Aloha Wear

Aloha Wear

Is there anything cuter than a visiting older couple walking hand in hand down Kalakaua Avenue, he in a bright aloha shirt and she in a matching mu`u mu`u? Something about our warm breezes and tropical sunshine brings out the romantic in those who only have a short time to experience it.

Aloha attire is Hawaii’s own style of dress, and it can go anywhere from casual boardshorts at the beach to more formal occasions involving long dresses, candlelight and white tablecloths. There’s surf wear, business attire, and more formal aloha dress that features hand-painted designs printed on fine fabrics like silk or cotton lawn.

While most locals wouldn’t be caught dead in the brightly-colored flowered shirts and sundresses that the tourists wear, some actually search out the most gaudy to create their own look. If you go people-watching at the local malls and in Waikiki, you’ll see just about any combination of colors and patterns. Aloha attire isn’t exclusive to Hawaii any more, either! On the mainland you’ll often come across gentlemen wearing Hawaiian shirts where you least expect them.

Aloha shirts worn by local men are usually short-sleeved with collars and often printed in a variety of floral or leaf patterns, Hawaiian quilt designs or tapa. Some newer patterns even feature cars, boats or drink logos. For business wear, shirts are often made with what’s called a ‘reverse print.’ In other words, the shirt is sewn so that the backside of the fabric, which isn’t as bright, is worn outside. It’s not sewn that way by mistake!

Women’s aloha wear is a little more varied than the men’s—you’ll see cap-sleeve blouses, short-sleeve silk shells, above-the knee flirty dresses, knee-length casual prints and longer more formal dresses, and don’t forget the traditional mu`u mu`u in several lengths. Colors range from bright and beautiful to more subdued black with muted flowers. There’s a style for every mood!

Appropriate for almost all occasions in the islands, aloha attire goes perfectly to your friend’s wedding, dinner out with the boss, your nephew’s first birthday party, your cousin’s engagement luau—even your auntie’s funeral, which after all, is a celebration of her life!

There are many stores that offer this special Hawaiian clothing, from less expensive casual shirts and shorts to more exclusive (and pricey!) designs. Some establishments feature intricate custom-made items that are often hand-painted on exotic fabrics. Whether you are a visitor or a local, your search will be rewarded when you find the ideal outfit for your occasion—a fun time at a sports event or a romantic dinner under the stars.


Wave Shoppe Hawaiian Shirts said...

"Aloha shirts worn by local men are usually short-sleeved with collars and often printed in a variety of floral or leaf patterns, Hawaiian quilt designs or tapa"

Aloha, excellent story but believe it or not when people come into our Hawaiian apparel store, they state they are going to vacation in Hawaii, but are not sure what’s appropriate to wear. Usually it’s the men that have difficulty coordinating their clothing, not uncommon for them to first grab a design that’s not even native to the islands.

We usually recommend a traditional Hawaiian shirt (simple broad leaf designs, maybe some flower)for the men teamed with a kukui nut lei and a Hawaiian shift dress for dinner events or for the hotel a capped sleeve muumuu teamed with a flower lei for the women.

Brain Joshe said...


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