I remember growing up and seeing my teachers wearing an Aloha shirt every Friday. I never really thought of the significance, or if there was a significance all that I knew was you that you wear Aloha shirt on Fridays. Now that I’m older I’ve come to understand that there is significance to wearing Aloha shirts on Fridays. What is the significance you ask? Aloha shirts are fun and cheerful which is what many people feel on Friday. It is the end of the work week, a time to start unwinding, and to get ready for the weekend. Aloha shirts are seen as the middle, between excessive formality and casual wear. Today it is a common tradition of celebrating the end of the workweek by wearing more casual attire on Fridays. But really what started it was the effort to promote aloha shirts. It was a sales tactic and it seemed to have worked. Today many women also participate by wearing Aloha attire on Friday; but it is still more common to see men dressing this way.
Did you know?
- Legendary surfer Duke Kahanamoku, often wore the Aloha shirts on his travels and eventually developed his own line of shirts which are much sought after by collectors today.
- The Palaka Shirt became the standard work shirt of Hawaii. The checkered shirt which was durable enough to withstand the hard labor in the fields and cool enough for the humid environment became the perfect shirt for plantation workers to use when out on the fields.
- Although popular today, border shirts (vertical designs running down the length) were less common in the history of the Hawaiian shirt. These designs involve more fabric and more waste in fabric cuts because of the vertical design.
- 1930s to 1950s was the golden age of the aloha shirt. Vintage shirts produced during that era are now selling for hundreds to thousands of dollars
- Because of the warm climate in Hawaii wearing suits and ties are impractical. Instead “Aloha Shirts” are considered formal wear and is worn in business and government jobs.
- Elvis wore a Hawaiian Shirt in his movie “Blue Hawaii” which increased sales of Hawaiian Shirts. Some other famous people who helped solidify a spot for the Hawaiian Shirts include John Wayne, Frank Sinatra, several presidents including Harry S. Truman.
- The phrase “Made in Hawaii” became popular and started being used on clothing in the 50’s. This label symbolizes that the item is authentic to Hawaii and is well-made rather than some cheap imitation.
For your next Friday why not try a classic Aloha Shirt or Dress Shirt to get in the mood for your weekend. Select from one of those cool bright tropical colors or a fun floral print. It will put a smile on your face and on those around you!
Aloha, SHAKA TIME HAWAII!