Gone are the days when aloha shirts were only for businessmen and tourists. Like high-waisted bottoms and crop tops are once again in style for women, men can delight in the fact that these boldly printed shirts are back—and I'd say better than ever.
Roberta Powers of Roberta Oaks may have singlehandedly made Honolulu's young professionals and cool kids covet the aloha shirt ever since she reintroduced a modern version in 2010. Powers' has since had a variety of successful collaborations with POW! WOW! Hawaii and most recently, Urban Outfitters. In 2011, Hawaii's own Kahana Kalama started Aloha Sunday Supply Company, a contemporary surf shop/brand inspired by the islands featuring hip threads—of course including a range of aloha shirts.
But of course, this cultural phenom is not a new trend, it's just seeing a resurgence. Aloha shirts have been part of the Hawaiian heritage for decades, perhaps made internationally famous by the likes of Elvis, Bing Crosby and Magnum P.I.
Brands like Reyn Spooner and Tori Richard have been pioneering island wear since the 1950s and continue to be top-sellers today. Then there's Sig Zane, celebrated for his authentic designs and overall aloha spirit. Avanti Shirts, a small store that packs a punch on Kalakaua Avenue in Waikiki, is also recreating the classics from the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s.
So whether you're buying one for yourself, or perhaps looking for something special for Father's Day, the aloha shirt is not only culturally significant, but a classically cool choice.
Long live the aloha shirt.