Casual Friday: The Chacabana


I’d like to introduce our latest addition to the blog, Casual Friday, where we offer more practical and well, casual clothing suggestions.

I have to admit that I hate the idea of “Casual Friday,” especially in the work place. That may sound strict or harsh, but, in my opinion, if you’re going to be in a workplace, there is no need to be casual about your work. If you are casual about your work, then you shouldn’t be doing it in the first place.

My opinion on what Casual Friday should be aside, the reality is that all of us, including myself, have to put away the suit jackets one day. That day is rapidly approaching, and it is the harsh reality as I come from a rather hot country: Egypt.

The question in my mind has always been how does one stay cool, yet look put-together. I like the disheveled look every once in a while, but I have struggled in the past to find a more polished look without looking too formal.

Leave it to the Dominicans (or Mexicans, or Cubans, or Filipinos depending on who you ask, but I’ll randomly choose Dominicans) to create a shirt formal enough to look good, yet practical enough to handle oppressively hot weather. Now, before you go thinking that this shirt is the mullet (which is pronounced moolay, it’s French) of casual wear, let me guide you away from stereotypes.

This wondrous shirt is called the Chacabana (in the DR); Guayabera (in Cuba and Mexico); or the Mexican Wedding Shirt (no doubt by racist old white men). Now, my father wears this shirt, and I’m sure many other fathers wear them. The key to pulling off the Chacabana (the coolest sounding name for this shirt) is to wear it a size smaller than you think you should wear. Why? Because, otherwise you’re going to look like this (which is probably a uniform for a badly themed restaurant).

The fit you’re looking for is something like this. Notice how the sleeves are a tad tighter, and the body of the shirt should fall closer to the body than most people expect from the Chacabana.

Go for a shirt in Linen for a more polished look and a pure cotton shirt for more casual settings. If you can’t get your shirt from one of the countries that are famous for them (Cuba, DR, etc) then your next best bet is Penners.

Osama Eisa


1 Response to “Casual Friday: The Chacabana”

  1. 1 Casual Friday: Quarter-Length Shorts « Trackback on June 12, 2009 at 4:24 pm

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