Aloha Shirts

Written by Seth Cotterell
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On August 21, 1959, Hawaii entered the union as the 50th state. Statehood efforts had been ongoing for well over 50 years and finally culminated when Hawaii's voting population voted overwhelming for statehood. Since that time, Hawaii has become the vacation destination for people all over the world and it is world renowned as a beautiful island paradise.

Even before Hawaii became a state, however, the influence of the land and its people was becoming apparent on the mainland and around the world. In a chaotic and uncertain world, the friendly spirit and low-key attitude of the tropical paradise was beginning to exert an influence across the waters. In the era of World Wars and Great Depressions, people around the globe clamored to feel the warmth and generosity of the Hawaiian spirit.

The influence of this easygoing way of life reached into every facet of American culture. Even fashion was affected. Before the outbreak of the second World War, the aloha shirt (Hawaiian shirt) was first introduced. It was immediately popular. An aloha shirt seemed a great way for people in the states to catch hold of the good-natured, open-hearted attitude of Hawaii and to pass it on to others. Since then, aloha shirts have become a universal symbol of just such a good-natured and easygoing way of life.

Aloha Shirts Today

Since those days over 65 years ago, the popularity of aloha shirts has only increased. Though we live in a more interconnected and interdependent world, it is still important for us to show our friendly and open-hearted attitude to those around us. An aloha shirt is still one of the most practical ways to display this view. Aloha shirt wearers tend to be open-minded and big-hearted. They see themselves as friendly, caring, and concerned about others while also knowing how to have fun.

Aloha shirts have become the standard outfit for backyard luaus or a day at the beach. Hawaiian luau parties are one of the favorite social events in the U.S. and they are a great place to see the awesome variety of aloha shirt designs. No Hawaiian-themed party is complete without an impressive display of the variety found in aloha shirts. The various colors and designs can be quite spectacular.

Aloha shirts are not just for luaus, though. They are perfectly suited for a day at the beach. Sunscreen is not enough to protect fair skin from damaging UV rays, so it is important to keep covered up. Bad sunburns can lead to worse skin problems and prolonged exposure to the sun can cause cancer. Aloha shirts are meant to be used to protect skin from the sun. It is okay to go shirtless for part of the day, but wearing an aloha shirt during the sun's most intense hours will prevent possible and permanent skin damage.

Styles of Aloha Shirts

One of the best things about aloha shirts is their incredible variety. As I said, bright colors and bold designs are a trademark of aloha shirts. Traditional prints usually feature some native aspect of Hawaii. Flowers and plants like coconut trees and orchids are traditional designs, and indigenous animals are also common. Tropical fish and birds are prominent.

Non-traditional aloha shirts are also becoming more popular. These designs, referred to as novelty prints, have non-traditional themes and can really add flair to an aloha shirt collection. Novelty prints depict an incredible variety of activities and lifestyles. Novelty shirts also come in many different colors and can be found easily on the websites of the larger internet retailers.


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