The Hawaiian Shirt

Hawaiian Shirt

Originating in the 1930s, Hawaiian shirts, with their festive paradise image and relaxed fit always seem to lighten the mood of the wearer and liberate the social situation.  Mainlanders and other non-Hawaiians refer to them as Hawaiian shirts, while native Hawaiians call them “Aloha shirts.”

Hawaiian shirts are almost always short sleeve, have an open collar, sometimes with a looped-fastened neck button, and straight hem and should always be worn untucked. One rule of thumb in dating shirts is the longer and wider the collar, the older the shirt.

Hawaiian shirts come in cotton, rayon, polyester, silk, sateen and bark cloth, which is traditionally made from mulberry trees but is more commonly found in textured, dense cotton or cotton-poly blends. Hawaiian shirts can also have special features such as coconut or coin buttons.

The motifs on Hawaiian shirts are usually floral, tropical themes or Tapa, as pictured above.  Tapa originated in Samoa and has a stamped, repeated geometric or stylized floral designs.  Reverse prints, inspired by surfers’ sun-bleached Hawaiian shirts are commonly worn by locals as business attire because of their muted, low-key patterns.

Hawaiiskjortan

Hawaiian Shirt Label

Benämningen Hawaiiskjortor har funnits sedan 1930-talet. De pryds med glada paradismönster och kännetecknas av en ledig form som alltid verkar göra den gladare som har skjortan p.a sig och liva upp den sociala situationen han eller hon befinner sig i. Amerikaner från fastlandet och andra människor som inte kommer från Hawaii kallar dem Hawaiiskjortor medan folk från Hawaii kallar dem Alohaskjortor.

Hawaiiskjortor är nästan alltid kortärmade, med en öppen krage, ibland med en halsknapp fastsatt med ögla och rak fåll. Den ska alltid bäras utanpå byxorna. En tumregel när man tidsdaterar en Hawaiiskjorta ar att ju längre och bredare kragen, ju äldre skjortan.

Hawaiiskjortor tillverkas av bomull, rayon, polyester, siden eller en blandning av bomullssattäng- och barktyg, som traditionellt görs av mullbärsträd men som också återfinns i sammansatta, tjocka bomulls- eller bomullsplyblandningar. Hawaiiskjortor kan också ha speciella särdrag som kokosnöt- eller myntknappar.

Motiven pa Hawaiiskjortor är i regel blommor, tropiska teman eller Tapa som i bilden.  Tapa kommer från Samoa och som är en tryckt, återkommande, geometrisk eller styliserad blomdesign. Tryck som kan bäras ut och in, inspirerade av surfares solblekta Hawaiiskjortor, bärs ofta av folk från Hawaii i mer officiella sammanhang på grund av dessa skjortors mer nedtonade mönster.


Further Reading: The Aloha Shirt: Spirit Of The Islands

© Copyright 2010 Americana

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4 Comments

Filed under Hawaiian & Tiki, Hawaiian Shirts, Shirts

4 responses to “The Hawaiian Shirt

  1. Maggie Lou

    Just found your website and enjoyed it very much. I have been interested in vintage clothing from the US for several years. I look forward to blogging with you in the future regarding certain items of clothing. I am particular interested in women’s casual wear of the 50’s and 60’s.

  2. Dean Miller Hawaiian Bedding

    I love Hawaiian prints! Keep the aloha alive 🙂

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