on the guayabera shirt

Style check today – straw braid hat from Bigalli, beige guayabera shirt from My Cuban Store in Miami, olive chinos from my local mall store Connor (their chinos might just be the most comfortable pants in the world), sand coloured suede shoes from Johnny B and similar colour socks by Geoffrey Beene. Tortoise Shell Rayban 240s and the watch today is that mighty little atom, the Timex Weekender on an olive NATO strap.

It was an interesting ensemble. I don’t do casual well, or comfortably, so casual Friday is a challenge. Given that I’m out of my style element in a place where I need to be in my professional element, I have to adapt the situational aspects of my style to stay both on top and in step. And there, for me, is why the guayabera shirt is King.

Breezy, supremely comfortable and suggestive of the kind of sunny late summer days that we have been robbed of this last week, it ticks all the casual style boxes – but it has a sense of gravity and magnifying proportion – thanks to the four large pockets that square the shirt up and give an impression of breadth and power to the wearer and the sharp “V” that forms when you unbutton the top button.

You need to be careful with the colour of a guayabera – I have a navy one and some of the fine pleating detail and the definition of the pockets is lost in the dark (but imposing) colour. The other thing to bear in mind is that these are very generously cut shirts, so pay careful attention to the size chart.

All in all, it’s a useful, an unusual and undeniably masculine wardrobe addition with an undeniably masculine message.

I had at least half a dozen people in my own team and at the presentation I gave that day ask about it. Unexpected bonus was that three people also asked where I got the shoes. Winner, winner and so forth.

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