Connection Between Kimonos and Aloha Shirts

We sorted through hundreds of photos prior to writing Kula San Maui’s Healing Place.  Many of the photos were of the staff and patients from the 1920-1940s.  The women patients were dressed in kimonos rather than the expected hospital garb—an interesting reminder of  days long gone.  According to an article found on the internet titled: History of the Hawaiian Shirt, often Japanese men and boys on the islands wore a similar style shirt made from leftover kimono cloth— the kimono-cloth shirt. These early precursors to the modern Hawaiian aloha shirt were every day staples in the wardrobes of plantation workers. Kimonos were worn in everyday life up until the bombing of Pearl Harbor. The kimono-cloth shirt however, evolved into a popular everyday and evening “must have” men’s wear.



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