Hawaiian Shirt Day – August 18: History, Activities & Quotes

Hawaiian Shirt Day is just around the corner, and it’s time to embrace the laid-back tropical spirit! This fun and vibrant day, observed on August 18th, celebrates the iconic Hawaiian shirt and the relaxed lifestyle it represents. Whether you’re planning a beach-themed office day or simply looking to infuse your wardrobe with a burst of color and pattern, Hawaiian Shirt Day is the perfect occasion to do so. Let’s dive into the history, activities, and reasons why we adore this unique holiday.

History of Hawaiian Shirt Day

The precise origins of the Hawaiian shirt are unknown, but it is believed to have originated in Hawaii in the 1920s or 1930s. Some say the first was made by a Japanese tailor in Hawaii from kimono cloth, while others believe it derives from the so-called “tails-out” shirts native to the Philippines.

The Hawaiian shirt quickly became popular among tourists and residents alike, and by the mid-1930s, it was being mass-produced in the mainland United States. The popularity of the Hawaiian shirt was further boosted by World War II when American service members stationed in Hawaii brought the shirts back with them to the mainland.

In 1946, the Honolulu Chamber of Commerce funded a study of aloha shirts and designs for comfortable business clothing worn during the hot Hawaiian summers. The City and County of Honolulu passed a resolution allowing their employees to wear sports shirts from June–October. This was the beginning of the now-famous “Aloha Friday” tradition, in which many businesses in Hawaii allow their employees to wear casual attire on Fridays.

In 1962, a professional manufacturing association known as the Hawaiian Fashion Guild began to promote aloha shirts and clothing for use in the workplace, particularly as business attire. In a campaign called “Operation Liberation”, the Guild distributed two aloha shirts to every member of the Hawaii House of Representatives and the Hawaii Senate. Subsequently, a resolution passed in the Senate recommending aloha attire be worn throughout the summer, beginning on Lei Day.

Today, the Hawaiian shirt is a popular garment worn all over the world. It is a symbol of the laid-back lifestyle and tropical climate of Hawaii, and it is often worn to celebrate the state’s culture and heritage.

National Hawaiian Shirt Day is celebrated on August 18, which is the day Hawaii became the 50th state of the United States in 1959. On this day, people all over the world are encouraged to wear Hawaiian shirts to show their support for the state and its culture.

Hawaiian Shirt Day Activities

Tropical Attire:

On Hawaiian Shirt Day, dressing up isn’t just allowed; it’s encouraged! Sport your favorite Hawaiian shirt and pair it with comfy shorts or skirts for the ultimate island-inspired look.

Office Celebrations:

Many workplaces join in the fun by organizing Hawaiian-themed office days. From decorating workspaces with faux palm trees to organizing a mini luau during lunch breaks, there’s no shortage of creative ways to celebrate.

Virtual Aloha:

In the digital age, even virtual celebrations are possible. Participate in video conferences with your vibrant Hawaiian shirt on full display, spreading smiles and positive vibes.

Family Luau:

Extend the festivities to your family by hosting a backyard luau. Set up tiki torches, prepare tropical snacks, and groove to some Hawaiian music for an unforgettable day.

Supporting Local Brands:

Hawaiian Shirt Day is also an opportunity to support local Hawaiian businesses that create these iconic shirts. Showcasing the spirit of Aloha extends beyond fashion—it’s also about supporting communities.

Why We Love Hawaiian Shirt Day

Hawaiian Shirt Day isn’t just about wearing an eye-catching shirt; it’s a chance to embody the Hawaiian way of life, which emphasizes relaxation and appreciation for nature’s beauty. The vibrant patterns on the shirts mirror the diverse and lively culture of the Hawaiian islands. Moreover, these shirts evoke a sense of unity and fun, as people from different backgrounds come together to celebrate this quirky holiday.

Hawaiian Shirt Day Quotes, Wishes & Messages

“Life’s a beach, so rock that Hawaiian shirt!”

Wishing you a day as colorful and vibrant as your Hawaiian shirt!

Embrace the Aloha spirit and let your Hawaiian shirt do the talking.

May your Hawaiian Shirt Day be filled with sunshine, smiles, and swaying palm trees.

Put on a Hawaiian shirt and let your worries wash away with the ocean waves.


Inspired by Aloha:

Hawaiian shirts, often referred to as Aloha shirts are inspired by the spirit of Aloha, which stands for love, peace, and compassion.

Historical Roots:

The first commercial Aloha shirts were sold in the early 1930s, showcasing scenes of Waikiki, palm trees, and other Hawaiian motifs.

Global Phenomenon:

Hawaiian shirts gained international attention when celebrities and even presidents were spotted wearing them in various casual settings.

Variety of Prints:

From hibiscus flowers to surfboards and even pineapples, the prints on Hawaiian shirts are as diverse as the islands themselves.

Symbol of Leisure:

Beyond their eye-catching designs, Hawaiian shirts are a symbol of leisure, encouraging wearers to embrace relaxation and enjoyment.

Hawaiian Shirt Day Dates

2022August 19Friday
2023August 18Friday
2024August 16Friday
2025August 15Friday
2026August 21Friday


Q1: Is Hawaiian Shirt Day only celebrated in Hawaii?

No, Hawaiian Shirt Day is celebrated worldwide as a fun way to embrace the island spirit.

Q2: Can I wear a Hawaiian shirt to work on this day?

Absolutely! Many workplaces encourage employees to wear Hawaiian shirts on this day.

Q3: Are Hawaiian shirts only for men?

Not at all! Hawaiian shirts are designed for people of all genders and ages.

Q4: Can I celebrate Hawaiian Shirt Day virtually?

Of course! You can participate in virtual celebrations by wearing your favorite Hawaiian shirt during video calls.

Q5: Are there any traditional Hawaiian patterns on the shirts?

Yes, many Hawaiian shirts feature traditional patterns such as hibiscus flowers, palm leaves, and ocean waves.


Hawaiian Shirt Day is more than just an opportunity to flaunt a vibrant fashion statement; it’s a celebration of the carefree spirit and captivating culture of the Hawaiian islands. The lively patterns, comfortable fabrics, and sense of unity associated with these shirts make this day a highlight on many calendars. So, grab your favorite Hawaiian shirt, embrace the Aloha spirit, and join the global festivities on August 18th!

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