18 Reasons We Love Hawai‘i Fashion

From chic beachware and bold, nature-inspired prints to cool collabs and fresh spins on sartorial traditions, here are 18 reason we’re crazy about Hawai‘i fashion.


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No. 9: We Take It Easy 

Pair the fickle tradewinds with our active lifestyles and you arrive at the average Islander’s wardrobe dilemma—staying comfy and cool while looking polished and put together. Fortunately, our state boasts talented knitwear designers who transform stretch jersey, modal, rayon and more into deliciously soft, easy-to-wear styles, showcased here by dancer-model (and knitwear fan) Allison Chu. 


Left to right: A-Line Swing rayon-spandex top, $78, Macy’s, Ala Moana Center, 941-2345. Lily Lotus Jegging Lycra-organic cotton pant, $108, Lily Lotus, 3632 Wai‘alae Ave., 277-1724. Florencia Aria rayon-spandex maxi dress, $123, florenciaarias.com. Lily Lotus Lily bamboo-spandex wrap, $88, Lily Lotus, see above. Cassandra Rull Lycra-spandex Thin Stripe Active Top, $60, shopcassandrarull.com. Allison Izu Cooke Street nylon-rayon-spandex straight-leg pant, $88, allisonizu.com.
photos: rae huo; model: allison chu, wilhelmina hawai‘i; hair and makeup: kecia littman 


No. 10: Our Shirts Speak Volumes

From fearlessly loud patterns to quietly confident motifs, Hawai‘i’s aloha shirts come with personalities as unique as their owners. Take a look at the latest from local designers and see which fits you best. Remember, you wear the shirt, not the other way around.




1. Jams World channels the 1960s with abstract prints that are groovy to look at and even groovier to wear. Keep your shirt on with energetic and dynamic colors in dizzying, tizzying blossom print.

Flower Field Retro shirt, $100, Jams World, Ward Village Shops, 593-2655.


2. Inspired by her farmhouse childhood, Roberta Oaks designs sharp-fitting shirts with fun prints and mix-and-match color combos. Dare to don the Macaw, which features a motif of large white palms over a rainbow of hues that’ll make you the life of the party.

Macaw shirt, $120, Roberta Oaks, 19 N. Pauahi St., 526-1111.


3. ‘Iolani Sportswear dates back to the 1950s, a family business owned and operated by the Kawakami family. An updated collection of Island-inspired fashion includes vibrant eggplant shades and tropical leaves to keep you cool and confident in the office, and, come 5 p.m., ready to pau hana.

Panilau shirt, $79, ‘IOLANI at Kona, 1234 Kona St., 593-4520.


4. Reyn Spooner played a crucial role in revitalizing the classic aloha shirt in the workplace during the ’60s. This piece is a throwback, with a cheery assortment of hand-painted designs based on ‘ukulele and guitars overlapping song sheets.

Don’s Collection shirt, $98-$102, Reyn Spooner, Kāhala Mall, 737-8313.


5. Tori Richard specializes in tropical resort wear with sophisticated prints on a relaxed but well-fitted silhouette. Playful koi frolic across a navy background, adding colorful contrast in an Asian-inspired look.

All Koi shirt, $92, Tori Richard, Ala Moana Center, 949-5858.


6. Kāhala shirts hail back to the old Waikīkī beach-boy lifestyle. In support of The Polynesian Voyaging Society, the brand teamed up with Outrigger to create this World Voyage shirt which depicts nautical designs inspired by the Hōkūle‘a.

World Voyage shirt, $84, Kāhala Sportswear, Ala Moana Center, 941-2444.


7. Rix Island Wear shirts are made in Hawai‘i, with allover tribal and island designs on soft cotton. This lively print gets you in the mood for a lū‘au, complete with fish, banana leaves and ‘ukulele—even a kālua pig.

lū‘au shirt, $59.50–$69.50, Rix Island Wear, Ward Village Shops, 589-0749.


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