Some things never go out of style, like a Reyn Spooner Aloha shirt

When I first began visiting Hawaii in the 1970s, we went to the Kodak Hula Show in Honolulu, just off the beach in Waikiki. While the show was geared to introducing mainland tourists to aspects of Hawaiian culture – the hula dance, fire juggling, traditional songs – it made a lasting impression on me. And not just because I learned how to hula in front of hundreds of people. This was where I gained an appreciation for the art of the Hawaiian Aloha shirt. The colours and vibrant patterns were unlike anything I’d ever seen.

While the Kodak Hula Show is no more, the Aloha shirt lives on, as strong as ever. This is in large part due to the stylish prints, design quality, and great marketing by Hawaii-based clothing retailer Reyn Spooner.

Back in 1962, Reyn McCullough and Ruth Spooner joined forces, in a garment marriage made in heaven, to create a more refined version of the traditional Aloha shirt. The new company that resulted from this partnership – Reyn Spooner – focused on merging West Coast cool with East Coast prep at its flagship store in the Ala Moana Mall in Honolulu.

The Reyn Spooner Aloha shirt combined quality workmanship, a preppy tailored style, and heritage Hawaiian designs. The company even created a new material, Spooner Kloth™, which combined comfortable cotton with the wrinkle free properties of spun polyester. No ironing required. And the shirts could double as acceptable evening wear under a blazer on resorts in and around the islands.

“We’re proud and honored to play such an influential role in the longstanding popularity and fame of the Aloha shirt,” says Reyn Spooner CEO, Kirk Hubbard III.

Flash-forward to the 21st century, and Reyn Spooner has dipped into its past with the company’s latest innovation, the Modern Collection. This new apparel line combines traditional tailoring and a 1960’s preppy vibe with rich graphic archive prints. The collection is designed to appeal to a new generation of customers – think Gen Xers, millennials and their kids.

In recent years, Reyn Spooner has also collaborated with popular fashion brands such as Urban Outfitters, Stussy, Transpac and Opening Ceremony to create exclusive apparel.  The brand has been adopted as a surf staple in California, claimed as classic American sportswear in Japan, and worn by celebrities like George Clooney in the (excellent) movie “The Descendants”.

Father’s Day is around the corner. Wouldn’t your dad or husband rock a 50th State Flower button down? Answer = ‘Ae (Yes).

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Claudia Laroye is a travel writer and editor based in Vancouver, Canada. An avid and curious traveler, Claudia has written about family, adventure, and luxury experiences for local and national publications since 2010. Claudia is the Contributing Editor of Twist Travel Magazine, and has written for WestJet Magazine, Lonely Planet, Fodor’s, Travelzoo, Westworld, Family Fun Canada, Travel Mamas and Dreamscapes magazine. She is the founder of family travel site The Travelling Mom. You can find her on Instagram at @thetravellingmom.

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