Hawaiian Shirt Combinations: Pairings for Every Occasion

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Triston Brewer

What To Wear With A Hawaiian Shirt featured image by the supermelon

Are you eager to sport your fabulous new Aloha shirt but find yourself uncertain about how to complement it? Well, you are not alone as the style has become a hot trend again for men and women.

Hawaiian shirts are often viewed as a tough sell for many people due to their bold and vibrant designs, making it challenging to select suitable bottoms to match them with.

However, it can be done and done well, and that’s where we come in to assist you in creating a look the is winning from head to toe in the style.


Pair your Hawaiian shirt with neutral-colored shorts or chinos for a balanced look.

Complement it with casual sandals or sneakers, and consider leaving it untucked for a relaxed, beachy vibe.

Understanding the Appeal of Hawaiian Shirts

Hawaiian shirts hold a prominent place in the realm of casual fashion, and have been worn by people from all walks of life and seen in the mainstream from television to the big screen, fashion magazines, and more.

While some may argue that these shirts have become clichéd and passé, perceiving them as lacking novelty in contemporary times, the truth remains that Hawaiian shirts represent a lively and carefree style that is ideal for the summer season.

These iconic garments have a rich history, originating in the 1930s when surfers and vacationers first introduced them to the mainland from Hawaii.

Hawaiian shirts are available in an array of styles, prints, and patterns, yet they all share a common design featuring a button-up front, collars, and front pockets.

The fundamental guideline for pairing your Hawaiian shirt revolves around choosing items that exude a light and breezy feel.

It’s advisable to avoid excessively bulky or weighty clothing, as such choices can diminish the shirt’s overall appeal and create a visually constricting effect.

1. Classic Beach LookPair your Hawaiian shirt with khaki shorts and flip-flops for a relaxed beach-ready outfit.
2. Casual Day OutWear it with denim jeans and canvas sneakers for a laid-back daytime look.
3. Pool Party VibesCombine the shirt with swim trunks and a straw hat for a tropical pool party style.
4. Resort-Ready AttireMatch it with white linen pants and leather sandals for a resort-inspired ensemble.
5. Night Out VariationDress up your Hawaiian shirt with dark chinos and loafers for a stylish evening outfit.
Table: Hawaiian Shirt Outfit Ideas for Men

1. Boho Chic LookCombine your Hawaiian shirt with high-waisted shorts and gladiator sandals for a bohemian style.
2. Tropical Maxi DressUse it as a beach cover-up over a vibrant maxi dress and flip-flops.
3. Casual Weekend VibeTuck it into denim shorts and add sneakers or espadrilles for a relaxed weekend outfit.
4. Beach Party EnsembleWear it over a bikini top and pair with denim mini shorts for a beach party-ready look.
5. Date Night AttireDress it up with a skirt and wedges for a trendy and chic date night outfit.
Table: Hawaiian Shirt Pairing for Women

The Hawaiian Shirt Revival

Fashion trends are ever-evolving, and it appears that Hawaiian shirts are making a significant comeback.

This resurgence aligns closely with the revival of camp collar shirts.

Many brands have recently embraced this trend, so you can expect to encounter this style in high-end labels like Gucci and Louis Vuitton and more accessible options such as Carhartt WIP, Stussy, Levi’s, and many others.

The enduring popularity of this colorful style shows no signs of waning!

Bolder Prints and Graphics

Here’s your summer motto: Embrace the bolder, more extravagant prints for an unforgettable style. This season’s standout piece should be anything but understated, so it’s time to fully embrace the extravagance. With Hawaiian shirts, the mantra truly is ‘go big or go home!’ The options are virtually limitless!

You can begin with the classics, such as floral patterns, palm leaves, or iconic island and surfer motifs.

Yet, even within these traditional boundaries, brands are pushing the envelope by experimenting with neon hues, layering vibrant yellows, oranges, and pinks, and even diving into psychedelic blends of colors and patterns.

What Pants to Wear with Hawaiian Shirt

An excellent approach to styling your Hawaiian shirt is by teaming it up with stylish bottoms like chinos or jeans. Chinos, in particular, shine when they exhibit a slight fading and maintain a slim fit through the leg, ensuring that they don’t dominate your overall ensemble.

In the case of khaki or white jeans, it’s important to avoid overly baggy or loose-fitting options, as they can detract from your look.

Khaki Shorts

Everyone knows this classic pairing and the most effortless pairing for your Hawaiian shirt is a pair of khaki shorts. If your Hawaiian shirt comes in any color other than cream or khaki, khaki shorts should generally complement it nicely.

For casual events or when your shirt features a distinctive bottom design, we typically advise leaving the shirt untucked.

The only instances where we suggest tucking in the shirt are when it’s excessively long or when you plan to wear it for a more formal occasion, such as at the office or a wedding. In such situations, shorts are likely not the ideal choice of attire.

Black Shorts

If your shirt happens to be black or has a white-ish tone, it will pair nicely with black shorts. Black is a versatile color that works well with any color, so when combined with black shorts, the overall appearance tends to lean towards a more formal look compared to the same shirt paired with khaki shorts.

