Say Aloha to the Hawaiian Shirt Again

They are wildly colourful, supremely comfortable and easy to wear on hot humid days.

But despite being regarded as tacky in some circles, the Hawaiian shirt, also known as the Aloha shirt, is having yet another moment in the sunshine.

For the past few seasons, they have resurfaced in vintage shops and in retail stores but this spring, it has turned into a menswear trend of tsunami proportions. These short sleeve shirts with the postcard type prints of hula girls, hibiscus flowers and surf boards can practically be found in most menswear fashion stores.

Once regarded as vacation or beach wear, they are now sported by a young urban generation to go out at night. And not just in casual cotton, they can be found in glossier silk-like fabrics, making them perfect to be worn under a suit.

Factor in luxury labels like Valentino and Saint Laurent doing their versions and you have to admit, the Hawaiian shirt is hip again.

It is said that the shirt first came about in the 1920s. But it was the off-duty naval service men who wore them when not in uniform back in the 1950s and who also brought them back home as souvenirs.

The movies also played a role in propelling them to popularity as Montgomery Clift and Frank Sinatra wore them in the 1953 movie From Here to Eternity. And of course, Elvis Presley famously sported one on the cover of his Blue Hawaii soundtrack album in 1961.

But for an older generation, these shirts never went away. They collected them and treasured them. They love them for their depictions of bucolic tropical lifestyle, dreamy vacations, the beach, the ocean and of romance and the good old days.

They are in essence, a vintage postcard that can be worn.

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Polo Ralph Lauren Floral Print linen shirt, $125, Hudson’s Bay and thebay.com

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Crepe de chine vintage Hawaiian shirt replica 1930s, US$89.99, hawaiianshirtdude.com

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Printed floral shirt, $49.90, zara.com

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Pineapple print silk shirt, $118, tommybahama.com

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Silk camp shirt, $128, tommybahama.com

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Pink flamingo shirt, $69, Simons.

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Polo Ralph Lauren Hawaiian Camp Shirt, $175, Hudson’s Bay and the bay.com