Ankle espadrilles, madras short shorts, and more compartments than a Boeing 747, oh yes there is quite a lot going on with Gary Cooper’s outfit in the photo above, but for now let’s all shift our attention over to John Wayne’s more approachable attire.
While that cowboy hat probably deserves a post all its own, Wayne’s Guayabera shirt is the real winner of this shot. When this photo was snapped back in Acapulco during the forties, Guayabera’s were ubiquitous throughout Mexico, but it’s tough to discern where exactly they come from. The most popular origin story is that sometime in the late 18th or early 19th centuries a farmer’s wife sewed four pleated pockets onto the front of his shirt so that he could easily store guavas (hence the name) while out in the fields. Whether that’s true or not, no one really knows, but the Guayabera’s merits are without question.
The sweltering heat of summer can force us into the lose-lose scenario between either not having enough pockets, or sweating through a superfluous layer. A Guayabera solves this conundrum instantly, by marrying pocket practicality with a breathable design. There is a catch tough – classic Guayaberas are not cut to contemporary standards. They’re often billowy, overly ornate, or just plain tacky. So, if you manage to find one that actually fits, hold onto it, because for the summer nothing holds quite like a Guayabera.