How the Hawaiian Shirt Invented Casual Fridays

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Trivial Diversions

How the Hawaiian Shirt Invented Casual Fridays

How the Hawaiian Shirt Invented Casual Fridays

It’s hard to believe that this one brightly colored shirt is the reason most of us in the United States can wear jeans to work on Fridays, but it’s true! Here’s how it happened.

  • The Hawaiian shirt is actually called an “aloha” shirt
  • It was first created in the early 1930s by Chinese merchant, Ellery Chun, who was living in Hawaii at the time
  • The shirt made its way to California in the 40s after WWII ended by the service men and women who had been stationed in Hawaii
  • Elvis Presley was a big proponent of the aloha shirt; on the Blue Hawaii soundtrack he is wearing a custom made red aloha shirt
  • In 1947, Aloha week was created to celebrate the many facets of Hawaiian culture including food, music, and, of course, the shirt. City employees were allowed to wear the colorful top for business purposes that week.
  • In 1962, the Hawaiian Fashion Guild began encouraging aloha shirts as business attire. It wasn’t until 1966 that Aloha Friday was created and employees could wear them several Fridays out of the year. The idea traveled across the ocean and into California where it continued on into other states. In the 1990s “Aloha Friday” was changed to “Casual Friday” for non-Hawaiian residents.
  • In Hawaii today, aloha shirts are considered business attire and are often worn by employees in all types of jobs

blue hawaii

Related topics casual Friday, Elvis, Hawaii, Hawaiian shirt, Magnum P.I.
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