My husband bought his first Hawaiian shirt shortly after we were married 26 years ago. These are his go-to shirts for hot summer days. Just mention pool party or bar-b-q and out comes the flowered shirt.
I have always puzzled at where this style originated and why it has endured for as long as I can remember. The Hawaiian shirt or “Aloha” shirt, as they were known in Hawaii, were introduced to the United States when men brought them back from the Pacific islands and Asia at the end of World War II. The postwar South Seas island craze remained until Hawaii took the spotlight as a new state in 1959. Hawaii became the vacation destination of choice and, naturally, what better souvenir than a Hawaiian “flowerdy” shirt. (to quote Ray Stevens)
My husband, who is the quintessential traditional dresser, refusing to wear anything too trendy or fashion-forward, takes delight in his exotic flowers. (He reminded me that he doesn’t go for bright but chooses softer colors.)
Now, famous designers have gotten into the act featuring a wide range of Hawaiian print shirts. Instead of the traditional rayon, they have chosen cotton or linen which has a softer appearance. The slimmer cuts of these new shirts appeal to a more youthful crowd. Dolce and Gabbana, Givenchy, and Prada are among the top designer who featured this updated shirt on their spring runways.
Tyler Thoreson, of Gilt Man and Park & Bond, warns that the tropical shirt is not appropriate for the office if one works in a conservative environment. But he does suggest that in a more relaxed work environment, it can be a great look paired with linen trousers or a cotton and linen summer suit. Suede loafers, worn with no socks give the perfect finishing touch. So there you have it! The shirt thought in the past to be for older, slightly over weight men, is now young and hip.
Special workshop! In conjunction with the City Club of Buckhead, we are offering two Style Workshops at the special price of $20. Dates are Tuesday, July 24, 7:30PM – 9:30PM and Saturday, August 4, 2:00PM -4:00PM. Space is limited so call or email today to make your reservation. Beryl@StyleWithAplomb.com or 404-428-2527.