Hawaii conjures up images of tranquil beaches, jungle safaris, wild parties and flamboyant shirts. Hawaiian shirts have carved a niche of their own. Initially popular among the hip crowd, they have crossed boundaries and are now sported by people of all ages. While they are mostly worn by men, women are warming up to the idea of having a bright coloured Hawaiian shirt as a casual wear item.
Hawaiian shirt are officially known as Aloha shirts. They derive their name from the island of Aloha in Hawaii. They first appeared in the 1930s when a Chinese vendor Ellery Chun came up with the idea of using Kimono leftovers in making shirts. Tourists visiting Aloha became a huge fan of the product and spread it to all parts of the world. Aloha shirts have since become a fashion icon and a global symbol for Hawaii.
Hawaiian shirts have a relatively simple design. They are made of cotton though modern shirts use other materials as well. The shirt follows a mix of traditional dress shirts and casual tee shirts. It always comes with a collared design, is printed and has a buttoned front. Hawaiian shirts also usually have half sleeves though some may use longer sleeves. The printed shirts do not follow a standard design as you will find some with a print resembling a tie and dye and others relying on digital prints. The only common theme is the creation of an exotic flavour that reflects the Hawaiian exuberance.
In Hawaii, Aloha shirts make an excellent casual and formal wear. It is not uncommon to sea executives at formal meetings sporting a bright Hawaiian shirt. In other parts of the world, Hawaiian shirt is considered a very casual wear item. It is nonetheless considered a stylish addition to one’s wardrobe and has never fallen out of fashion.