The Guayabera: A Shirt’s Story

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Guayabera bearing Cuban flag. .. Emiliano Nelson. , 2012 Linen And Cotton © Collection of History Miami
Spanish sergeant wearing a regulation guayabera, Circa 1897 © Courtesy of the William K. Combs Collection
© Collection of History Miami
The Guayabera: A Shirt’s Story

101 Flagler Street
Miami, FL 33130
June 28th, 2012 - January 13th, 2013
Opening: June 28th, 2012 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM

Other (outside main areas)
Tuesday - Friday, 10am to 5pm; Saturday and Sunday, Noon to 5pm
Cost: HistoryMiami members and children (under 6): Free; Non-members: $8; Seniors and students with ID: $7; Children 6-12: $5.


The Guayabera: A Shirt’s Story explores the changing uses and significance of the guayabera, a traditional piece of menswear worn by Latin American and Caribbean populations. Recognized for its functionality and style, the garment’s best-known characteristics are its four pockets and two vertical stripes of decorative pleating and/or embroidery. The precise origin of the guayabera is uncertain, though it is believed to have emerged in Cuba in the late 19th century. Also referred to as a Mexican wedding shirt, the garment is popular in Mexico and the American states to its north.  

The exhibition will explore the guayabera’s evolution from a guajiro (peasant) shirt in the late 1800s into a fashionable piece of contemporary menswear.  On display will be historical examples  and photographs of the shirt that highlight its changing uses and significance over time, its construction and the tailors, fashion designers and tradition bearers who have played an important role in its stylistic development.


La Guayabera: Historia de una Camisa examina la evolución del uso y significado de la guayabera, una prenda de vestir masculina popular entre latinoamericanos y caribeños. Conocida por sus cuatro bolsillos y dos hileras de alforzas, la guayabera se distingue por su alta funcionalidad y elegancia. El origen de la guayabera no se conoce con exactitud, pero se piensa que nació en Cuba a finales del siglo XIX. Conocida también como camisa de boda mexicana, esta prenda es popular en México y los estados norteamericanos adyacentes.

La exhibición trazará la transformación de la guayabera, desde una camisa popular entre los guajiros a finales del siglo XIX hasta una moderna prenda de moda para caballeros. Se presentarán guayaberas y fotografías históricas que ejemplifican la evolución de su uso y significado a través del tiempo, la trayectoria de su confección, y la historia de los sastres, diseñadores y portadores de la tradición que han jugado un papel importante en su desarrollo estilístico.