While I can see the usefulness of the extra pockets… when & how did the guayabera become the standard “uniform” for the good old small-town barber ? Not Francois the stylist, but the old fellers in the shop with the candy-striped pole outside, who usually have as little to do with Latin style as beer and bangers do with cafecito and a medianoche ?

“Proverbs for Paranoids, 1: You may never get to touch the Master, but you can tickle his creatures.”

  • T.Pynchon, Gravity’s Rainbow.

Guy Aberas isn’t he that B movie actor that played the roles Errol Flynn did in the A movies? Extra pockets,easy to put on take off,does a good job of keeping the hair off,tradition just like the pole. Like the smock artists wear, what’s the connection between art and Steve Allen?

It’s a tradition, therefore it’s a tradition ? Gotta do better than that…

At the turn of the century, certain ethnic groups were associated with certain professions (Irish + police, etc…)but I don’t recall Cubans + barbers. There oughter be some basis back in the murky past…

A look at old photographs suggests that barbers were wearing a short sleeve white shirt that was cut straight at the bottom so it could be worn without being tucked in.
Dentists wear something similar.
My bet is that when Wal-Mart started selling guayabera shirts for less money than the shirts sold from a specialty uniform cataloge, that barbers took the cheaper route.

They’re also standard attire for any retired military members living in San Antonio or El Paso… even if their command of Spanish extends no further than Nachos y Margaritas…

Sue from El Paso

Hmmm. The WalMart sounds like a likely circumstance; or better yet, the 1950’s Sears catalogue ? Anybody out there with supporting evidence (this or some other explanation)?

I’m guessing the guayabera is a recent addition to the barber’s wardrobe. The earliest example I can think of is Floyd from the “Andy Griffith Show” (circa 1960).

Not that it proves anything but photos of early century barbershop quartets would seem to indicate that barbers wore white shirts, loud vests, straw hats and arm garters.