So you want to wear your awesome new Aloha shirt but aren’t quite sure what to wear with it. Hawaiian shirts can cause some fashion dilemmas because they are usually very bold and colorful which can make it difficult to find the right pants to wear. Here are a few tips on what to wear with a Hawaiian shirt.
Rule of Thumb: Don't Wear Busy Tops and Bottoms
This one is a pretty easy one to avoid. As a general rule, if you wear an Aloha shirt with a busy pattern, which is most of them, wear pants or shorts that are solid. If both your shirt and pants have busy prints on them, it will look like pajamas. If this is the look you're going for, go for it! But if not, don't do it.
The easiest thing to wear with your shirt are khaki shorts. If your Hawaiian shirt is pretty much any color besides cream or khaki, it should match with khaki shirts. We usually recommend wearing the shirts untucked for casual occasions or if your shirt has a bottom design. The only time recommend tucking in the shirt is if it is too long or if you’re going to wear it at a more formal occasion like to the office or a wedding. And in those cases, you probably won’t be wearing shorts anyway.
If your shirt is black or white-ish, it may match well with black shorts. But pretty much anything matches with black. If anything, the overall look with black shorts will be more "dressy" than the same shirt and khaki shorts.
If your shirt has a decent amount of bright white in it, try wearing it with white shorts. If the white color in the shirt is closer to cream or khaki, however, it will probably match better with khaki shirts. The blue shirt below has pure white accents which match well with the white shorts. The red shirt has beige accents which would match a little better with khaki shorts.
We also like wearing Aloha shirts with blue jeans. As a rule of thumb, make sure the overall color of the shirt doesn’t match too closely with the color of your jeans otherwise you might have the Smurf look. If you shirt is primarly black, red, green, white, khaki, yellow…pretty much anything, it should look good with jeans. It may not be quite as casual as shorts, but it is still a laid back look that works quite well. We usually wear our shirts untucked unless it is long or you are trying to achieve a more tidy look for work or something. But that is more a personal style preference that applies to shirts and pants in general.
You can also wear khaki slacks with your shirt. Again, if your shirt has a bottom design, it’s best to wear it untucked. Khakis can be a little tricky with black shirts. The normal convention is to wear brown shoes with khaki slacks. But brown shoes can sometimes look a little weird if you’re wearing a black shirt. It’s not a huge deal, but some people might prefer to wear jeans with a black Hawaiian shirt so they can wear black or dark shoes that will better match the overall look. Aloha shirts with earth tones will tend to look good with khaki slacks.
Black Jeans or Slacks
We really see this combination in Hawaii when office workers wear Aloha shirts to work as everyday attire. Rather than a solid long sleeve shirt with slacks, Hawaii office workers usually wear tucked in Aloha shirts with black slacks and shoes. The shirts worn in this situation tend to be less loud and colorful than the ones pictured below so that they look more appropriate for a conservative work environment.
While the rules of thumb above apply to most situations, ultimately style is about creating your own look. You don’t have to follow any fashion rules if you don’t want to. Wear any combination that makes you happy. Aloha shirts are inherently unconventional. They can be loud, bold, clashy and anything but subtle. They are about standing out, not fitting in. So create the look you want if it works for you and you're having fun, that's all that matters. Aloha!
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