The Unexpected Return of the Hawaiian Shirt
It’s the trend that nobody saw coming but – according to Liberty’s menswear buyer Laura Robertshaw – everybody needs a tropical shirt this summer. Here’s why...
With the sun beating down and the heat rising swiftly – for the time being, at least – it’s about time we apply a more summer-ready vibe to our outfit choices. Bring out the sunglasses switch heavyweight wools for lighter cotton and linen, and give those sun-deprived legs a chance to finally breathe with a pair of shorts. As wardrobe classics, shirts also take on a new identity: sleeves shorter, fits become looser and prints become... well, surprisingly more vibrant. You see, this summer, everybody’s going to be wearing the best Hawaiian shirts.
“The best tropical shirts – in their classic form – feature a solid, coloured background, overlaid with various colourful (although sometimes monochromatic) floral patterns.”
"Not since the days of Tom Selleck climbing out of a red Ferrari sporting one of the most powerful moustaches in history has a Hawaiian shirt been this on-trend,” explains Laura Robertshaw, Liberty’s menswear buyer. “The best tropical shirts – in their classic form – feature a solid, coloured background, overlaid with various colourful (although sometimes monochromatic) floral patterns.”
Like many iconic pieces, its historic association with devilishly handsome and impeccably dressed men runs deep. “Besides the aforementioned Magnum P.I., Leo DiCaprio’s outstanding Romeo and Juliet number and Elvis’ Crimson shirt in Blue Hawaii are highlights that will spring to mind whenever one of these shirts is seen,” Robertshaw adds. “And of course, an honourable mention must go to Jim Carey’s truly iconic Ace Ventura wardrobe.”
"– a darkly coloured tailored trouser with box fresh sneakers or a slightly smarter loafer will do nicely for a fancy evening dinner."
Considering the Hawaiian shirt’s bright and striking characteristics, there might be a little apprehension when it comes to styling it with confidence. But fear not; Robertshaw has some tried and tested advice to guide you. “When wearing the Hawaiian shirt skip the shorts to avoid the ‘grill-dad’ look, and instead opt for something a little more elevated – a darkly coloured tailored trouser with box fresh sneakers or a slightly smarter loafer will do nicely for a fancy evening dinner. Alternatively, I’d recommend donning some nicely broken-in denims for a relaxed, modern daytime staple."
Feeling the urge to get a Hawaiian shirt of your own? You’re not alone; here are the best tropical shirts that Team Liberty just can’t get enough of.