Taking on the Guayabera

By Malinda Wiseman

The environment plays a part in fashion decisions. No one would select winterwear for the hot months of the year or vice versa, after all. Can you imagine anyone being silly enough to don a lined trenchcoat at the height of summer in the tropics?

One should never forget to consider issues of efficiency and comfort. While looking good on the outside is what makes heads turn, feeling good from the inside is as important. Your health might be involved as well in a way, as in the case of one getting a cold by not dressing warmly in chilling weather.

It is for this reason that warm countries such as Mexico, the Philippines, the Caribbean and Zimbabwe have a kind of fashion that's their own. Due to the heat, these locations tend to encourage clothing that is not overly warm or insulating. It is vital that travelers coming to these spots also prepare similar garments for their visit.

It can be interesting to give local garments a try if you have never done so in a particular country. It can be fun to put on winter clothes after coming from a perpetually warm country, or the reverse. If you are heading for a warm country, you can expect some very light fabrics and clothes.

At warm spots, you are certain to find the obligatory Guayabera. This is a very lightweight piece of clothing often worn in warm locations. A number of places actually refer to it as a Mexican wedding shirt instead.

It may be lightweight, but it can be used for special occasions too. People often do wear it to weddings in Mexico, as the moniker suggests. Formalwear has probably never been so comfortable.

A lot of places list it or some variation of it as their national formalwear, in fact. Just look at how many people wear it for formal occasions in Cuba, as an illustration. Men of stature, presidents, statesmen, politicians, and the clergy are often seen wearing the guayabera.

The standard formal style comes in long sleeves, although some people still wear short-sleeved styles in formal occasions. The preferred formal fabrics are light and often white. Most of the loosely-fitting ones are said to be the casual variants.

There are yet more names used to refer to it than have already been mentioned. These names prove the shirt's flexibility and comfort. It may be worn along with khaki shorts and flip-flops when strolling down the beach.

Remember that a proper guayabera, by the way, has pockets. The traditional cut of the garment in a culture can influence how many pockets shall be found on a piece. Most of the pockets are often embroidered.

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