After my girlfriend and I started dating, she gave me 3 simple rules: no mullet, no mustache, and no Hawaiian shirts. The official rule is she will not be seen in public with me if I am in one of my ridiculous Hawaiian shirts. Why is our culture anti-comfort? I guess she will never understand what it’s like to be dressed in an obnoxiously floral patterned silk shirt with the top 3 buttons unbuttoned. I know most of you are thinking that she’s basically Satan, but she’s actually pretty great.
The mullet makes sense to me. As much as I wish I was living the life in 1986, it’s actually 2016. Sometimes I dream I am sitting in the infield at Talladega, with my mullet slicked back screaming, “RAISE HELL AND PRAISE DALE!” but then I wake up, get out of bed and drive one hour to sit at a desk for the next nine. I work in defense contracting with a bunch of retired military guys, and the mullet wouldn’t fly. Neither really would the mustache, so I’m not mad about that either. I have had mustache goals my entire life, but a mustache makes me look like the next Jared Fogle. There are a select few that can proudly rock a ‘stache (shout out to JohnnyD), and I salute you all.
However, I love Hawaiian shirts. There is just something beautiful, something intangible, about wearing a Hawaiian shirt. Maybe it’s the fact that I love making a fashion statement because you can find a Hawaiian shirt with every pattern imaginable. I have more neutral and relaxed shirts, but I also have flamboyant and extreme shirts. I also love the comfort of a Hawaiian shirt. I used to wear my old practice jerseys from college when I was lounging around, but the Hawaiian shirt has changed the pajama game forever. I’m not talking about cheap shirts either; I only buy the good stuff. 100% silk. The Hawaiian shirt is also able to be worn in almost any situation. All you have to do is button a certain amount of buttons for each situation. Headed to the beach? No buttons. Concert? Undo the top 3 buttons. Wedding? Start with the top button unbuttoned, then slowly graduate to completely unbuttoned. Work? That’s your call. I work with a guy who wears one to the office every day, and he usually leaves the top button unbuttoned. Funeral? Okay, you probably shouldn’t wear a Hawaiian shirt to a funeral.
It’s time for America to welcome the Hawaiian shirt in all social settings. When I think of Hawaiian shirts, I think of icons like Tom Selleck, Elvis, Robert DeNiro, and my main man Jimmy Buffet. These are real men that show the Hawaiian shirt is a modern fashion staple. People view the Hawaiian shirt as informal, but I view it as professional. They think the shirt is ridiculous, but I think it’s sexy. I just want to be able to go to the grocery store in my Hawaiian shirt and not be looked at like I’m a unicorn. This is 2016, and it’s time to be more tolerant of the Hawaiian shirt crowd.
There’s 3 feet of snow outside right now, so I am mailing it in and working from home. I’ll just wear my Hawaiian shirt and dream of better days. I hope that one day my children can grow up in a country where men can wear a Hawaiian shirt wherever they go.
Wake up America, it’s time to embrace the Hawaiian shirt..
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