ALOHA SHIRTS: A SHORT HISTORY ABOUT HAWAIIN FASHION

You don’t have to be a surfer dude, a bikini-clad beach bunny, or an extra in an Elvis feature movie to wear a Hawaiian shirt or other island fashions. Even if you don’t live in the tropical state of Hawaii or celebrate the beach lifestyle, you are still welcome to put on one of these colorful, comfortable signature shirts or matching pieces. Their popularity is soaring due to the carefree, go-with-anything colors, and relaxed styles that date back centuries.

History
The Hawaiian culture is made up of a combination of many different people. Immigrants from the United States and Asia brought with them their sense of fashion and combined it with the Hawaiian style of light and breeze fabrics.

The plantation-era clothing of the twentieth century was a mixture of soft Japanese Kimono fabrics, leftover silks from the Philippines, where the Barong-style shirts also hails from, and the collared shirts of China, which were more formal. These styles were blended with the ancient Polynesian heritage already on the island to create the Aloha or Hawaiian shirts. They were then imprinted with the many different symbols of the native islands.

The large geometric prints, already a part of the island texture, was not regulated to large geometric flowers. Shirts, dresses, jumpers, and pants can be purchased with exotic island images like pineapples, palm trees, hula girls, ancient stone carvings, and many other symbols associated with the Hawaiian beach and everyday life.

Hawaiian fashion

Every-Occasion Shirts
In today’s fashion world, older men are not the only ones who enjoy wearing an Aloha Shirt, also known as a Hawaiian shirt.

Today there are many colorful, bold shirts with the traditional Hawaiian flowers covering them for men, women and children. There is even Hawaiian wedding shirts for destination weddings, beach bride, groom, and guests.

Wedding Wear
Theme weddings are another popular trend in which the wedding party wear clothing adorned with hula girls, passion fruits, palm trees, native symbols or other Hawaiian images. In this type of ceremony, the outfits match decorations, mostly with subtle hints of the main item to convey the couple’s personality and island likes.

There are many hotels that offer these types of all-inclusive wedding packages and the wedding planner can help the engaged couple with purchasing their Hawaiian beach wear.

Shirt

Women’s Clothing
Women look fabulous in a Hawaiian shirt, but may feel even better in a dress, either short or long, with lovely flowers and Hawaiian symbols cascading down the front. These types of dresses can be worn on the beach as a cover-up over a bathing suit, or paired with a shawl for an evening out on the town.

Children’s Clothing
Babies and small children look adorable in Hawaiian shirts, dresses and jumpsuits. Most are constructed with the same soft fabric and bright colors of the adult pieces.

Whether walking around an amusement park, the mall, or attending a wedding, young girls and boys will “steal the show” wherever they go.

Hawaiian shirts can be found on the “mainland” (i.e. anywhere in the United States), and around the world. No longer are these bright, relaxed fitting tops and other pieces of clothing worn only in Hawaii or while away on vacations

The main attraction for these types of outfits is the “go-with-anything” bold colors. The actual dress could be black, green, yellow, red, or any solid color, making it easy to match shoes and other accessories. The flowers are typically white, but can be found in any combination of the background colors, only in a lighter hue.

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