We are defining Tucson in 100 objects. The series started Sunday.
The late Mayor Lew Murphy, who led the city from 1971 to 1987, would annually proclaim Tucson’s summer months to be “guayabera time.”
Murphy’s fondness for the shirts was shared by longtime City Manager Joel Valdez, and their example was followed by most of the city bureaucracy.
It’s silly, really, to wear a coat and tie in summer in Tucson.
The guayabera, often called the “Mexican wedding shirt,” was a good alternative.
My colleague Ernesto Portillo Jr., who seems to have one for each day of the week, described them nicely in a 2005 column.
“The guayabera, pronounced as “why-a-BEAR-a,” is classy and comfortable.
“A classic guayabera shirt has four front pockets, two vertical embroidered panels or two rails of pleats on either side, and a straight-bottomed hem worn outside the pants. The shirts come in an array of usually solid colors so they don’t scream P-A-R-T-Y like Hawaiian prints do.
“The short-sleeve versions easily replace shirt and tie, and the long-sleeve guayabera is appropriate elegant evening attire.”