Hawaiian Luau Attire: What to Wear for a Tropical Feast

Photo of author

Irza Shakeel

How to Dress for a Hawaiian Luau featured image by the supermelon

Have you ever fantasized about escaping to a tropical paradise? Picture yourself surrounded by swaying palm trees, feeling the gentle ocean breeze on your skin, and being serenaded by the rhythmic beat of island music.

It’s a night filled with celebration and joy that many people dream of experiencing.

If this resonates with you, know that you’re not alone. The allure of a Hawaiian luau is something that has captured the hearts and imagination of people all over the world. It’s a magical event combining Hawaiian culture’s richness, mouth-watering cuisine, and vibrant entertainment.

So, let’s not waste any time. Join me as we delve deeper into the details to discover what attire would be perfect for this tropical celebration.


To dress for a Hawaiian luau, consider wearing a colorful, flowy Hawaiian shirt or dress with tropical patterns such as flowers or palm leaves.

Pair it with comfortable sandals or flip-flops for that relaxed island feel.

Don’t forget to add some flower leis or other tropical accessories to complete the look and embrace the festive spirit of the luau.

Women’s Choices For Hawaiian Luau

Below are some options for women.

Hawaiian Shirt

These shirts are famous for their vibrant and lively designs that showcase tropical elements such as palm trees, hibiscus flowers, and ocean waves. Hawaiian shirts come in different styles like button-ups and tie-front blouses to cater to various tastes. 

You can pair your Hawaiian shirt with shorts or a skirt or even wear it over a swimsuit for a laid-back and effortless appearance.

Tropical Print Scarf

A tropical print scarf is a versatile accessory that can instantly elevate your luau outfit. You can wear a traditional scarf around your neck or tie it around your waist as a stylish sarong. These scarves’ vibrant colors and patterns add a touch of the islands to your ensemble and can be easily coordinated with other pieces.

Grass Skirt

For a more traditional and playful luau look, consider a grass skirt. These skirts, made from natural grass or synthetic materials, are a fun and iconic choice. Hula dancers often wear them and can make you feel like you’re part of the celebration.

Rattan Bag

A rattan bag is both fashionable and functional for a luau. These woven bags add a natural elegance to your outfit while providing a convenient way to carry your essentials. Opt for a clutch or a crossbody style to keep your hands free for dancing or enjoying tropical drinks.

Straw Hat

Protect yourself from the sun while adding a classic element to your attire with a straw hat. Wide-brimmed hats are perfect for shading your face and completing your luau look. Choose a hat with a colorful band or decorative accents for that extra tropical flair.


Sarongs are versatile pieces that can be worn in multiple ways, making them ideal for a luau. You can tie them around your waist as a skirt, drape them over your shoulders as a shawl, or use them as a beach cover-up. Their lightweight and breezy nature make sarongs a practical and stylish choice for Hawaiian luaus.

Read More: Sock Styles for High Tops: Elevate Your Sneaker Game

Maxi Dresses

Consider a maxi dress if you prefer a more elegant and flowy look. These long, flowing dresses are comfortable and perfect for warm Hawaiian evenings. Look for dresses with floral prints, bright colors, or tropical patterns to embrace the luau theme fully. 

Maxi dresses are versatile enough to be dressed with accessories or kept simple for a laid-back vibe.

Read More: Choosing the Right Shoe Color for a Plum Dress

Mens Choices For Hawaiian Luau

When it comes to dressing for a Hawaiian luau, men have an array of stylish and comfortable options. Let’s dive deep into them.

Hawaiian Print Shorts

Hawaiian print shorts are an excellent choice for a casual and comfortable look. These shorts feature the same lively patterns found on Aloha shirts and come in various lengths and styles. Whether you prefer board, cargo, or chino shorts, you can find a pair with a Hawaiian twist.

Pair them with a solid-colored T-shirt or a linen button-up shirt for a laid-back yet stylish ensemble perfect for the luau.

Read More: What To Wear With Hey Dude Shoes: The Definitive Style Guide

Swim Trunks

If the luau includes swimming or water activities, swim trunks are a practical and fashionable choice. Look for swim trunks in bold Hawaiian prints or solid tropical colors to stay in theme. Many swim trunks also come with quick-dry fabric, ideal for transitioning from the pool to the party.

