Reverse print Hawaiian shirt

It was my birthday at the weekend, and Lady Koo gave me an amazing shirt that she’d bought in an UFF store in Helsinki.

It’s a reverse print pullover Hawaiian, made by Surfline for Liberty House in Hawaii, and is therefore my first authentic shirt of that kind. It combines three of my favourite features – it’s loud, it’s a pullover (it has three buttons from neck to chest level – like a polo or rugby shirt), and it has a reverse print.

The latter is a feature I have only ever seen used on denim garments or Hawaiian shirts.  The idea with a Hawaiian is that because the fabric is inside-out, with the printed side on the inner, it looks faded (as if you’ve had it ages and been out surfing and sunbaking in it). It adds a layer of authenticity by faking it in other words.

I also love the embroidered, sewn-in label, and the wooden buttons, though I presume these buttons aren’t the orginials; those were normally made of coconut shell.

For the finest record of the Hawaiian, take a look at Hope & Tozian’s The Aloha Shirt (Thames & Hudson). It’s a stunning book, and one from which I’ve drawn much inspiration over the years.

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~ by Lord Leigh Park on April 22, 2011.

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