One excellent souvenir for any man visiting Mexico is the guayabera. To me, this is the consummate summertime shirt for men who want to look good but can’t be bothered to wear a stuffy suit. I won’t get into the historical debate about its origins, but within Mexico it originated in the Yucatan. Some Americans refer to it as a Mexican wedding shirt, and there is certainly no shortage of beach weddings that have taken place with the groom sporting one of these.
In Mexico City, I observed that guayaberas were standard slightly-less-formal attire for spring/summer wedding attendees, as well as a great option for an nice evening out. Heck, even Mitt Romney (random fact of the day: his father was born in Mexico!) has been spotted wearing them!
For those of you who are residing in or passing through Mexico City, you may be wondering, “But where can I get a good quality guayabera without trekking down to the Yucatan?” Luckily, I have your answer! The store I’ve outlined directions to below isn’t really on the tourist circuit– it seems to cater more to wholesale business, e.g. I don’t recall seeing a dressing room, they’re not open on weekends. However, the prices for the higher-quality linen shirts seemed as good as John had found anywhere in his searches and they have a solid selection of designs & colors organized by size for easy shopping.
If you’re in the market for gifts to bring back from your trip to Mexico & know your recipient’s shirt size, this could be even better than the 8,000 lucha libre masks we’ve distributed to 50% of our family and friends (albeit also a bit more $$). This store also had sizes down to 2 years old, which definitely made my list of “precious gift options for toddlers!”
Directions to a great guayabera store in Mexico City’s Centro Historico
Name: Guayaberas Yucachen
Address: La Academia 6, Piso 1, Centro, Mexico DF
–> just south of the intersection with Republica de Guatemala
Link to Google Maps Street View
Closest Metro Stop: Zocalo. From the Zocalo Metro, walk east on Seminario and take a left in ~3 blocks on Academia.
Phone Number: 55.5542.0537 acc to the Yellow Pages
Hours: Our vague recollections are this place was *not* open on the weekends or Mexican holidays and closes up shop by 6PM.
What else to know: lino means linen and algodon means cotton. There are also various fabric blends available. Linen costs more, but is the more traditional option.
Once you’ve made your guayabera purchase, expect to receive regular compliments on what a trendy hipster you are if you’re wearing it back in the US. If you are wearing it in Mexico or Cuba, this will not be as novel so don’t hold your breath. Take good care of it, and you will be able to constantly relive that beach wedding you may or may not have had!
Disclosure: I am being compensated for my work in creating content as a Contributor for the México Today Program. I was also invited to an all-expenses paid trip to Oaxaca as part of my role and for the launch of the program. All stories, opinions and passion for all things México shared in my blog are completely my own.