Not much else adds a summer vibe to your style more than a Cuban collar shirt. Relaxed, breathable and usually in a great seasonal print, this season the Cuban shirt is seriously on-trend.
The Cuban shirt (sometimes known as the Vacation, Havana, revere or camp collar) is an old-school staple and has made a made a major comeback in recent seasons. Though Cuban collar shirts found their niche in the 1900s, the origin of this particular shirt style dates as far back as the 18th century in South America, where they served as a sort of uniform for working-class men. It is unclear how exactly this shirt style sailed over to North American soil (tourism probably played a role prior to the 60s), but Cuban collars took men’s fashion by storm in the 50s — quickly becoming one of the wardrobe staples of the decade.
The classic Cuban collar shirt features an open, notch lapel-like collar, short sleeves, and a straight, boxy hem. It has a similar silhouette to retro bowling shirts and touristy Hawaiian shirts but with a bit more class (the two are not synonymous). The modern variant features a more fitted cut in the body and tapered sleeves. And this season, we have a host of rather more flattering ways to wear it.
There are a lot of ways to wear this piece, but it takes careful styling. Stick to lighter materials to keep that warm-weather outlook as a unifying thread. As well as wearing it solo, either tucked in to tailored trousers or over chinos, try slotting it under an unstructured blazer for a louche summer wedding outfit. Just never wear a tie with it!
If heading to Havana – or at least anywhere the temperature gets above 20 degrees Celsius – pair yours with a pair of cotton shorts and/or suede loafers. If you’re more into the rebellious youth culture of the 1950s, opt to pair it with skinny jeans and cuff the shirt sleeves instead.