The Aloha Shirt

June 5, 2023

When it comes to iconic fashion pieces, few garments rival the vibrant and laid-back charm of the aloha shirt. Whether you’re on your way to the islands, live or work in Hawaii, or are dreaming about Hawaii, wearing an aloha shirt instantly puts you in a paradise state of mind. But how did this beloved garment come into existence? Join us on a journey through time as we explore the birth of the aloha shirt and its fascinating cultural roots.

Legend has it that in the early 20th century, a young tailor had a bright idea to create a stylish shirt made for the island climate using the vibrant fabrics commonly found in Hawaii. And voila — the aloha shirt was born. In the beginning, the island-inspired shirts were mostly worn by locals, particularly in informal and leisurely settings. But as time went on, visitors to the islands caught on and the allure of the aloha shirt spread. The aloha shirt, with its vibrant patterns depicting everything from tropical flowers to ocean scenes, became the perfect souvenir, allowing visitors to take a piece of paradise back home with them.

There are many classic brands, some of which still exist today — Kahala, Kamehameha, or Royal Hawaiian. Back in the day you could find the likes of Elvis Presley, Tom Selleck or Jimmy Buffet sporting these shirts daily. Today you can find brands such as Manuheali’i, Manaola or Reyn Spooner with a whole new set of celebrities who thoroughly enjoy sporting an aloha shirt. Regardless of the brand, you can find aloha shirts being proudly worn all over the world.

But the fun didn’t stop there! Sometime in the 1960s, “Aloha Friday” was born — a perfect day to sport your favorite aloha shirt. It was frankly genius – no matter the weather outside, or where you reside, every Friday was Aloha Friday (some called it casual Friday, but we know where it really began).

So, there you have it—the aloha shirt was born out of the aloha spirit and with that, its vibrant patterns and colors happily spread throughout the world, embodying a way of life that encompasses love, respect, and harmony with the natural world. Now that you have this history lesson down, don’t let another day go by without dawning your favorite aloha shirt, and spreading that aloha spirit wherever you may be! And by the way — we like to say, “every day is Aloha Friday in Hawaii nei.”