The basic rule: pack light. Restaurants, for example, don’t require jackets. Nobody but lawyers in court has to wear a tie. In fact, most of the local men don’t even own ties. Ladies certainly won’t need furs, and you won’t even need cold-weather clothing unless you want to venture up the slopes of Haleakala on Maui or Mauna Kea on the big island. It does sometimes get chilly at night, so as sweater or two or a light windbreaker would be a good idea. The style in the islands ranges from casual to ‘nice’ casual.”

Once you arrive, you’ll probably decide to buy some local clothes so you can blend in with the locals and not flaunt the fact that you’re a tourist. Board shorts and a t-shirt, with a sun hat and trendy eyewear is the right combination for the beach. (You actually should wear a hat and sunglasses whenever you’re out in the sun.)Hawaiian print aloha shirts paired with shorts or slacks and sandals or slip-ons will be appropriate for exploring, shopping and sightseeing.

Be careful of the material you buy. Consider that you’d like your purchase to last a while, and you’ll want it to be appropriate to wear after you get back home. Buy silk or cotton shirts and dresses. Ladies of every age like simple shifts, or matching shorts and tops in Hawaiian prints. And watch those Hawaiian prints. You’ll see some inexpensive shirts and mumu with garish colors and prints. Stick to subtler patterns. The better shops, department stores and boutiques carry shirts with “reverse” patterns in which the bright, intense colors are stylishly muted and comprise the inside of the fabric. Island wear is available in virtually any price range, pattern and color. Select loose-fitting shirts. Rubber slippers and sandals are a must. Don’t wear socks with those, and leave your black, knee-high, black socks at home.


  1. […] wearing an aloha shirt. I asked how he happened to have local attire, had he visited Hawaii before? He confessed that everything in his suitcase was too hot. His first act upon arriving was to ask for directions to a thrift store where he bought […]

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