Tag Archives: why?

STYLE {WISE} + The Case for Hawaiian Shirts +

[image: fashion.grunge.style.]

Summer is at its peak, and its time to embrace the ultimate piece for the summer. . . .the Hawaiian Shirt. For some reason, this idea makes some people cringe, but over the course of this post you will see the innate beauty and wonder that is the Hawaiian Shirt.

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. Open up any mens fashion magazine and you will find them littered in the colourful graphics.

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.

+  +  +

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, or get it altered to fit your needs. Alteration is often the key to vintage, so if you haven’t already, be sure to check your local yellow pages for tailors or alterers in your neighbourhood. They will be happy to oblige, and you’d be surprised at how cheap it can be.

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}

+

Similar Stories:

Vanity Fair Names Their Icons of Style

Vanity Fair does as they do with their latest list of Style’s Greatest Icons. Picking from all of Hollywood history, writer Amy Fine Collins makes a jab at finding those identities who fascinate, inspire, and continually resonate with lovers of style and fashion.


For a list of 21 of the ultimate icons of style, we’re a little let down. The list is GOOD – pretty much your usual list including Marilyn, Audrey, Lauren, and Bette, and more current stars like George Clooney and Penelope Cruz making the cut. While Marlon Brando and Jean-Paul Belmundo made the cut, I was shocked not to find James Dean pop up on the list! I mean, George Clooney and NOT James Dean??! WTF?

I could go into more wishes and wants, but I won’t. Instead, take a look for yourself at the list, and let us know what YOU think! Who would you add to the list?

Here’s the list:

Fred Astaire
Grace Kelly
Marlon Brando
Lauren Bacall
Audrey Hepburn
Marlene Dietrich
Bette Davis
Marilyn Monroe
Leonardo Dicaprio
Joan Crawford
Penelope Cruz
Carole Lombard
Charlotte Rampling
Nicole Kidman
Jean Harlow
Clark Gable
Harry Belafonte
Johnny Depp
Cate Blanchett

+

I do sincerely appreciate having Carole Lombard and Charlotte Rampling make the cut, but or me the biggest surprise was Leonardo Dicaprio. He’s the youngest name on the list, and although I’ve been musing over pictures of him in the 90s, I very often forget to credit the man for his continually classic and easy way about him. While the clothes are great, it’s the devil may care approach he takes to wearing them that really make his looks sing.

That for me is the biggest sign of true deep down in the heart style. For it’s not about what you wear, it’s who’s wearing it, and more often than not, that person is you!

The thing that makes each of these people a star is their ability to project a sense of self, and be fully committed to it. In the same respect, it is their ability to lose this self at the snap of a finger that makes being a star a true craft.

The films they are in are just the backdrop. The clothes a part of the scenery. It is all inspiration, and as Amy Fine Collins notes, designers today are continuously reinventing and re imagining films of the past to realize their vision for today.

That’s why we are continually looking to the past to inspire and tell us stories. Moments of magic to reinvent. For there is a beautiful mystery to the idea of being a star, especially the leading men and starlets of Hollywood Golden Years. A certain spirit seems to take over these mere mortals the second the lights are on and the camera is rolling. In the blink of an eye, that person is made immortal through the magical alchemy of light and silver.

“Everything…was an exaggeration of history, fiction and the whole wide extraordinary world.” states legendary Vogue editor Diana Vreeland. Sometimes there’s nothing better than a little exaggeration to get us through the day…

So as I was saying, the list is good, but our own E.O.F. Style Idols and Divinities are pretty damn special in their own right.

What’s the use of having a million lists online that tell me Audrey Hepburn is the best dressed woman there ever lived. Same goes with Grace Kelly, and Nicole Kidman (?? I mean, really??)…its 2012, after all, can’t things start to get a bit more interesting especially when it comes to our style icons…

The fashion world right now is ever changing, and in our post modern bubble, there is infinite possibility out there. There are also literally hundreds of styles being represented out there, so to always have lists of Style Icons that are the same really makes for not very much progress…

Seeing as it is 2012, I foresee great changes in the midst, especially in accord to perceptions of style. There is a younger generation of style aficionados out there, more equipped than we were ever to analyze and take on new ideas in dressing.

While the classics will also stay as such, style enthusiasts should definitely make room for finding new influences our predecessors, blinded by the flickering of celluloid, were not able to pick up on and bring these lost ideals to the forefront…

This goes for all areas of life. Don’t just blindly live your life being told what is what. Make it so by your own actions and doing.  Dress the part! Be the star! Change the world! That’s the message…and for that, Vanity Fair, we must thank!

So remember, stay wise, and don’t get caught floating in the status quo.

Yours truly,

{theEye}

+

Similar Stories:

Flashback Monday: Wigan Casino

Here’s another one from the vault! We love taking our ticking time machine on Mondays for great stuff like this. The scene: Wigan Casino, and what everyone had on the brain was Northern Soul (a movement sweeping across the UK)! Check out those moves, and above all, that style.

Enjoy,
{the Eye}

Similar Stories