hawaiian shirts

"Aloha And Welcome !!!"

 

HAWAIIAN SHIRT'S COLORFUL HISTORY


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If you’re a true-blue surfer, chances are that an Aloha shirt or three are lurking in your closet – the next time you plan to wear your bright, tropical Hawaiian gem, spare a thought for this article of clothing’s colorful history…which you may not have been aware of…

 

Hawaiian shirts were popular long before Elvis Presley wore a red aloha shirt on the album cover for the “Blue Hawaii” soundtrack in 1961. In fact, the modern Hawaiian shirt came about in the early 1930s.

 

A Chinese merchant named Ellery Chun of King-Smith Clothiers and Dry Goods, owned a store in Waikiki. Ellery started to sew brightly colored aloha shirts for tourists fashioned from old kimono fabrics he had leftover in stock.

 

The Honolulu Advertiser newspaper was quick to coin them by the term ‘Aloha shirt’ and Ellery trademarked the name. The first ad in the Honolulu Advertiser for Chun’s Hawaiian shirts was published in June 1935. Local residents and as you’d expect…especially those in the surfing community, as well as tourists descended on Chun’s store and bought every shirt he had.

 

Within just a few years, major designer labels opened all over Hawaii and began to manufacture and sell Aloha shirts en masse. Retail chains in Hawaii, even mass produced Hawaiian shirt designs to use as their employee uniforms. At sites like Hawaiian Shirts Central you’ll see some of the best examples of shirt Hawaiian and apparel.

 

After World War II, many servicemen and servicewomen returned to the United States from Asia and the Pacific islands with aloha shirts that had been made in Hawaii since the 1930s. Then as the tourists started flocking to Hawaii post WW2 in the 1950s, the colorful tropical-print shirts for men and sundresses for women became standard souvenirs for travelers.

 

In 1962, a professional manufacturing association known as the Hawaiian Fashion Guild began to promote Hawaiian shirts and clothing for use in the workplace, particularly as business attire. In a campaign very aptly called 'Operation Liberation' the Guild delivered two aloha shirts to every member of the Hawaii House of Representatives and the Hawaii Senate. This was a success because a resolution was soon passed in the Senate advising that aloha attire (essentially Hawaiian shirts) be worn throughout the summer in Hawaii.

 

In 1965, Bill Foster, Sr., the then president of the Hawaii Fashion Guild, led a campaign lobbying for an official and regular “Aloha Friday”, a day when all employers would allow their staff to wear Hawaiian shirts on the last business day of the week. In 1966 Aloha Friday officially began in Hawaii and has since spread worldwide – although now-a-days it is commonly referred to as ‘Casual Friday’.

 

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Testimonials

"Hello John, I like them fine. I've only worn the new ones around town, and to my sisters' for Easter. I did wear the first one I bought to Kemah last summer when the I took my wife, daughter and niece to the boardwalk there. Thanks for asking."
- Mark

"Got the shirts, they are beautiful! Thanks very much. Sincerely,
Claudio Ballard, Chairman
Iconic Motors LLC
- Claudio Ballard


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