Aloha shirts, also known as Hawaiian shirts, have a history reaching far beyond the Americas. They can be traced back to the 1920s when a Honolulu-based store started making shirts from colourful, printed Japanese fabrics. Over the following decade, the brightly-coloured shirts became more ingrained in Hawaiian culture. Different retailers came up with their own designs, the name ‘aloha shirt’ first being used in print in 1935.
By the time the fifties rolled around, aloha shirts had spread across America too with the help of designers such as Alfred Shaheen, Tory Richard, and Reyn Spooner. Elvis Presley even wore one on his album cover for Blue Hawaii in 1961. The humble aloha shirt had found its place within the canon of fashion.Characterised by brightly printed patterns of flowers and beach scenes, the often short-sleeved shirts are perfect for summery weather.
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