What Are Some Examples of Traditional Hawaiian Clothing?

Some examples of traditional Hawaiian clothing include muumuus, palaka shirts, palaka shorts, lauhala hats and pa'u skirts. Aloha shirts are also commonly associated with Hawaiians, although they were first popularized by tourists during the 1930s.

The origin of the Hawaiian muumuu dates back to the 1800s when missionaries traveled to the islands and used the loose-fitting dresses to cover native women's bodies. Muumuus often feature floral designs and come in two main types. The holoku is a formal type of muumuu that hula dancers sometimes wear, while the holomu is a more fitted version of the muumuu that Hawaiian women may wear during the evening.

The palaka shirt, which features short sleeves and a woven plaid design, is worn by Hawaiian musicians and cowboys. Meanwhile, palaka shorts are associated with surfers who ride waves on the Hawaiian North Shore. "Palaka" is the Hawaiian term for "plaid" and the name of a fabric originating from England.

Hawaiian locals wear lauhala hats for a variety of purposes ranging from everyday wear to special events. Historically, leaves from the hala tree were used to make hats, baskets, mats and fans in Hawaii. It is common for a lauhala hat to feature a decorative feather lei made from the feathers of turkeys, chickens or peacocks.