You’ll consistently accept article to abrasion on Aloha Fridays if your aggregation creates its own aloha shirt. Witness the Digital Island accumulated swag sported by Tim Linerud and wife Nora of Belmont in their vacation pix from Hawaii. (Look accomplished the pineapple graphics, and you’ll acquisition their aloft company’s name in the design.)
Tim was the aboriginal to e-mail Hawaii Insider photos of his admired shirt — which he says they own in red, black, dejected and amethyst — in acknowledgment to yesterday’s Hawaii Insider post, which asked readers to allotment their aloha wear.
Digital Island, by the way, was an IP-based business commitment arrangement founded in Hawaii by built-in son Rod Higgins. Business and aloha shirts accept a continued history: Hawaii’s companies and government agencies were artlessly aboriginal adapters of Aloha Fridays, as far aback as the ’50s, and today hotels commonly acclaim the designers of their employees’ aloha shirts and dresses (Hilo’s Sig Zane is a hot commodity). (Personally, Hawaii Insider would adulation to own the Honolulu Star-Bulletin swag aloha shirt she’s apparent on Chronicle aide Greg Ambrose; acutely the Chronicle has never issued its own.)
Vintage, limited-edition shirts are the angelic beaker of aloha abrasion admirers, with allurement prices for the best approved labels and designs active over a thousand dollars. But there are a lot beneath big-ticket treasures out there. You can acquisition closetfuls of best aloha shirts online, including usual-suspect sites like EBay, but The Hana Shirt Co. may be the best fun to browse, accustomed its antic graphics, advanced array of shirts from the ’40s to the ’70s, and prices starting at $75 — not cheap, but beneath than today’s Tommy Bahamas.
I additionally like Hawaii-based Vintage-aloha-shirts.com, which doesn’t advertise reproductions — accustomed the agreeableness of the originals, knockoffs and accountant replicas are a booming business — and lets you chase by manufacturer, material, admeasurement and price. The aggregation will alike adjudge your best shirt (via e-mail) for $10.
Of course, it’s added fun to boutique in being in the islands, alike admitting you’re abundant beneath acceptable to acquisition a bargain-priced best gem in Hawaii, area connoisseurs abound, than you are, say, in Maine. Hawaii Insider has poked about for disregarded accoutrements in austerity shops on the Big Island and Kauai after abundant success (although her afterlife may be bad because years ago she gave abroad her grandfather’s 1940s-era rayon shirt while activity through a natural-fabrics-only phase.) However, she has abstruse to attending for analytic priced, ample aloha shirts at “collectibles” stores, such as Bambulei (by Cafe Coco) in Kapaa, and at outlets such as Reyn’s Rack in city Honolulu. For ultra-cheapies (some not so able-bodied made), analysis out the alternative at Long’s Drugs or the sprawling Aloha Stadium Swap Meet.
Reyn’s Rack, in case you couldn’t guess, sells aloha abrasion by Reyn Spooner, the maker of the official aloha shirts of the University of Hawaii, Cal, Stanford and a host of added colleges, as able-bodied as those of Major League Baseball teams. But if you adopt added archetypal designs, analysis out the ’50s and ’60s prints Reyn’s has accountant from the acclaimed Honolulu t architect and clothier Alfred Shaheen, who anesthetized abroad in backward December.
Share the adventure of your admired aloha shirt by commenting below, or bigger yet, e-mailing Hawaii Insider with a photo; belief will arise in an “Aloha Friday” column after this week.
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