How To Wear a Hawaiian Shirt for Men

How To Wear a Hawaiian Shirt for Men

The Hawaiian shirt, or “Aloha shirt,” is iconic. Originating in the early 20th century, Hawaiian shirts were crafted by Chinese and Japanese immigrants using imported Asian fabrics with intricate patterns. Hawaiian shirts today tend to feature bold florals, scenic landscapes, and cultural motifs. Because of their variety, they've become popular for all occasions.

Choosing the Right Hawaiian Shirt

Colors and Prints

vibrant hawaiian shirt

Vibrant Colors

Bold Hawaiian shirts come in a huge range of colors, ranging from bright yellows and oranges to deep greens and reds. The colors often draw inspiration from Hawaii’s tropical landscapes. The vibrant colored prints will bring a pop of color to any occasion.

gray hawaiian shirt

Muted Colors

Muted Hawaiian shirts feature softer tones like pastels and subtle earthy shades. These subdued colors are easy and versatile to work into different outfits.

old school hawaiian shirt

Traditional Prints

Traditional prints are essential to Hawaiian shirts. They feature bold and intricate floral patterns, ocean elements, and other traditional Polynesian designs. Traditional prints reflect the connection between nature, heritage, and the Hawiian lifestyle.

abstract hawaiian shirt

Modern Prints

Modern prints offer a fresh take on the classic design. From unconventional patterns to abstract shapes, these prints can feature vibrant colors, cheeky graphics, and unexpected combinations.


Fabric and Breathability

Hawaiian shirts are made with various fabrics, each with unique benefits. These include:

  • Rayon/Viscose – The traditional choice for Hawaiian shirts with a comfortable and lightweight feel and soft and smooth texture. Rayon and Viscose are both moisture-absorbent and breathable.
  • Silk – Strong and durable, yet soft to the touch. Silk is thermoregulating and ideal for varying temperatures.
  • Bamboo – Also a rayon/viscose weave, bamboo offers breathability, softness, odor resistance, and UV protection.
  • Linen – Very breathable, great for hot and humid weather. Linen is known for its durability, strength, and moisture-wicking properties.
  • Cotton – Comfortable and hypoallergenic, cotton is low-maintenance and easy to care for but doesn’t offer the same moisture-wicking properties as viscose.
  • Polyester – Polyester resists wrinkling and maintains its shape over time. It also retains color and wicks moisture away from the body, but may not be the most breathable option.
  • Nylon – Resistant to wear and tear, nylon is a durable fabric that provides stretch and flexibility, but may not be as comfortable and breathable as natural fabrics.
hawaiian shirt fits


All Hawaiian fits are relatively similar, offering a looser and more comfortable fit. The roomier cuts allow air to circulate, keeping you cooler and giving you the classic island-style.

  • Loose – Loose-fit Hawaiian shirts offer the most room in the body and sleeves, providing airflow and ease of movement. They are versatile for different body types.
  • Comfort – This cut is specific to Hawaiian shirts, offering the traditional roomy fit for easy going comfort, and unrestricted motion and breathability.
  • Relaxed – Relaxed fit Hawaiian shirts are still roomy but slightly more tailored than a loose fit. They offer casual style and a timeless appeal.
loose hawaiian shirts

How To Style Hawaiian Shirts


hawaiian shirt and jeans

Pants for Hawaiian Shirts

Styling a Hawaiian shirt with jeans or other pants comes down to balance. Hawaiian shirts are often bold and vibrant, so neutral colored pants work best. Depending on the color scheme of your shirt, you can go with light-wash or dark-wash jeans. You can choose casual chinos or cotton twill pants in beige, khaki, or navy to let your Hawaiian shirt pop.

hawaiian shirt and shorts

Hawaiian Shirt With Shorts

If the weather is warm or you’re heading to the beach, you can style your Hawaiian shirt with shorts. Choose either chino shorts or tailored shorts in a neutral or coordinating color. Hybrid shorts are a versatile option that you can wear in and out of the water. You can try different colors and styles to see what works best with your Hawaiian shirt.

Cabana Set

To go all-out with the vacation vibe, pair your Hawaiian shirt with matching shorts to create a cabana set. Just add a straw hat, sunnies, and your drink of choice.

hawaiian shirt with flowers

What To Wear Under a Hawaiian Shirt

Most people don’t wear anything under a Hawaiian shirt, but if you want to absorb sweat on hotter days, stay warm on cooler days, or wear your Hawaiian shirt open, t-shirts and tanks are the way to go.

short sleeve undershirt


Lightweight and breathable t-shirts help maximize airflow and keep cool in hot temps. Your Hawaiian shirt should still drape over the t-shirt, so make sure the undershirt isn’t bulky. You can go with a v-neck or crew neck t-shirt, depending on your preference and the look of the Hawaiian shirt.

sleeveless undershirt


Tanks are a great choice for wearing under Hawaiian shirts, as they help keep you cooler in warm weather. Choose breathable fabrics and muted colors to let your Hawaiian shirt stand out, or experiment with colors for a little extra flare.

What To Wear Over a Hawaiian Shirt

canvas jacket mens

Canvas Jacket

Canvas jackets are good for layering when the temperatures drop. Contrast the Hawaiian shirt with a different-colored canvas jacket for a bold look, or choose a neutral one to show off your shirt.

workwear jacket mens

Workwear Jacket

Workwear jackets are both a stylish and practical complement to Hawaiian shirts. The utilitarian look works well with a bold print or pop of color and the spacious fit allows for easy layering.


hawaiian sandals mens


Sandals transition easily to the beach and work with any laid-back look. Whether you go with flip flops, slide sandals, or leather sandals, you can make them work for a variety of occasions without compromising on comfort.

mens hybrid sneakers

Hybrid Shoes

Choose loafers, boat shoes, or casual lace-up shoes made from breathable materials. Hybrid shoes have added features, like mesh uppers and drainage sole ports, that help keep your feet dry in warm or wet weather.

mens slip on shoes


Slip-ons are comfortable and easy to get on and off. White, beige, and darker colors work well with Hawaiian shirts and are a good option for a relaxed look.

How To Accessorize Hawaiian Shirts

mens colorful sunglasses


Sunglasses go hand in hand with Hawaiian shirts since they’re worn on sunny days. Not only do they provide UV protection, they showcase your individual sense of style. Choose neutral-colored sunglasses as a versatile option for any shirt, or opt for more unique styles, like shield or round sunglasses, to complete your vacation vibe.

mens straw hat


Hats are another opportunity to add style to your look. Straw hats and bucket hats offer plenty of sun protection and work well with the tropical feel of Hawaiian shirts. Try baseball caps or dad hats for an easier travel option, or fedoras for an elevated look.

For more information, read our guide on “How To Choose a Hat”.

When deciding on your next Hawaiian shirt, experiment with prints, colors, fabrics, and fits to match your personal style. Whatever the occasion, Hawaiian shirts add a fun, laid-back element to any look.