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How to Rock Retro Men's Hawaiian Shirts
How to Rock Retro Men's Hawaiian Shirts

Men's Hawaiian shirts, with their vibrant colours and tropical motifs, have been a fashion staple for decades. These retro garments are not just for beach vacations; they can be a versatile addition to any man's wardrobe. 

Whether you're looking to make a bold fashion statement or want to embrace a laid-back, casual style, men's Hawaiian shirts can be your go-to choice. In this blog, we'll explore the history of these iconic shirts, provide tips on choosing the perfect one, and offer styling ideas to help you confidently rock retro men's Hawaiian shirts.

Men's Hawaiian Shirts

History of Men's Hawaiian Shirts

Before we dive into styling tips, let's take a quick trip down memory lane to understand the origins of men's Hawaiian shirts. These shirts, also known as Aloha shirts, have a rich history dating back to the early 20th century.

  • The Birth of the Aloha Shirt: The first Aloha shirt was created in the 1930s by a Chinese immigrant named Ellery Chun in Honolulu, Hawaii. These early shirts featured tropical floral patterns and were made from kimono fabric. Chun's store, King-Smith Clothiers, is often credited with popularizing these shirts.
  • Post-World War II Boom: After World War II, Hawaii saw an influx of tourists, and the popularity of Hawaiian shirts skyrocketed. Celebrities like Elvis Presley were often seen sporting these colourful garments, further fueling their appeal.
  • Cultural Icon: Hawaiian shirts have become a cultural symbol, representing the laid-back, carefree lifestyle associated with the islands. They've been featured in movies, music, and television shows, solidifying their status as a fashion staple.

Men's Hawaiian Shirts

Choosing the Perfect Men's Hawaiian Shirt

Before you start incorporating Hawaiian shirts into your wardrobe, it's essential to choose the right one. Here are some tips to help you make the perfect selection:

  • Fabric Matters: Look for shirts made from lightweight, breathable fabrics like cotton or rayon. These materials are ideal for warm weather and will keep you comfortable.
  • Find Your Fit: Hawaiian shirts come in various fits, from relaxed to slim. Choose one that complements your body type and personal style. A looser fit is excellent for a casual, laid-back look, while a slimmer fit can offer a more contemporary feel.
  • Patterns and Colors: Embrace the retro vibe by opting for shirts with classic Hawaiian patterns like hibiscus flowers, palm trees, or surfboards. Vibrant, bold colours are also a hallmark of these shirts. Don't be afraid to go all out with your choice of pattern and colour.
  • Collar Styles: Consider the collar style when choosing a Hawaiian shirt. The most common options are camp collars (also known as Cuban collars) and standard collars. Camp collars have a relaxed, vintage feel, while standard collars offer a more traditional look.
  • Quality Matters: Invest in a quality Hawaiian shirt. Cheaper options may only last for a short time or offer the same level of comfort. A well-made shirt will serve you well for many summers to come.

Men's Hawaiian Shirts

Styling Men's Hawaiian Shirts

Now that you've chosen the perfect Hawaiian shirt let's explore how to style it for various occasions:

1. Casual Summer Vibes:

For a relaxed, beach-inspired look:

  • Pair your Hawaiian shirt with comfortable shorts, preferably in a solid colour that complements the shirt's pattern.

  • Opt for casual footwear like flip-flops, espadrilles, or slip-on sneakers.

  • Remember your shades and a straw hat to complete the beachy vibe.

2. Smart-Casual Events:

You can dress up your Hawaiian shirt for a semi-formal occasion:

  • Choose a well-fitted Hawaiian shirt in a subtle pattern or solid colour.

  • Tuck it into a pair of chinos or linen trousers for a polished appearance.

  • Add a leather belt and loafers to elevate the outfit.

3. Layering for Versatility:

Hawaiian shirts can be layered to create unique looks:

  • Wear your shirt unbuttoned over a plain white or black T-shirt for a trendy, streetwear-inspired outfit.

  • Consider wearing it as a light jacket over a plain crew-neck shirt or tank top for a layered summer look.

4. Business-Casual Twist:

If your workplace allows for a bit of creativity, you can incorporate a Hawaiian shirt into your business-casual attire:

  • Choose a more subdued Hawaiian shirt in muted colours or a small-scale pattern.

  • Pair it with well-fitted dress slacks and loafers.

  • Add a blazer in a coordinating colour to maintain a professional edge.

 Men's Hawaiian Shirts

5. Night Out with Friends:

For a fun night out, you can style your Hawaiian shirt with an edgy twist:

  • Opt for a black or dark-coloured Hawaiian shirt with a bold pattern.

  • Pair it with skinny jeans and stylish sneakers or desert boots.

  • Add a leather jacket to complete the rock 'n' roll aesthetic.

6. Vintage Inspired:

Embrace the retro look to the fullest:

  • Choose a vintage Hawaiian shirt from a thrift store or online marketplace.

  • Pair it with high-waisted trousers or wide-leg jeans for a throwback feel.

  • Finish the look with classic sneakers or retro-style sandals.


Men's Hawaiian shirts are more than just a summer staple; they're a timeless fashion statement that can be incorporated into various styles and occasions. Whether you're aiming for a laid-back beach look or a smart-casual ensemble, these vibrant shirts offer endless possibilities.

Remember to choose the right fabric, fit, pattern, and colour to suit your personal style. With these tips in mind, you'll be ready to rock retro men's Hawaiian shirts with confidence and flair, turning heads wherever you go. So, go ahead and embrace the spirit of Aloha in your wardrobe, and enjoy the colourful journey through fashion history!

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