UPDATE: If you happen to run across this now, for Tiki Month 2010 I’ve done a lot more research about Aloha shirts and summarized my findings in this post. The post you are reading is still a good one, too.
There is a case to be made that all of Tiki is miscellanea. But in the case of me, as I round up Tiki month, I thought I’d gather together some links to areas of Tiki that I haven’t been able to get to. In all seriousness, I thought I’d run out of stuff to write about before twenty-eight days were up, but not a chance!
Let’s start off with your Tiki chef’s wear.
The Magnum P.I. shirt?
Damn right, I have every shirt in this collection. Had them for years. When one wears out, I replace it. They are well-made, comfortable, good looking, and affordable. These days, most people won’t recognize them as the Magnum, P.I. shirts, but they will (if they are the right age) get a cheesy cool vibe from them. They are made by a company called Paradise Found, and can be also bought many other places.
Of course, as I said at the outset of this month, I own a lot of hawaiian shirts. I have plenty that aren’t the daily wear of the Pacific’s greatest crime fighter and general free-loader.
Tommy Bahama makes a wonderful line of hawaiian shirts, as you know. Of course, the problem is that everyone knows. Their shirts are very well-made, come in a variety of patterns to meet most tastes… and are instantly recognizable to everyone as a T.B. shirt. To be blunt, they lack exoticism. I have a couple, but only wear them when I’m in a fun mood, yet want to be reputable.
If you are looking for Tiki wear online, I just found a great site called Aloha Shirt Shop. They have the last two brands I mentioned, as well as many others. I haven’t ordered from them, yet, so I can’t vouch for customer service. But they have a great selection.
But don’t limit yourself to these kinds of places to find your gear. A really good hawaiian shirt is often a vaguely worn-out, disreputable garment. (i.e. not Tommy Bahama). Shop for them in vaguely disreputable places. Consignment or resale shops, especially in areas where customers are tracking sand in the door, are a great place to hunt.
So hawaiian shirts are cool and fun. Wear them as part of your complete Tiki experience, and enjoy. But remember that all things, even all good things, can go wrong. Just be careful out there. I’m just saying….