Fiesta Fashion

4 San Antonio shops for embroidered dresses, guayaberas, and more Fiesta looks

4 San Antonio shops for embroidered dresses and more Fiesta looks

Nativa Fiesta fashion
Nativa offers hand-embroidered dresses made in Mexcio. Photo by Julia Keim
Nativa Fiesta fashion guaybera detail embroidery
Guayberas are also hand-embroidered.  Photo by Julia Keim
Fiesta fashion nativa
Shop hats, dresses, tops, and more at Nativa. Photo by Julia Keim
Nativa Fiesta fashion
Nativa Fiesta fashion guaybera detail embroidery
Fiesta fashion nativa

From parties to parades, what to wear during Fiesta can cause major spring wardrobe dilemmas. Whether it's a neighborhood pooch parade or a Night in Old San Antonio, it's important to match style and function — with a nod to Mexican heritage, of course — during this two-week extravaganza.

From women's dresses to men's laid-back looks, here are four go-to San Antonio shops stocked with everything to declare yourself a Fiesta fashionista.

Dos Carolinas
 — 303 Pearl Pkwy., Suite 102

Specializing in men’s guayaberas, Dos Carolinas at the Pearl provides custom men’s shirts made of cotton, linen, and even seersucker, right here in San Antonio. Owner Caroline Matthews, who also oversees production and design, has run the business for more than three decades. The combination of five shirt styles, pocket options, breathable fabrics, and almost countless embroidery patterns allow for the creation of a shirt as unique as each customer. “It is a shirt that says, ‘This is me, and there’s nothing else like it,’” Matthews says on the shop’s website. Custom orders require four to six weeks, so make an appointment to be Fiesta ready in 2020.

Fiesta on Main
 5124 N. Main
 Ave.
Many San Antonians make an annual pilgrimage to this shop near downtown, which looks like a burst pinata inside. Crowded with festive of wares made by artisans in Mexico, Ecuador, and Guatemala, it yields some affordable finds to accent your wardrobe. Pick up your paper floral wreath halos for just $3.95 to crown a colorful ensemble or choose from blouses and Puebla dresses for children and adults. If you can’t make it downtown, you can try the location at North Star Mall or shop online.

Mi Golondrina — 302 Pearl Pkwy., Suite 101

At the Pearl through June 3, this designer-driven pop-up shop out of Dallas has set up temporary digs to share its hand-embroidered pieces just in time for Fiesta. Supporting native Mexican artists, it supplies textile materials to women who craft each piece by hand. Mixing gingham fabrics in off-the-shoulder cuts and adding ruffles and ribbons to traditional Mexican blouses, its pieces have a sophisticated look that’s fun to experiment with. Mi Golondrina is also hosting a Fiesta party at the shop on April 18 from 5-8 pm, the perfect time to visit the to shop and celebrate Fiesta.

Nativa
 — 5124 Broadway
This Alamo Heights shop offers stylish clothing hand-embroidered by women in the remote villages of Mexico. Certified by the Fair Trade Federation, Natva supports the craft of more than 500 artisans. “I know them all, literally, by name, and I know who made each product,” says shop owner Tressa Castro. Men can choose from high-end men’s guayaberas, made of linen or cotton, and sewn with countless tiny tucks before being embroidered by hand. Women can eye pieces that run from small into plus sizes, choosing from colorful cotton dresses and tops with distinctive patterns and authentic designs from Oaxaca, Chiapas, and Puebla. In addition to providing quality fabrics and threads to the Mexican women makers, Castro is also providing a sustainable livelihood. Castro also operates as a wholesaler, selling the clothing to U.S. museum gift shops, including the Smithsonian and the Brooklyn Museum, often in conjunction with exhibitions from Mexico or Latin America. Castro says institutions want the authenticity Nativa provides. “They would never buy a made-in-China replica,” Castro says. To get your own authentic look, expect to pay boutique prices, but Castro notes you’ll find some more affordable blouses and fun jewelry in the mix. “Yes, there are dresses that run $500, but we have blouses for $30, too,” she says.