Casual Friday: How The Aloha Shirt Changed How We Dress

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Have you heard of the term "Casual Friday?"

Did you wonder where the term Casual Friday came from?

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Casual Friday is a day when the standard dress codes of a lot of workplaces are cast aside in favor of denim jeans, comfortable shirts with flowers on them as well as t-shirts with tropical decor. What you probably didn't know is that this time-honored custom of " the man" forcing you to wear a noose around your neck four days a week has its beginnings in a Hawaiian garment firm where they were merely searching for a method to sell more of their shirts.

In 1962, the Hawaiian Fashion Guild began pushing making the legendary Aloha shirt (much better known in the Mainland States as well as abroad as a Hawaiian t-shirt) an appropriate piece of business clothing. The Hawaiian Fashion Guild's main disagreement was that the very hot, warm environment of Hawaii made standard business attire awkward for many workers, likewise adding that encouraging the wearing of Aloha shirts would certainly support the Hawaiian garment industry.

The Hawaiian Style Guild were inspired, partly, by a similar campaign in Honolulu in 1946 which ultimately caused the creation of Aloha Week- a week long celebration of Hawaiian culture that included the wearing of Aloha shirts. This event not only helped build a feeling of national identity for post-war Hawaiians, but additionally assisted in starting the blossoming Hawaiian garment industry that were swiftly swamped with many countless orders for these Aloha shirts. (In the 1990s, as a result of extreme passion in the event, it was broadened to encompass an entire month of parties and was re-branded simply as the Aloha Festival.).

Back in the 1960s, as part of what they called "Operation Freedom", the Hawaiian Fashion Guild sent Aloha shirts to every member of the Hawaiian Senate and also Legislature, and lobbied for them to motivate Hawaiians to wear the Hawaiian shirts. After months of this, the Hawaiian government provided an ordinance advising that "the male populace go back to 'aloha clothing' during the summer months for comfort and on behalf of the 50th state's garment industry.".

However this wasn't sufficient for the Hawaiian Fashion Guild, so they started a brand-new project targeting the workplace. In 1965, they again began lobbying the federal government to allow its employees to wear Aloha shirts each week on Fridays. Within a year, individuals working at companies across the state were donning their preferred Aloha shirts going to work every Friday - thus "Aloha Friday" was born.

After the intro of Aloha Friday in 1966, the manufacturers of Aloha shirts promptly started producing designs with more muted colors that were less distracting and also better for a day at the office. This, consequently, saw Aloha shirts being more and more approved as a regular daily shirt. By the early 1970s, many businesses in the region permitted their employees to wear Aloha shirts whenever they wanted to, not just on Fridays. As a result, Aloha Friday came to be the day on which some workers would choose to use more brilliant shirts sporting brighter colors and fancier styles than normally put on the remainder of the week.

So the next time you wear a Hawaiian shirt to work on Friday, you'll know where the custom came from.

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