Polynesian Christmas: Aloha Wear


Aloha wear. I began my experience with aloha wear as conservatively as possible. I sought out sedate patterns and worried about being out of place when I wore my shirts or dresses.

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Once I didn’t have a choice, and the aloha wear was my uniform, I developed a better appreciation. I noticed what other people wore, and more importantly how they wore it. The first lesson I learned: make peace with bold patterns.

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An aloha shirt can replace a business shirt. Leaving it untucked is perfectly professional. My family is amassing quite the collection of aloha shirts.

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As for me, my work wardrobe while living in Hawaii comprised muumuus and puletasis. Have you worn a muumuu? Oh my heavens the comfort! Unsurpassed! For a more refined look I would don a puletasi. Think business suit, Polynesian-woman-style. My puletasis were my power suits. (I’d say are, as I still have some of them. But it’s been a great many pounds since they’ve fit so let’s keep them in the past tense.)

And of course even Santa dons his aloha wear when he visits the islands.

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This post is part of our month-long exploration into Polynesian Christmas traditions and inspirations. See the whole collection of activities and discoveries here.

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