White Shorts

If your Hawaiian shirt prominently features bright white elements, consider teaming it up with white shorts. However, if the white portions of the shirt lean more towards cream or khaki, it’s likely a better match with khaki shorts.

For instance, a blue shirt with crisp white accents pairs harmoniously with white shorts. On the other hand, a red shirt with beige details would likely complement khaki shorts more effectively. Use your best judgment to maximize your look!

Blue Jeans

Hawaiian shirts can easily be paired with blue jeans, and as a general guideline, aim to avoid having the overall color of your shirt closely match the color of your jeans. If your shirt primarily features colors like black, red, green, white, khaki, yellow, or essentially any color, it should complement jeans quite effectively.

While this combination may not be as casual as shorts, it still presents a relaxed and comfortable look that works exceptionally well. Typically, Hawaiian shirts are untucked, unless the shirt is particularly long or worn to a work function or a similar setting.

However, this choice often depends on personal style preferences, which can apply to shirts and pants in general.

Khaki Slacks

Another great option is to pair your shirt with khaki slacks. Once again, if your shirt features a distinct bottom design, it’s generally advisable to leave it untucked for a more balanced look. Khaki slacks can be a bit tricky when paired with black shirts.

Typically, the conventional choice is to wear brown shoes with khaki slacks. However, brown shoes may not always harmonize well with a black shirt, and some individuals might find it more appealing to opt for jeans when wearing a black Hawaiian shirt.

This allows them to complement the overall look with black or dark shoes that coordinate better. Hawaiian shirts featuring earthy tones tend to blend seamlessly with khaki slacks.

Black Jeans or Slacks

This combination is quite common to see in the island state of Hawaii, especially among office workers who choose Aloha shirts as their everyday work attire.

Instead of the typical solid-colored long-sleeve shirts paired with slacks, office workers in Hawaii often opt for tucked-in Aloha shirts with black slacks and shoes.

The shirts selected for this setting tend to feature more subdued and conservative designs, steering away from the bold and colorful patterns often associated with casual Hawaiian shirts.

This approach helps maintain a professional and appropriate appearance for a conservative work environment. You too can re-create the look, no matter where in the world you may live!

Rules to Remember

Avoid the Clash!

This rule is quite straightforward to follow. As a general guideline, when you opt for a Hawaiian shirt with a vibrant and busy pattern (which is typically the case), it’s best to complement it with solid-colored pants or shorts.

When both your shirt and bottoms feature intricate patterns, it can give off a pajama-like appearance. If that’s the aesthetic you’re aiming for, feel free to embrace it!

However, if you prefer a more polished look, it’s advisable to steer clear of this pattern clash.

Rule #2: Break the Rules!

While the rules of thumb above apply to most situations, ultimately style is about creating your own look. You don’t have to follow any fashion rules if you don’t want to. Wear any combination that makes you happy.

Hawaiian are inherently unconventional, and that means you can take liberties with this look. They can be loud, bold, clashy and anything but subtle.

They are about standing out, not blending in. So create the look you want if it works for you and you’re having fun, that’s all that matters. Aloha!

How Your Hawaiian Shirt Should Fit

Once you’ve embraced a variety of vibrant prints – and let’s be honest, it’s hard to resist having just one – consider how you’ll style the Hawaiian shirt.

In its contemporary revival, the Hawaiian shirt offers a more polished and refined silhouette.

Consequently, it’s advisable to steer clear of the typical tourist cliché: the baggy, loosely draped fit paired with knee-length shorts and Velcro-strap sandals.

Unless you’re intentionally going for a purely retro aesthetic, it’s best to leave behind the pop culture influences of the past and embrace a more contemporary approach to wearing these shirts.

Mind the Material

Next, take the fabric into account. Older Hawaiian shirts were often made from lightweight rayon or polyester.

While they provided a comfortable feel, it’s important to note that these materials can trap sweat, and on a hot day, those unsightly sweat stains become apparent rather quickly.

Dos and Don’ts When Styling a Hawaiian Shirt

Do balance the boldness of the shirt with neutral bottoms.Don’t wear clashing prints or patterns with the shirt.
Do choose a shirt that fits well and flatters your body.Don’t button the shirt all the way up; keep it relaxed.
Do accessorize with sunglasses, a beach hat, or a watch.Don’t overdo the accessories; keep it tasteful.
Do experiment with different shirt colors and designs.Don’t wear a wrinkled or ill-maintained Hawaiian shirt.

Celebrate the Island Look, Anywhere!

Hawaiian shirts offer a vibrant and versatile addition to your wardrobe, perfect for embracing a laid-back and tropical vibe. When choosing your attire to complement these stylish shirts, remember to balance busy patterns with solid bottoms, and explore a range of options from khaki shorts and jeans to khaki slacks for more formal settings.

Pay attention to color coordination, considering earth tones with khaki and being mindful of color clashes.

Additionally, opt for modern fits that enhance your silhouette rather than the baggy tourist look of the past. Keep in mind that Hawaiian shirts today are a bit different from previous ones and you can factor that into today’s aesthetic.

Lastly, consider breathable and moisture-wicking fabrics to stay comfortable in warm weather. With these guidelines in mind, you’ll be ready to rock your Hawaiian shirt with confidence, whether you’re hitting the beach, the office, or a casual evening out.

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