Hawaii Style 101 for Men

Posted by Hettie Mills on

Hawaii Style 101 for Men

Aloha!  This tropical Hawaii greeting is known around the world, but its literal meaning is ‘love’ and more than the ‘hello’; it expresses wishes for a positive and respectful life.

So, let us get a bit of perspective on the bold fashion statements and mistakes men make by wearing these casual prints.

The bold prints are fun and portray images of holiday, fun, and relaxation, thus not for the professional corporate look unless you are Magnum PI and living in the heart of Hawaii with a beach view from your office.

Much like sequins and anything neon, the Hawaiian shirt is something you wear with the intention of having a good time and sharing a few laughs, hopefully not at your expense, thus style your outfit wisely.

Looking for something to bring life to the barbeque? Think about what you normally wear, and which color and prints will complement you.  Spice up the party and wear your favorite Hawaiian shirt.  Nobody will expect that!  This is the kind of shirt people will comment on.  It is fun and still looks sophisticated.

There is no one-way to wear a Hawaiian shirt, therefore these shirts are usually a loose casual look and tucked in shirt is considered more formal than the tuck-down styled over a tee or vest.  It really depends on the environment.  Hawaiian shirts can be worn with tailored shorts, jeans, or chinos.

Hawaii shirts are considered Loud & Proud and sure does do something to one’s confidence.

Recommended shoes would usually be slip-ons or trainers.  Usually white, or tan based but not shiny.

The successful Hawaiian look is balance.  Only have one busy item in your overall outfit (the shirt) and keep the rest (shoes, pants, and tee neutral). 

Here are a few “do” and “don’t” tips for making any bold-printed shirt look amazing.


  • Wear with drawstring or pleated trousers – tuck it in or leave it out for a most casual look.
  • Combine with a plain black or blue suit as a statement piece.
  • No belt required – a bold print shirt can be a lot to take in so go belt-less if you can – it is one less thing to catch the eye.
  • Pair with sneakers, oxfords, or loafers (in the summer months)
  • Ripped jeans… say no more.
  • Always go for the white t-shirt underneath should you want to have the open shirt look.

The Hawaiian shirt has a definite camp collar.


  • Soft fabrics such as viscose looks better with the vibrant big patterns of the Hawaiian shirt. Avoid stiff fabrics.
  • Avoid any extras like ties or belts; the whole outfit will look busy and take the attention away from the Hawaiian shirt.
  • Do not go overboard on color. The shirt should make a bright statement, but it should not give anyone a headache. “Stay away from neons”
  • Avoid shoes with prints such as a leopard print or stripes. The outfit will look to busy.

- Be You, Be Defiant!

Written by Image Master Hettie Mills exclusively for DEFIANT Fashion™ | www.imagemasters.co.za