Written by SurfWriter Girls Sunny Magdaug and Patti Kishel
What better way is there to put a smile on your face than wearing a bright, colorful Hawaiian shirt? It’s the perfect way to chill out in style on warm summer days.
Also known as an Aloha shirt, the colorful, short-sleeve shirts originated in Hawaii in the 1920s and became popular on the mainland after WW II when soldiers stationed on the islands brought them home.
Movies like Rodgers and Hammerstein’s blockbuster musical South Pacific (1958)
and Elvis Presley’s Blue Hawaii (1962) jump-started the island-themed fashion trend even more.
President John F. Kennedy added to the Hawaiian shirt mystique, too, wearing them while sailing or relaxing at his family’s Cape Cod home in Hyannis Port, MA.
So did Tom Selleck in the hit TV show Magnum P.I. and singer Jimmy Buffett while “wasting away” in Margaritaville.
And now, fashion brands from Tommy Bahama to Ralph Lauren and Prada feature the carefree shirts in their lineups.
Originally embellished with traditional Hawaiian quilt and flower designs, the shirts have taken on a wilder life of their own with palm trees, birds, sunsets, cocktail glasses, and more showing up.
If you’re looking for an authentic Hawaiian shirt made by descendants of the original Polynesians, SurfWriter Girls friend Jeffrey Sakamoto, who’s become an expert on island lore, recommends the shirts from Pili Pacific, which utilizes the Tahitian-inspired designs of co-founders Sue Pearson and Herman Pi’ikea Clark.
A must-have for anyone spending time in the islands, whatever you choose, the fun-to-wear Hawaiian shirts bring a taste of the tropics wherever they go…and bring out the party animal in us.
A shirt you can wear tucked in or out – no necktie required! – a Hawaiian shirt takes you anywhere in style…even if it’s just inside your own home.
Mahalo to SurfWriter Greg for taking the photo of us…and all the other photos he always takes! He’s our production crew working behind the scenes.
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