As temperature's still low and days are short, you might find yourself dreaming of tropical sunshine. And if you're lucky enough to have scored an invite to a destination wedding this winter--one in four couples is now hopping on the destination wedding bandwagon--that dream will soon become a reality. For men, though, the beachy winter wedding provides a unique sartorial dilemma: how to stay appropriately formal in climates too hot for a suit? At Pineda Covalin's online fashion boutique, we offer an elegant solution: the guayabera, sometimes called the "Mexican wedding shirt."
The origin of the guayabera is unknown and hotly contested--some insist that it was invented in Cuba, while others assert that Mexico is the shirt's true birthplace. The story behind the shirt's name is similarly unsubstantiated: according to guayabera lore, the first one was created when a field worker's wife sewed large pockets onto the front of her husband's shirts so that he could carry more fruit during the guayaba (guava) harvest. Whatever its history, the modern guayabera is a light cotton or linen shirt, traditionally white or pastel-colored but occasionally dyed in bolder hues, and usually but not necessarily constructed with two or four front patch pockets, rows of fine hand-sewn vertical pleats, and a straight hem.
As a U.S. traveler abroad, you might struggle to think of this weightless, wrinkle-prone shirt as dress attire, since it has so little in common with Anglo-European traditions of heavier formal wear--you're not even supposed to tuck it in! But a little knowledge of the guayabera's tradition as a business wardrobe staple should put your mind at ease. If John Kerry could wear one to discuss a peace treaty with Colombian president Juan Manuel Santos, you can definitely wear one when your cousin ties the knot in St. Kitts next January. The key is to avoid cheap, widely available guayaberas made from synthetic fabrics and instead invest in a high-quality shirt that's as much a cultural artifact and a work of art as it is an item of clothing, like the guayaberas available at Pineda Covalin.
Whether you opt for our streamlined Pezpunte Flautillas Guayabera or the more ornate Dubai model, any one of our beautiful shirts is sure to keep you cool (in both style and temperature) at your next beach wedding.