Traditional Cuban Clothing with a Modern Touch

Cuba is influenced by several countries, mostly Spanish and African ascendancies. As a result, the traditional dress of Cuba is not influenced by any creed even though their traditional clothing may have some mythological inclinations. Therefore, Cuba's own traditional dress is an exclusive synthesis of diverse nations. Still, the country has managed to inculcate a traditional dress code all of their own.

Many people around the world are familiar with Cuban women's traditional clothing; especially rumba dresses; Bata Cubana, animated with multicolored frills, ruffles, along with the gele; a traditional African head wrap worn to enhance their beauty. Natural fabrics, styles, and colors are still continued today although you will find a generation of Cuban women dressed in modern day clothing styles such as tight vividly colored dresses, low-cut tops, short skirts, with scads of polka dots and stripes. With the rise in foreign tourism, visitors to Cuba will find women working for tips in the old town making their living dressed as traditionally clad Cuban women, cigar and all! 


Not as popular as the male version, there is a traditional Guayabera dress that was actualized along with the men's shirt. Most Guayabera dress styles for women are worn off the shoulder; however, halter styles, and classic women's blouses can be found in this design as well. Adorned with two or four pockets, this is what makes the Guayabera distinctive and characteristic among both men and women designs.


Photo by vicequeenmaria

Men's traditional Cuban dress style is casual. The most well-known piece of clothing is the Guayabera, or Guayavera, shirt. The authentic Guayabera is commonly recognized as the Mexican Wedding Shirt. Nonetheless, Cuba has made the Guayabera their honorary, traditional piece of clothing. More popularly called the Havana or Cigar Shirt, this conventional style of Cuban men's fashion has become a worldwide classic. Its cool, casual style is associated with quality and sophistication. 

photo bt Telstar Logistics

Expounding a casual intermingling of two to four pockets, Guayaberas are not to be worn inside men's trousers. Its coolness is exhibited by the relaxed manner in which men wear it. This stylish shirt is additionally beautified by the assorted types of embroidery work. Some shirts you will find modest pleats and others will have abstruse designs drawing lots of attention. 

photo by santiagovm

The history of the Guayabera is perplexing. Rumor has it that it started with Mexican tradition and others swear that its genesis began with Thailand. The tale has taken on a life of its own in Cuba where inhabitants indisputably believe that the shirt is at the heart of Cuban traditional dress. Word has it that the Guayabera was manufactured specifically for a wealthy Cuban rancher during the 1700s who imported it from Spain. Since Spain is the shared connective between the three homelands, some believe it is probably the actual inspiration for this widely celebrated shirt. This traditional men's Cuban garment is tremendously pragmatic for hot summer days and nights because of the cool natural breathing fabric used like cotton or linen for its production. In addition, the Panama hat and linen trousers are another part of the tradition of Cuban men's attire. 

Cuba is recognized for empowering a sense of cool, relaxed style, built on a tradition of simplicity and authenticity. Today it is considered "cool," but to the Cuban people it is all about tradition.


written by DebbyD