It’s colorful, in-your-face, and often seen on travelers to tropical destinations; it’s the Hawaiian shirt. Invented around the 1940s by Alfred Shaheen, the Hawaiian shirt reached the peak of its popularity two decades later when musical king, Elvis Presley, famously wore one in the film Hawaii Blue.
Since then, the popularity of the Hawaiian shirt has waned, becoming a staple primarily among tourists and middle aged men. For that reason, it has been largely regarded as a major fashion faux pas.
Ironically, the Hawaiian shirt seems to be making a comeback, gaining a prominent place among many spring and summer fashion shows this season. Designers have found inspiration in their vibrancy and resort-like feel, qualifying the Hawaiian shirts as the perfect choice for warmer weather.
Even more surprising is the fact that the Hawaiian shirt trend is not just exclusively for men. Hawaiian inspired prints have been transformed into many feminine friendly garments such as skirts, dresses and shorts.
Regardless of how long this trend lasts, the fact that the Hawaiian shirts has resurfaced at all says a lot about how challenging and unpredictable fashion trends can be. And yet part of the delight in fashion is this constant re-invention.
So take a leap, and give the Hawaiian shirt a chance. You might discover that it’s your new, quirky go-to item for the summer.
Joaquin Ugalde is currently a reporter for BARE Magazine. A 3rd year architecture major, he enjoys all things related to design, food, public service, and FASHION!