Where to Find the Best Hawaiian Shirts this Season / by Didier Young

Trends usually come and go while style is everlasting. Those are some of the words that I always repeat to myself whenever I try to give in to the impulse purchase of a new trendy piece. I’ve lived through the age of baby doll dresses and pink hair extensions (both pretty but not for me), baggy cargo trousers (also not for me) and most recently the glorification of streetwear with a big emphasis on athleisure and the current obsession with chunky dad sneakers. I have gone through those ages relatively unscratched and with a closet that remained true to my love of minimalist and clean silhouettes. However, there is one trend that I fully decided to embrace this summer: the aloha shirt.

Commonly referred to as a Hawaiian shirt, the Aloha shirt is a style that obviously debuted in Hawaii. The square cut dress shirt has a relaxed collar, is often an explosion of print and is more-often-than-not found in a short sleeved version. While they have long been regarded as typical touristy dad gear, in Hawaii they are considered as formal wear since it is far too hot there for a shirt, coat and tie attire. In 1965, the president of the Hawaii Fashion Guild was at the forefront of a campaign for “aloha Friday” which would allow men to wear the aloha shirts on the last working day of the week. The motion proved favourable and the custom slowly spread to the rest of the world and it is better known nowadays as Casual Friday. With the current hawaiian shirt trend that is sweeping the nation, I decided to make a small guide of my favourite places to grab a piece or two.

All Saints

The first Hawaiian shirt that I’ve ever purchased was two years ago at All Saints. It was a crazy printed shirt with around fifteen different colours that I put on as a joke and ended up falling in love with it. That’s one lesson that I’ve learned in life: sometimes you just have to give things that you don't think you’ll love a try and you never know what might happen. This shirt still forms part of my closet and I still wear it every summer.  All Saints has become quite well known for their 100% viscose Hawaiian shirts that feel like heaven on the skin and drape beautifully when you wear them. While the original Aloha shirt was not meant to be tucked in, I find that the fabric of the All Saints shirts does allows for a beautiful half tuck.

Sandro

Another brand that also makes beautiful shirting is Sandro. The Parisian brand has pleasantly surprised me for the past few seasons, coming up with a few iconic pieces that seem to make their way into everyone’s closet on Instagram. This season is no exception with their beautiful Palm tree printed shirts (which I immediately purchased in dark blue. Go figure) and their graphically striking three striped shirt. While they are also made of 100% Viscose, I do find their quality to be closer to raw silk and a tad thicker than the All Saints versions but beware of sweat stains.

Zara

Yes. I know. On multiple occasions I have dragged Zara’s name through the mud but guess what, I like it now. Following a brief spell of unfruitful shopping trips, I ended up at my local Zara store and found myself purchasing a Hawaiian shirt (okay I ended up getting five of them actually). My original issue with the brand was the quality of the product versus the price point at which they were but it turns out that Zara has upgraded the fabrics that they use and they do not feel sandpaper anymore! If you’re looking for a few shirts, make sure to act up quick as the Zara sales have just started and they are sure to fly off the shelves.

Of course, due to the popularity of the shirt style, you would be able to find a version at almost every retailer but those three are my favourite stores to grab an Aloha shirt from this season. Why trend have you guys been most excited about this summer?

-Didier