's origin remains a puzzle."] Cite web|url=|title=The guayabera: Traditional tropical shirt finds new customers online] "Guayabera" may also have originated from the word "yayabero", the word for a person who lived near the Yayabo River in Cuba.Cite web|url=|title="Guayabera's origin remains a puzzle."] Cite web|url=|title=Cuban Guayaberas Make Mark Abroad]

Though commonly called "guayabera" in Mexico, the shirt is sometimes referred to as a "Mexican Wedding Shirt."Cite web|url=|title=Mexican Wedding Traditions]


The guayabera shirt is distinguished by several details: either two or four patch pockets and two vertical rows of "alforzas" (fine, tiny pleats, usually 10, sewn closely together) running along the front and back of the shirt (the pockets are separately detailed with identical, properly aligned alforzas).Cite web|url=|title=The guayabera: Traditional tropical shirt finds new customers online]

In Mexico, guayaberas designed from linen are generally considered the most popular attire for beach weddings due to their combination of style and comfort of wear.Cite web|url=|title=Mexican Wedding Traditions]

The top of each pocket is usually adorned with a matching shirt button, as are the bottoms of the alforza pleats. Vertical rows of adjusting buttons are often seen, one on each side, at the bottom hem. While the Mexican version usually has no front placket covering the buttons, the Cuban guayabera has a button-placket, also decorated with alforzas.Fact|date=July 2008

The bottom of some shirts have three-inch slits on either side, and these include adjusting buttons. The Mexican shirt will usually have three such buttons at the bottom, on each side. It has a straight-bottom hem, thus it is not tucked into the trousers.Cite web|url=|title=Cool comfort: The guayabera born of necessity, but still a fashion statement]


The guayabera is generally worn open-necked. Though traditionally worn in white and pastels, guayaberas are now available in many colors.Cite web|url=|title=Guayaberas Galore at CubaNostalgia]

Popularity in the United States

In the past, guayaberas were typically sold to and associated with older men ranging from 45-75. When retro clothing styles began to make a resurgence in recent years, the consumer base began to shift to a significantly younger audience.Cite web|url=|title=Cool comfort: The guayabera born of necessity, but still a fashion statement]

In some countries and in several areas of Florida, the guayabera is often an acceptable form of office wear as a means of coping with hot weatherCite web|url=|title=Guayaberas Galore at CubaNostalgia] .


In the Philippines there exists a popular shirt that bears some similarity to the guayabera, referred to as a "Barong Tagalog." The Barong Tagalog is an elegant, typically long-sleeved shirt. Its major difference from the traditional guayabera is that it typically has no pockets, whereas a guayabera often has four.Cite web|url=|title="Guayabera's origin remains a puzzle."]


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Look at other dictionaries:

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