Cinco de Mayo Outfits

Cinco de Mayo is much more than just a day of partying and sipping margaritas: for many, the festivities honor the Latinx experience of the American Civil War, particularly when Mexico improbably won against a much larger French army and better equipped during the Battle of Puebla in 1862. While Genoveva Pedrero, co-founder of de MARIA, chose not to celebrate the holiday, Pedrero remembers growing up with Cinco de Mayo being “at most a nice long weekend , Or bridge in Mexico.” In fact, it’s not about celebrating the country’s Independence Day.

However, for the Latinx community in the United States, it remains a tribute to the culture’s resilience and perseverance, even for a short-lived victory. “As a Mexican living in New York, any reason to celebrate my heritage is accepted without reservation,” says Mariela Alexandra, creator of Mains de Vapeur. “For me, it’s a chance to gather friends, enjoy our favorite Mexican dishes and toast with mezcal.”

Meet the expert

-Mariela Alexandra is the creator of Mains de Vapeur.

-Genoveva Pedrero is the co-founder of MARIA.

-Talía Cu is the Substack writer for Latin Zine.

With historical context in mind, what do we wear on Cinco de Mayo? The best way is to wear bright colors and bold silhouettes, preferably purchased from Mexican and Latinx brands. After all, it’s “about honoring our roots and sharing the richness of our culture wherever we are,” Alexandra explains. It is therefore essential to dress in a respectful but chic manner. Even if the festivities only last one day, these vibrant pieces can be worn all season long.

Ahead, explore five outfit ideas and shop the brands as recommended by three Latinx fashion experts.

Cinco de Mayo outfit idea #1: ruffles galore

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Talía Cu, author of Substack’s “Latin Zine,” says Cinco de Mayo is modestly celebrated in Mexico. The traditional way of celebrating, she explains, usually involves “lots of ruffles, bright colors and ethereal looks.” Add some oomph to your daylong Cinco de Mayo celebrations with ruffles, a technique often seen in traditional Mexican dresses, also known as huipil. Whatever the silhouette, the bouncy border makes a fun decoration. As Cu suggests, consider opting for lightweight fabrics, like linen, that are festive and easy to incorporate into your summer wardrobe.

Cinco de Mayo outfit idea #2: head-to-toe denim

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An unlikely outfit idea at first, but denim is a must in Mexico ranchero fashion. For Cinco de Mayo, go denim on denim. Start with an embellished denim jacket, whether it’s with fringe or lots of rhinestones, and throw on matching shorts. Continue the denim ensemble even further by layering with a matching corset and, hell, add a faded blue tote bag, too. If an all-denim outfit isn’t your cup of tea, Cu has another styling tip. “I prefer to go for boot-cut pants in dark distressed denim or with a leather finish, or perhaps a long pencil skirt with a leather-like texture,” she says. In the style.

Cinco de Mayo Outfit Idea #3: Cowboy Boots

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Speaking of western themes, there’s nothing like a Cinco de Mayo celebration without a pair of trusty cowboy boots. Channel your inner self vaquero with the ankle kicks – if you can, buy a pair from Latinx or Mexican brands. Cu says there are endless ways to pair this versatile shoe; You can pair it with a blouse in a vibrant solid color or a leather top and accessorize with a leather belt, earrings and chain jewelry. Oh, and don’t forget the hat. His favorite colors? Red, white or black. “¡Listo!»

Cinco de Mayo outfit idea #4: trendy handbags

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Bright colors and vibrant prints are ways to show your enthusiasm, but if you’re not sure where to start, Pedrero recommends sticking with red, green, or white, the colors of the Mexican flag. There’s no better way to embrace the color theme than through accessories: you can never go wrong with a statement handbag. Don’t be afraid to go out of plain colors: opt for multi-colored flowers or even authentic shoulder bags handcrafted as an ode to Mexico.

Cinco de Mayo Outfit Idea #5: Tons of Textures

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If you’re looking to add some style to your Cinco de Mayo celebration, try playing with textures. Crochet, fringes and raffia are the three key textures to consider for the occasion, especially as summer approaches. Straw hats, fringed skirts, and crochet tank tops are perfect for warm weather and celebrating the holidays. You can keep accessories simple and sleek, because bold silhouettes will already make a statement — but then again, there’s no shame in going all out to embrace the holiday’s winning spirit of “against all odds.”


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