Guayabera Summer!

With the summer heat is upon us, getting dressed becomes calculated sweat barrier decisions. We women have tons of flowing skirts, light cotton dresses and short shorts to choose from. The short sleeved buttoned oxford notwithstanding, a fun and dressier alternative for men in heat waves is the ever-popular Guayabera.

Originating from either Cuba or Mexico in the late 18th century, these lightweight cotton shirts are perfect for navigating warm days and nights. Worn loosely, the Guayabera’s name come from a a Cuban tale – the wife of a field worker sewed extra large patch pockets onto her husband’s shirt so that he could more easily carry in guava fruit from the fields. Mexican Wedding Shirt and Safari Shirt are other commonly used nicknames for the shirt.

The style of the shirt remains almost identical today as it did decades ago – two or four large patch pockets, detailed tiny vertical rows of pleats (alforzas) that run down both front and back sides and decorative embroidery patterns, usually in Latin American flavor. There are also extra buttons at the cuffs and hem. White, cream and light colored pastels are very popular for Guayaberas but now a wide ranging palette of darker hues can also be found. Guayaberas lend themselves well to the fashionisto. Paired with khaki slacks or similar fabric weight shorts, leather loafers and a Panama hat, the Guayabera stands out in simple South American chicness.

Below are a few of our choice Guayaberas for sale at Monstervintage.com!

Let’s talk lapels!

I have a fascination with collars and lapels. I admit that’s a bit odd, but it could be worse. After writing up hundreds of vintage blazer jackets and suits for our website, I’m still in awe (and sometimes at a loss for descriptive terms) of all the different cuts and styles of lapels. They can hint at a garment’s era and in some cases, even the origin of construction. Pendleton shirts and jackets, for example, have a very distinct way of patterning their two-piece collars. I love coming across a particularly unusual lapel style, like the classic “Chanel” but at this point in my vintage clothing employment, I’ve been lucky enough to see it all.

The most common mens lapel styles are the notched L-shape and Fish Mouth. Rarer are the Clover Leaf and Semi-Clover Leaf, Trench and Flower styles. I found a few charts with google’s help which I’ve posted below as well as example garments from our warehouse that are currently for sale!