The Hawaiian shirt returns to the catwalk and, with its feminine silhouettes and floral prints, has become a must-have for the summer.
Much more than just a tourist robe: the Hawaiian shirt is celebrating its comeback and is finally officially finding a permanent place in the women’s collections.
From workwear to the catwalk
Today, the Hawaiian shirt – once a holiday souvenir and tourist outfit – is an integral part of fashion collections: Dries van Noten, for example, showed models with a classic wide cut and Cuban collar in his men’s spring-summer collection 2022 – reinterpreted with modern photo prints.
Chiara Ferragni and Co. are leading the way
The trend has also been finding its way into women’s fashion for a few years now. Fashion experts combine the retro men’s shirt with cycling shorts or relaxed with jeans. Casual accessories such as a bucket hat and crossbody handbag go well with this. Italian entrepreneur Chiara Ferragni, 35, and husband Fedez, 32, rocked a yacht in Louis Vuitton and Prada versions of the short-sleeved shirt.
A novelty: At the Australian Fashion Week in May, the floral XL prints were now also shown in feminine women’s cuts – on blouses, dresses and even in the form of jumpsuits. Combined with leather sandals and a black bucket bag, labels like the Australian brand Matteau are celebrating a Hawaiian print revival on the catwalk.
Fashion brands like MSGM, on the other hand, are completely reinventing the Hawaiian shirt: as a crop shirt with a floral print and matching shorts, this style keeps you cool even on hot summer days.
The summery it-piece is suitable for the office under a long blazer in simple natural tones. In order not to go beyond office etiquette, it is advisable to opt for a more subtle pattern and no more than two different colors for the Hawaiian shirt. Add a pair of slim-fitting jogging pants or a midi skirt and summer is moving into the open-plan office.
The history of the cult shirt
Also known as the “aloha shirt,” the Hawaiian shirt has its origins in the Hawaiian capital of Honolulu in the 1840s. As a men’s work shirt, it was worn loosely over trousers by the Polynesian population and Filipino immigrants – a step away from the formerly strict dress code. With the addition of traditional floral patterns, mostly influenced by the culture of Japanese and Filipino immigrants, it became a national dress.
In the early 1930s, the term “aloha shirt” was first legally protected by the economist Ellery J. Chun, who established the colorful short-sleeved shirts made of kimono fabric. Tourists and soldiers stationed in Hawaii made the garment increasingly popular until it made its debut in the fashion world in the 1950s. It is not surprising that Hollywood also discovered the fashion trend for itself: in 1961 Elvis Presley wore a red and white Hawaiian shirt in “Blue Hawaii” – in proper style with a flower chain.