By Rozalia Jovanovic
Prada tropical flower print short-sleeved shirt, $1515
The Hawaiian shirt, or the “aloha shirt,” as it was originally known, is a short-sleeved button-up, usually bearing bright colorful patterns and a “camp collar” that folds down to lay flat on the chest.
While there is debate as to who created the first aloha shirt, one of the earliest purveyors of this type of shirt was the Honolulu tailor Koichiro Miyamoto, or Musa-Shiya the Shirtmaker, who in 1935 ran the first newspaper ad for the “Aloha Shirt” in “beautiful designs,” “radiant colors,” and either made-to-order or ready-made for “95 cents up.” Miyamoto’s wife remembers creating shirts for Shirley Temple in the 1930s and John Barrymore coming into the shop and ordering a custom shirt.
Another origin story relates to Ellery Chun, who is also credited with creating the aloha shirt. In 1931, the Yale graduate designed and mass-produced boldly colored shirts that he sold at his family’s store, King-Smith Clothiers, in downtown Honolulu. He registered the Aloha trade name in 1936.
The shirts, which were inspired by the rugged shirts worn by sugar plantation workers in the 19th century, soon caught on with Hollywood stars and surfers alike. The modern Hawaiian shirt, which has had a resurgence over the past couple of years, is slimmer than its predecessor, and more cropped. And you’ll find all sorts of variations on the traditional Hawaiian flower prints.
To help you find the right shirt for the father in your life, we’ve scoured various websites for a variety of patterns and prices. Here are some of our favorites!
H&M patterned resort shirt, $12.99
Paul Smith camp-collar floral print linen-blend shirt, $315
Loewe camp-collar floral print silk matte-satin shirt, $650
Altea, Hawaiian print short-sleeved shirt, $227
Gucci peony print silk bowling shirt, $1,250
Prada palm-tree print bowling shirt, $920
Polo, Ralph Lauren Hawaiian shirt, $140
NN07 Paris floral printed vacation shirt, $139