Don’t forget to pair your swim trunks with a lightweight shirt or tank top and some flip-flops for a complete beach-ready look. You can even wear an Aloha shirt over your swim trunks for a stylish cover-up.

Lauhala Hat

The Lauhala hat, woven from the leaves of the hala tree, is a traditional Hawaiian accessory that adds an authentic touch to your luau outfit.

These hats have a unique texture and natural appearance, making them a great conversation starter. Lauhala hats provide shade from the sun while allowing air to circulate, keeping you cool and comfortable.

It’s a subtle nod to Hawaiian culture that shows your appreciation for the islands’ traditions.


When it comes to a Hawaiian luau, you can never go wrong with traditional shorts. To beat the tropical heat, go for lightweight and breathable fabrics like cotton or linen. Khaki shorts are incredibly versatile and can be dressed in a neat white shirt or a casual tee.

For that timeless yet trendy look, opt for solid-colored shorts or ones with understated tropical patterns. If you’re feeling laid back, roll up the cuffs for a relaxed vibe for dancing the hula.


If you’re looking for a more polished appearance, opting for trousers is a fantastic idea. Choosing lightweight cotton or linen trousers in soft, neutral colors can help you achieve an elegant and effortless outfit. 

Trousers offer comfort and style, making them perfect for upscale luau events or venues requiring slightly more formal attire. You’ll definitely make an impression while still embracing the laid-back Hawaiian vibe.

Some Common Choices For Hawaiian Luau

In addition to the clothing options discussed earlier, there are some standard accessories that both men and women can choose to complete their Hawaiian luau looks. Let’s take a closer look at two of these essential accessories.


The Hawaiian sun can be quite intense, and protecting your eyes from harmful UV rays is crucial. Plus, sunglasses add a touch of coolness to your ensemble.

Opt for sunglasses with UV protection to shield your eyes from the sun’s glare. You’ll find various styles, whether you prefer classic aviators, wayfarers, or trendy round frames.


When it comes to footwear at a Hawaiian luau, many attendees prefer to wear flip-flops. They are incredibly comfortable and have a laid-back vibe, making them the perfect choice for beachside luaus or events on sandy shores.

To add a touch of fun to your outfit, go for flip-flops with tropical motifs or vibrant colors. However, keep in mind that not all luaus may allow flip-flops, so it’s always a good idea to check the dress code beforehand. In case flip flops are not permitted, you can consider opting for comfortable sandals or espadrilles that match the relaxed atmosphere of the luau.

Dos and Don’ts

Luau Attire DosLuau Attire Don’ts
Embrace bold, floral prints.Avoid dark, formal clothing.
Wear comfortable, breathable fabrics.Don’t overdo the accessories.
Accessorize with leis and shell jewelry.Don’t wear high heels or formal shoes.
Have a sun hat for sun protection.Avoid overly revealing outfits.


Does Luau Have a Dress Code?

Although luaus usually don’t have strict dress codes, it’s important to keep in mind the profound cultural importance of these gatherings in Hawaiian history. Your outfit should show respect for this tradition, so it’s not recommended to come in overly casual or inappropriate attire, like offensive or revealing t-shirts.

Can I Wear Jeans to A Luau?

Yes, there is no problem with wearing jeans in Hawaiian Luau.

Is A Luau Formal?

Well, it’s not exactly like that. A luau is more of a casual and laid back outdoor celebration where you can savor delicious food and be entertained by graceful dancers and stunning fire shows.

It’s a relaxed get-together where you can truly experience Hawaii’s warm hospitality and rich culture without any need for fancy clothes or strict etiquette.

Clothing Colors

ColorMeaning and Significance
Bright ColorsRepresent happiness and celebration.
GreenSymbolizes the lush Hawaiian landscape.
BlueRepresents the ocean and sky.
Red and YellowSignify warmth and positivity.

Final Thoughts

As you get ready for your upcoming Hawaiian luau experience, keep in mind the wide range of vibrant and colorful options at your disposal. Don’t overlook the importance of adding accessories such as maxi dresses, rattan bags, and Lauhala hats to complete your ensemble.

Above all else, make sure to fully embrace the festivities, immerse yourself in the warm and inviting Hawaiian culture and dance the night away with the spirit of Aloha.

Read More: Bonfire Outfit Ideas: What to Wear for a Cozy Evening

Discover the Art of Elegance.