Sunday, December 6, 2020

Guayabera Shirt

Guayabera Shirt  

The guayabera also known as Camisa de Yucatán (Yucatán Shirt) is a men's summer shirt, worn outside the trousers, distinguished by two vertical rows of closely sewn pleats running the length of the front and back of the shirt. Typically made of linen, silk, or cotton, and appropriate for hot or humid weather, guayaberas are popular in Cuba, the Caribbean (especially the Dominican Republic, and Puerto Rico), Mexico, Central America, South America, Southeast Asia, the south of Spain and Portugal.


The exact origin of the garment is unknown, although some sources attribute the shirt to the people of the Philippines who introduced the design to Mexico. Specifically, the design is believed to be from the lace-like white Philippine barong Tagalog, which has documented origins in the Philippines prior to the arrival of the Spanish. It made its way to Cuba through Mexico via the Manila-Acapulco galleon trade .

Some scholars dispute the Philippine origin based on perceived design differences. The barong traditionally does not have pockets and has an intricate U-shaped embroidery around the chest (the pechera) which is mostly absent in Cuban guayaberas.Guayaberas are also made from linen or cotton, and not the expensive piña or abacá sheer fabrics used in formal barong (although informal barong worn by the lower classes in the Philippines use common opaque fabrics like linen).

However, guayaberas in Mexico also have chest designs like pleats and embroidery similar to the barong (and in contrast to Cuban guayaberas); and they can range from having no pockets, to having one, two, or four. This is the reason why Mexicans also claim that it originated from either the state of Veracruz or the Yucatán Peninsula. In Mexico, the same basic style is also known as the "camisa de Yucatán" (Yucatán shirt) or "wedding shirt".


Long or short sleeves, the more common being the short-sleeved version, having a cuffed sleeve with a single decorative button.

Either two or four patch pockets and two vertical rows of alforzas (fine, tiny pleats, usually ten, sewn closely together) run down the front and three down the back of the shirt. The pockets are detailed with alforzas that are identical to, and aligned with, the alforzas on the body of the shirt.

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 used at the bottom hem. While most versions of the design have no placket covering the buttons, a few newer designs do.

Some shirt designs include slits on either side, and these include two or three buttons. The bottom has a straight hem, and is never tucked into the trousers.

Though traditionally worn in white and pastels, guayaberas are now available in many solid colors. Black guayaberas, embroidered with colorful flowers and with French cuffs, have for many decades been extremely popular in Mexico and are considered formalwear in some situations.

Wear and use

The guayabera is often worn in formal contexts, such as offices and weddings. In Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Mexico, and Puerto Rico, guayaberas are part of the traditional wear for men and may be considered formalwear. In 2010, Cuba reinstated the guayabera as the "official formal dress garment".

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