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Loud and Proud: Hawaiian (Aloha) Shirt Day is July 1

The West Australian: Kitsch or couture?

On July 1, Hawai'i will celebrate the birthday of the iconic Aloha shirt, an iconic symbol of the relaxed, laidback lifestyle of the famous islands.

Some say the origins can be traced back to the Kapa cloth used throughout the Pacific, made from pounding and dyeing tree bark. Others say it originated from the tail-out shirts of the Filipino immigrants. Some trace it back to the Kimono cloth in Japan or the floral prints of Tahiti.

Whatever the origin, the 1920s and 1930s saw the move of the aloha shirt, from the Asian dry goods merchants and home sewers in Honolulu, to tailors and professional dressmakers

In 1946, the open neck sports shirts were approved as official business attire during the hottest months in Hawai'i, from June to October, but the Aloha shirt was not yet allowed because of the loud patterns.

Aloha Week celebrations in the following year allowed the use of the Aloha shirt as business attire for the week of the festivities.

Duke Kahanamoku, an Olympic swimming champion and founder of surfing in Australia, was one of the earliest promoters of the Aloha shirt and had his own line that are now collectables. Also sporting the iconic shirts, in the past, were Elvis Presley, Bing Crosby and Tom Selleck as Magnum P.I.

In 1962, a resolution was passed encouraging the regular use of the colourful shirts from Lei Day, May 1, through the summer months. Common use of Aloha attire soon became a precursor to the casual Friday trend and by the end of the 60s Hawaiian businessmen were granted the use of Aloha shirts on any day of the week.

The Aloha shirt has become an iconic symbol for the casual and carefree Hawaiian lifestyle and now can be seen all over the world.

Love it or hate it, this image has become synonymous with every tropical destination.

1 comments:

  1. Hi,

    The use of Custom Hawaiian shirts will never go out of style primarily because it is used in multiple ways and anything that has a high utility is a thing that stays on. Thank you.............

    ReplyDelete