The guayabera is a men’s shirt distinguished by two vertical rows of closely sewn pleats that run the length of the front and back of the shirt. Typically made of lightweight linen or cotton, worn untucked, and appropriate for hot or humid weather, guayaberas are popular in the Caribbean (especially Cuba), Central America, and Southeast Asia.
This guayabera is made of linen.
The design of a typical guayabera is distinguished by several details:
Either two or four patch pockets and two vertical rows of alforzas (fine, tiny pleats, usually ten, sewed closely together) run along the front and 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 seen, one on each side, at the bottom hem. While most versions of the design have no placket covering the buttons, a few newer designs do.
The bottom of many shirts has slits on either side, and these include adjusting buttons. The bottom has a straight hem, and is not 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 festooned with French cuffs, have for many decades been extremely popular in Mexico and are considered formalwear in some situations.
Mexican guayaberas often use complicated embroidery in place of or as a supplement to the traditional alforzas. This style originated in Mérida, Mexico.