[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!

Take a look at some of the pieces in the +SHOP+ that can help you bring this look to life!

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Crazy Tropical Tiger All Over Graphic Print Cotton Summer Shirt – 

SMALL {$20}

P1016633

Mystic Mayan Prophecy Vintage Bugle Boy Shirt –

SMALL {$18} 

[SOLD]

P1016574

1970s Typographical Graphic Print Surf Shirt – 

MEDIUM {$18}

[SOLD]

P1015441

Phantom Floral  Hand-Blocked Cotton Surf Shirt

MEDIUM {$20}

P1016531-1

Ocean Mists 1970s Graphic Print Surf Shirt

MEDIUM {$20}

P1017652

Aloha Joe Authentic 1950s Graphic Tropical Print Hawaiian Shirt

{$40}

P1016396

“Paradise Lost”, 1950s Hawaiian Shirt with Cut-Off Sleeves

SMALL {$18}

P1016042

Embroidered Silk ‘Hollywood Babylon’

Art-Deco Asian Metallic Surf Party Shirt

– MEDIUM {$35}

il_570xN.439752522_r106

‘The Tree of Life’ 1970s All Over Wildlife Animal Graphic Print Shirt

LARGE {$30}

Knights of the Sandcastle- Sears Hawaii 1960s Graphic Floral Surf Shirt

Rare 1960s SEARS HAWAII Vibrant Frond Beach Party Surf Shirt

MEDIUM {$45}

Dreamweaver - 1970s Ralph Lauren Pscyhedellic Equestrian Wave Warrior All-Over Graphic Surf Shirt - The Eye of Faith Vintage Menswear

Dreamweaver 1970s Psychedelic Equestrian Vivid Ralph Lauren Graphic Print Beach Shirt OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Paradise Hawaii 1960s Classic Tropical Floral Graphic Beach Summer Shirt

MEDIUM {$60}

SMALL {$90}

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from {theEye}!

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Stay Style {WISE}, kids!

Sincerely,

{theEye}

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6 thoughts on “+ The Case for Hawaiian Shirts + Vintage Fashion Inspiration {Spring/Summer 2013}

  1. Hawaiian shirts has always been around the corner. They’re being considered by many as signature style, paired with suits. I do wear them, but only at beaches, or at when grilling steaks at the back of my house. They’re fashionable and comfy as well. And as for your neighbor, go get her one! she may even consider making it a day-to-day fashion! Cheers!

    Like

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