Island-Inspired Shirts: Hawaiian Variety


Getting the right clothing for comfort, as well as style is important when considering what to wear in the summer months. One of the possibilities for comfort and fashion is the Hawaiian shirt. Be warned: You need to know how to successfully pull them off.

Hawaiian shirts are usually seen on old, fat, and not so stylish vacation tourists and by that perceived as unfashionable. On the other hand, if successfully fashioned by the right person at the right time they can be a great style item. Think Miami Vice fashion. These specific shirts can give you a unique style, as well as help to keep you cool and comfortable during the warmer summer months.

There are a wide variety of Hawaiian shirts that are available, all which will give you a different look for your physique. The largest difference between the shirts is the way that the patterns are presented on the shirt. There may also be differences in the style and images that are presented. Most can be found in cotton, rayon or silk, depending on the style.


The first type is often referred to as a “resort shirt.” This will have a more sophisticated look than other shirts. These usually will be available in cotton material; however, some of the higher quality shirts can found in silk or rayon. Many of these shirts will add things such as coconut buttons as part of the style, and will match the pattern on the shirt pockets with the rest of the shirt area so the pattern isn’t lost. Resort shirts are acceptable to wear outside beaches, and are known to be popular for a summer night out.


The second type of shirt is the basic Hawaiian shirt. These are also often times referred to as “aloha shirts.” The basic can be used for more casual occasions, such as a beaches, barbeque, or soccer game. These will usually have more lightweight fabrics that are used in order to provide comfort first. Most of these shirts have a repetitive pattern, such as ‘bamboo’ or ‘coconut’ in order to add to the style of Hawaii. This repetitive pattern will then be demonstrated in a variety of ways. Some don’t have the pattern in a specific order, while others will present the pattern as a vertical line across the shirt. When looking into these patterns, you should make sure that they don’t make you look heavier or thinner (if that’s not a good thing) because of the direction of the pattern.


If you don’t like a consistent pattern, then you can consider a “border shirt.” These shirts were first designed as luxury shirts and were often worn by Hollywood stars in the 1930s. These specific shirts will have one major picture or image that will match with the sleeves and pockets. Most of the time border shirts will be longer in length in order to present the full image. This style is also not supposed to be tucked in because of the focus on the one image of the shirt.

If you are considering a Hawaiian shirt, you will want to make sure that you pick the right type in order to be presentable. The first consideration that will need to be made is the size that you will want to get. You will have to measure the size of your chest in order to get the proper fit. Make sure that the sleeves are not too wide like with most of the shirts associated with bad stereotypes and the bottom of the shirt shouldn’t go too low either. This will give you the younger stylish look. The next thing you will want to determine is what type you will want. This will be based around the image being displayed. For the most casual look, you will want to go with a pattern based that are lighter in fabric.  For more “formal” events, you can consider a quieter pattern. You can also look at the images that are presented. Usually, the more complicated and intricate the images the better the quality is. This not only includes the overall images, but also the ability for the shirt to line up the pockets, collars and sleeves with the pattern.

Knowing what you will be using Hawaiian shirts for as well as understanding the different qualities will help you find the right types of shirt for comfort and style.