Home Feature History of the Guayabera, a work garment that became a luxury

History of the Guayabera, a work garment that became a luxury

by sanmigueltimes
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The guayabera is one of those garments that prevails for generations, due to its practicality, comfort and elegance. However, its origins have a different use than the one we currently give it when attending any ceremony.

Porfirio Chablé Chim, president of the Organizing Committee of the “Tekit, capital of the guayabera” fair, mentioned that this garment, characteristic of the Mexican southeast and the Caribbean in general, had its origins somewhere in Cuba, where most of the people live from agriculture.

The artisan, who has been making these garments for more than five decades, said that the most told story about the guayaberas is that a farmer asked his wife to make him a shirt that would be practical to carry his farm tools, but at the same time would provide comfort and freshness to withstand the long days under the sun and the hot environment of the region.

This is how this type of shirt began to become popular among the workers of the region, who nicknamed it “guayabera” because of its ability to store many guavas in the four characteristic pouches of the garment.

However, he said, at that time the guayabera was considered a garment of the poor people who worked in the fields, who always wore it with its percudidas due to the dynamics of daily work.

It was not until the commercial and cultural exchange between Cuba and Yucatán became more frequent that the guayabera began to be adopted by Yucatecans who worked in the henequen industry, but over the years it was no longer considered a garment of the poor, but rather a formal garment.

“It was when it arrived in Yucatán that we turned it into what it is now, because here we began to add those pleats, in addition to the embroidery that for many years has been worked on in the workshops here,” said the creator of the Guayaberas D’Chablé brand.

He explained that currently Yucatan has become the epicenter of the best guayaberas that can be made, which are made in polyester, cotton or linen, depending on the economic capacity of the consumer.

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