Aloha Shirts | The Non-Essential Essential


Essential. Rarely has there been a more overused word when talking about clothing. Every store, blog, publication, and schmo at the end of the bar seems to be touting whatever item they want to peddle that season as a bona fide essential. While we here at ACL would never claim that you can’t live without any singular piece of clothing, we will declare that summer you should certainly buck up and invest in a Hawaiian shirt. Will your heart stop beating without one? Certainly not. But you will miss out on the one time of year that you can actually wear a shirt that’s covered in flowers without raising some eyebrows. So in honor of our Aloha shirt obsession we bring you the best floral button ups for summer. Short sleeve only, cause you know, suns out guns out.


Gitman Vintage


Engineered Garments




Mark McNairy


Ovadia & Sons



Screen Shot 2014-04-17 at 3.28.03 PM

Universal Works

Comments on “Aloha Shirts | The Non-Essential Essential

    Jeff on July 14, 2014 9:45 AM:

    How could do an article about Hawaiian shirts and not mention Reyn Spooner? They’re the real deal, not some designer’s interpretation.

    Nate on July 14, 2014 10:05 AM:

    I’ve noticed that maybe only one of these have the more traditional Hawaiian shirt colar (a little more open, a la Thomas Magnum). Just an observation.

    JB on July 14, 2014 10:11 AM:

    Another nice one from FSC this summer


    Peter van Vliet on July 14, 2014 10:13 AM:

    Not too impressed with these shirts. I miss the best 40’s/50’s repro hawaiians in this lineup: Sun Surf from Japan.

    Jeff on July 14, 2014 11:02 AM:

    Damn typos.

    Frank on July 14, 2014 11:15 AM:

    Vintage “Ui-Maikai” with hibiscus pattern are unbeatable. But this is only my opinion.

    The Turnip on July 14, 2014 11:23 AM:

    Nice shirts. Unfortunately, none of these are aloha shirts.

    jg on July 14, 2014 11:58 AM:
    J Markley on July 14, 2014 12:07 PM:

    If you are in Honolulu you have to go here!!!! It’s famous for it’s selection of vintage aloha shirts.

    Wolvrne88 on July 14, 2014 12:33 PM:

    I am wondering why a few of these shirts have shirttails. Aloha shirts are not meant to be tucked in.

    Joseph on July 14, 2014 7:49 PM:

    pairs well w/ the prettiest sandal in all the land // Hari Mari

    Ferd on July 14, 2014 8:45 PM:

    Take a look at Tommy Bahama. They have been perfecting this genre for 20 years.

    Marylynn on July 14, 2014 9:36 PM:


    Can you please do an article on American icons. Elvis being handsome for one. Talented for two. And Stylish for three. Thank you

    Bob on July 14, 2014 11:57 PM:

    Bah humbug.
    An aloha shirt has to be made in Hawaii to be a real aloha shirt….Kahala, Reyn Spooner…they are the real thing!
    Bob, the retro grouch curmudgeon

    Bebe on July 15, 2014 1:37 AM:

    Hey, way cool of ACL to do something on Aloha shirts…mahalo!

    I would have mentioned Reyn Spooner along with Jeff, but designs haven’t been the same ever since Tim McCullough sold the company to Wedbush Capital (Wedbush Morgan) back in 2008. Those M/A guys just can’t resist goosing a company. Given the choices shown in this post, their Modern Collection with its “skinny” outline probably fits ACL’s vibe better than the Classic Collection. So, Kahala Sportswear, which started in 1936, is pretty much all that’s left (it’s owned by Tori Richard, a Honolulu company opened in 1956).

    Ferd, I gotta tell you: Tommy Bahama is based in Seattle, has an Atlanta parent, Oxford Industries. There’s some great breaks in Washington, but “balmy” doesn’t describe their weather. Georgia has no surf. Check out Tori Richard’s really beautiful and authentic silk shirts.

    I might squint and see the Gitman flowered oxford on an old Beach Boys album- worn untucked, of course, with white 501s. The Ovadia shirt apes Tahitian style prints, but the cut is wrong. And that Ami print would look much better on my rattan chairs. The rest are just a bunch of kooks in the lineup.

    You commenters have such awesome eyes for the details, I almost hate sayin’ you forgot the one ESSENTIAL no shirt with Aloha omits: the pocket always matches the pattern. Epic fail all..except for the guy in “Blue Hawaii.”

    Skenflin McGinty on July 15, 2014 5:14 PM:

    I got a shirt from the Spooner modern collection and it is basically unwearable. I usually wear a large, sometimes medium, so I ordered a large not realizing that it was slim fit and it sucks. It’s tight like a slim t-shirt and I can’t wear it and because I got it on sale I can’t return it either.

    Also, beware of M. Nii. I got one of their aloha shirts in large too, same hipster fit, same return policy.

    Bummed on both companies and would not recommend either.

    tsv1138 on July 15, 2014 7:43 PM:

    I just can’t do the Aloha Shirt after watching that “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” episode.

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