STYLE {WISE} + The Case for Hawaiian Shirts +

[image: fashion.grunge.style.]

The Case for Hawaiian Shirts really began when I was 8 years old and my mother brought home a Hawaiian shirt for me from her trip to Hawaii. I had begged her to grab me one while she was touring the islands for work. Seemed to me like the coolest thing!

It was a wicked print, nothing too crazy, pretty much an example of a classic Hawaiian shirt.

I remember my locker neighbour saying:  “Whats wrong with you?”

“WHAT’S WRONG WITH YOU?!” is what I wanted to say, but I just shrugged and laughed her aside. She didn’t even have a sense about her as she was herself wearing something completely typical of the girls in my classes around these times…

She just couldn’t appreciate it the way I did. For me, it made me feel the most ahead of the game. I was different than the rest, and that’s always a good thing. For me, there’s just no doubting a really great Hawaiian Shirt.

{Donna Reed + Montgomery Clift, “From Here to Eternity” [1953]. }

{Michael Pitt for Prada S/S 2012 by David Sims}

Lately there’s been a huge influx of Hawaiian and tropical shirts in both runway shows and magazine editorials – it seems the world is finally catching on and getting a little more in tuned with not just my drift, but the truth of the whole matter.

The case for Hawaiian and Tropical print shirts is that they are as much a classic staple in ones wardrobe as other pieces heralded as being part of our sartorial lineage.

There is plenty of mythology revolving around the the true origin of the Aloha shirt (as they are also called) that range from birth in the Philipines to the islands of Samoa.

Until the early 18th century, kapa was the main currency of many islands of the South Pacific. Kapa was a simple patterned cloth found in the South Pacific made from pounding and dyeing the bark of a mulberry tree. These prints later made a splash again in the 1950s.

However, it is safe to accredit much of why we still sport and wear these styles to the craftsmanship and entrepreneurial efforts of one, Musa-Shiya the Shirtmaker. Throughout the 1920s and 30s, Musa-Shiya was one of the top Japanese tailors in Honolulu, who profited from his made-to-order custom silk shirts made with colourful and bright Japanese fabrics with Western-style tailoring.

These shirts helped tourists visiting the island make that final transformation to truly being on vacation, taking it easy, and saying goodbye to the stresses of the mainland. Forget your troubles, come on be happy!

Soon after other Japanese tailors were doing the same, and quickly the demand for these tailored tropical refuges only began to soar. The 1953 film, “From Here to Eternity” would pretty much seal the deal with stars such as Burt Lancaster, Montgomery Clift, and even Frank Sinatra sporting the casual cuts of florals and tropical sunsets.

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From here on out, it pretty much has become the go-to expression of ease. Picking the right pattern is about 90% of the magic. There must be literally thousands, if not millions of different Aloha prints floating around in this world, and not all of them good. The key is equal parts colour as it is pattern – make sure both are really slamming. Compromise on this and you could really fall flat.

FIT would be another major point. So make sure it fits to your liking. If you’re feeling a little more lax and party you may want to embrace some volume (think Sean Penn as Spicoli from Fast Times, or Johnny Depp in Fear & Loathing) or you can keep the cut classic and simple with a bit more of a tailored look to emulate classic stars like Clift, Sinatra, or Delon. Either way – you’re pretty much laughing …

{After World War II, a gradual change in aloha wear took place with the breakdown of rigid dress requirements for business attire. The business tie and jacket certainly were not comfortable in Hawaii’s summer climate. In 1946, the Honolulu Chamber of commerce appropriated $1000 to study aloha shirts and prepare suitable designs that clothing businessmen could wear.}

And just in case you’re unsure, check out our pics of style stunning inspiration that ranges from the {PAST} to {PRESENT}. So take a look, and decide your {FUTURE}…it’s calling!

All year round, these shirts takes you where you want to go!

It’s time to declare the Hawaiian Shirt an equally valuable piece of everyone’s wardrobe. It’s a defining piece with the magical ability to transport us from our everyday, and for those dedicated followers of fashion these pieces are definitely gaining visibility.

This is what I’m saying! If you don’t look back, you can never go forward! So hopefully you appreciate this menagerie of the exotic and wild! Check out The Vintage Hawaiian Shirt for more history, and a look at the web’s most impressive collection of them!

Don’t be stuck staring at your everyday checks, plaids, and plain…carry on the {TRADITION} and accelerate the past!

Make sure you also check out the E.O.F. {SHOP}!  We are stocking up more and more fashion forward pieces from our collected history so make sure to check it out!

{The Feedback and Support has been great! So thank you all!}

Also join us on FACEBOOK , TUMBLR, & TWITTER for more vintage musings from the one and only {EYE}!

Stay Style {WISE}, kids!

Sincerely,

{theEye}

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8 responses to “STYLE {WISE} + The Case for Hawaiian Shirts +

  1. I just love this post! Hawaiian shirts have been in and out and in again for so long it is mindblowing. I am glad they are in again. (Always have a few in my wardrobe no mater what.) Great Post.
    Hey! ….isn’t that mystery man Russ Tamblyn?

  2. Pingback: DISCOVERED: Vintage Surf Summer Memories . . . | The Eye of Faith {Vintage}·

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