The origin of the Hawaiian "Aloha" shirt is uncertain, first appearing around the '20s or '30s, though it's likely that it was created by local Japanese women using kimono fabric for men's shirts. Indeed, early Aloha-style shirts often used fabrics with Japanese motifs until around the time of Pearl Harbor, when imagery from local Hawaiian culture became more prominent. The laid-back vacation vibe appealed to anxiety-ridden wartime Americans, and the popularity of the shirts were boosted early on by celebrities like Elvis and Bing Crosby, as everyday people sought to emulate those whose fortunes were unscathed by the war and Great Depression.
One of our favourite makers of vintage Hawaiians, Ui-Maikai, often doesn't get its due in the history of the aloha shirt. These are some of the most impressive examples you can find of this iconic style, in both finish, fabric and the stunning authentic prints they produced. This particular one is from the late '50s/early '60s, with a beautiful tonal printed cotton in gorgeous ocean blues and contrasting wood-effect buttons. The craftsmanship here is flawless - note the pattern matching around the chest pocket. Perfect for summer, the open collar, straight hem, short sleeves and relaxed but tailored fit will keep you feeling (and looking) cool all season long. Made in Hawaii.
Please note the bottom button is missing.
Armpit to Armpit: 25”
Shoulder to Shoulder: 20.5”
Sleeve Length: 9.75”
Total Length: 29"
Head to our Sizing Guide to see if this will fit you.
*Please note, all of our items are vintage and used and will naturally have some wear and tear. We think it all just adds to the piece’s vintage charm. We’ll always do our best to properly document any obvious imperfections.
**Colors may vary slightly between photos on screen and actual piece.