Admittedly, even as a stylist I really do find menswear a different species requiring an alternative approach. Traditionally, men are known to make clothing choices based on function and longevity working within much tighter constraints than womenswear. Menswear is steeped in tradition with very little changing in the way of general looks—suits, shirts, tees, pants all look very similar to those of decades past. Innovation tends to happen at a snail’s pace with men sticking to what they know and feel comfortable in. This is especially true in Hawai‘i where T-shirts and board shorts rule.
But further afield changes are afoot. Menswear is making waves, and as guys find enjoyment perusing the mall, sales are gathering in strength.
Waves might be rolling in, but in my opinion, they currently pretty out there. Ripping a page from the ’90s rulebook was a resurgence of big, oversized jackets, huge T-shirts and baggy trousers like those seen at Louis Vuitton. The workingman at Thom Browne will be sporting skirts with their pinstripe jackets. Another ’90s throwback: short shorts seen on models at Dior Homme and Prada, looked rather whimsical. My husband would run a mile before I could get him in any of these ensembles.
So how can a local fellow find his moment to shine? Delve between the fashion designers severely styled shows to find the sweet spot. Small tweaks can make a big impact. Those skinny jeans that have been de rigueur for so many seasons could be swapped out for some super-wide chinos like those seen at the Todd Snyder show. In the heat, this really could be one breathable trend to embrace. Several designers including Prada did great bowling shirts—something I could definitely see any man here wearing. And I might just be able to pry my husband’s cap off his head and replace it with a bucket hat like those seen at Lanvin. Options are out there.
However, the backbone of menswear in Hawai‘i is surely the Aloha Shirt. This integral piece of Hawai‘i culture certainly added some pattern to the catwalks of Balenciaga and Louis Vuitton. Here in the Islands, we are lucky to have some of the very best Tori Richards, Reyn Spooner, Sig Zane, Roberta Oaks, Manaola, Ari South to name a few. Joe from Salvage Public puts the Hawaiian shirts continuing acceptance in high fashion circles down to the importance of the Resort Collections, which bring in some hefty revenue for designers. From Elvis to Al Pacino in Scarface, the list of characters wearing this iconic piece of menswear is as long and as rich as the history of the Hawaiian shirt itself. Let’s get out there and show the world how it’s done.