The Cuban Guayabera

The Cuban Guayabera

Last modified: February 28, 2023

In Cuba, the Guayabera is a garment that is part of the historical traditions of that
nation. Although nowadays this shirt is used as an elegant garment in important events,
protocol and diplomatic ceremonies, it is characteristic of the peasantry, at least several
decades ago.

These garments were initially used only by the men who worked on the land, but
nowadays there are also designs for women in both shirts and dresses, either with short
or long sleeves. Among the main characteristics of this garment are adornments with
saddlebags that are placed in two rows at the front and one at the back, it has four
pockets, twenty or so buttons and is generally embroidered to embellish it and make it
more lustrous.

Although in their beginnings they were generally made of cotton or thread, today they
are also sewn with linen, silk or polyester fabrics. Guayaberas are used in Cuba, but
also in other countries of the American continent, where they are known as guayabana,
chacabanas, camisa and other names.

In 2010 in Cuba it was officially established, and so it is recorded in the Gazette of the
Republic, as a garment for officials participating in diplomatic ceremonies.
Today you can find several artisan shops where they are sold as souvenirs and a piece
of clothing that is authentically Cuban; one well-known shop is located on Tacón Street
at the corner of O’Reilly Street.

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