Friday, September 07, 2007

Hawaiian shirts on "casual Fridays" jumped from the islands to the mainland

Our office is filled with Hawaiian shirts on Fridays. I understand — and appreciate — the “casual Friday” tradition, but why Hawaiian shirts?
— J.J. Brown

ANSWER: An “Aloha Friday” to you, straight from the islands. It has been tradition in Hawaii for decades, and it jumped to the mainland with the advent of casual Fridays. Maui Magazine traced it to 1946, when the Honolulu Chamber of Commerce first proposed that it might be good for tourism — and comfort — if the business community wore aloha shirts during the summer. That idea lost out to the suits-and-ties requirement. A year or so later, the magazine said, government employees were allowed to wear sport shirts from June to October, but the aloha shirts were stored in the closet until Aloha Week each fall.

Jump forward to the 1960s when shirt designers and manufacturers successfully lobbied for Aloha Friday.Then came the Aloha Friday song recorded by Polynesian fire-knife dancer Kimo Kahoano and his Aloha Friday Band, and Islanders sang along, “It’s Aloha Friday, no work till Monday.” Team that with “pau hana” (after work) drinks, and the weekend was on its way.

The flowery, brightly colored Hawaiian shirts now spotted in offices on Fridays are wilder than traditional aloha shirts, which now get everyday wear, say Hawaiian media.


Post a Comment

<< Home