The Guayabera was born on the Cuban countryside and worn by the many farmers called “Guajiros”. It is believed that the garment may have looked like the Spanish military uniform made out of a fabric called rayadillo (blue and white striped material) worn by soldiers during the Cuban War of Independence.
Men wearing guayaberas are a familiar sight in the beautiful Carribean island of Cuba. The shirt is a traditional piece of menswear that is distinguished by its four front pockets and two vertical stripes of pleating and/or embroidery. Its widespread usage and distinctive appearance has made it the most iconic piece of clothing associated with the cultural life of the Caribbean. Now, a national phenomenon in men’s fashion, the guayabera’s story has a mystical origin in the Cuban countryside.
The tale goes that the wife of a farmer that lived on the Cuban countryside made him a special shirt. The husband requested a shirt that had multiple pockets in order to store his belongings.
By the late 19th century there were records of a “guayabera” shirt and/or jacket which resembled the uniforms of Spanish soldiers. Other sources report that men on the Cuban countryside were also wearing these style shirts. By the mid 20th century, a guayabera featuring two chest and hem pockets emerged as popular mens wear in Havana, Cuba. The shirts popularity was propelled by government officials wearing them, until the revolution of 1959 which slowed down the making of the guayabera for years.
HOW IT'S MADE
Historically the guayabera has been made by the hands of expert craftsmen such as tailors and seamstresses. These guayaberas are of high quality material and made out of 100% linen or cotton. As of the last 10 years, the production of guayaberas has substantially increased with the help of factories in places like Mexico, China, Ecuador and Panama. These shirts are now made in for both a modern and classic audience seeking different types of fabrics and prices. Authentic guayaberas are specially tailored and made with linen and/or cotton in order to ensure quality and durability.
Over the last 40+ years, we have kept the historically rich tradition of guayabera making and tailoring alive. It is our promise to always be faithful to our roots, especially when it comes to quality. When you buy a guayabera at Pepe and Berta, you can rest assured that you are wearing a piece of history and an iconic part of modern/traditional fashion. Keep the tradition going by purchasing a guayabera for yourself or as a very special gift!