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Though we’re still deep in the depths of winter, spring isn’t too far away. It’s pretty much right around the corner. Some of us, those who’ve fully embraced the lifestyle and truly appreciate the finer things this world has to offer, don’t let minor inconveniences like seasons, subzero temperatures, and frostbite get in the way of having a good time. We, the bold few, don’t let the ambient air temperature dictate our lives. We do not fall to our knees under the iron fist of Old Man Winter. We wear Hawaiian shirts regardless of how cold it is, though almost always under a beer jacket.
For most, however, spring is the beginning of Hawaiian season. While I disagree with their lack of commitment to the Hawaiian shirt movement, I acknowledge and appreciate that they will at least wear the clothing of the gods for roughly half the year. It’s better than nothing, after all. Still, there are some out there, possibly among you, who don’t know the pleasure of the Hawaiian shirt. They don’t know the bliss of smooth fabric with tropical prints on their backs. But they want to. They yearn to. They want nothing more than to join us. Like any brotherhood, there’s a lot of information to know before you can be initiated, so I’m going to break it down for anyone reading this who wants nothing more than to experience the joy of the Hawaiian shirt.
I’ve gone into detail on the background of the Hawaiian shirt and what it stands for in the past, so I’ll get straight down to the bread and butter here. The Hawaiian shirt is an expression of the man who wears it. There are many different shirts for many different men. Here are a few.
The Classic is, well, classic. It’s the standard. It’s conservative, it’s classy, and it’s always in style. It features your standard tropical patterns, it’s colorful, and it has bold designs. However, it’s not trying to turn any heads. That said, it’s a Hawaiian shirt. It’s going to turn some heads. This shirt has never gone out of style and it never will. Period.
The Tourist gets its name from the men who traditionally wear it. They may look out of place, but the men who wear this type of shirt are showing their blatant disregard for the opinions of others. The Tourist shares many of the features of the Classic, but it has one fundamental difference: It looks absolutely ridiculous. The colors are brighter, the patterns are what some might call “less tasteful,” and the designs are a little stereotypical. Still, a Hawaiian shirt is a Hawaiian shirt, and The Tourist is no exception.
The Theme Shirt is, if you haven’t figured it out by now, a Hawaiian shirt with a theme-based pattern. If you can think of a theme, there’s a Hawaiian shirt for it. Baseball? Yes. Christmas? Yes. NASCAR? I can’t guarantee it, but I’d be lying if I told you I’d be surprised. The Theme Shirt is good for many occasions, but it’s great for one: the theme party. That’s essentially what it was made for. Think about it. You get to participate in the theme of the party and you still get to wear a Hawaiian shirt, even if the party isn’t Hawaiian shirt-themed. It’s a win-win.
The Patriot could very easily be grouped into the same category as The Theme Shirt, but given what it stands for, it deserves to be in a category of its own. Some are adorned with American flags, some have fighter jets and helicopters. Regardless of their patterns and designs, all shirts within The Patriot category share one common denominator: They’re American as fuck. There’s really nothing else to say about them. That right there says everything you need to know.
The Jimmy Buffett
The Jimmy Buffett, or JB, is not so much a themed shirt as it is a broader category that many shirts of many themes fall under. The JB’s pattern, while still flora in nature, is also made up of alcoholic beverages. It doesn’t matter if they’re beer or liquor so long as they get you drunk. Within the category of The JB, there’s a small subcategory called The Double JB. What’s The Double JB? It’s a Hawaiian shirt with both alcoholic beverages and parrots. The Double JB is a staple of any real Hawaiian shirt enthusiast. Don’t have one? Get one.
The Batshit gets its name because it is batshit crazy. There’s no other way to phrase it. Some of them are custom made, some are picked up at thrift stores, but all are straight insane in nature. To be honest, I think they may all be designed by people tripping balls on acid. That’s the only logical explanation. No sober soul could ever come up with such a random yet beautiful design. I’m struggling to find the words to describe these glorious shirts. You just have to see them for yourself. Don’t worry, you’ll know you have a Batshit on your hands as soon as you see it.
You’ve got a lot to choose from, people. Choose wisely. The Hawaiian shirt movement is not a fool’s game. This is serious shit. I’m not saying it’s life or death, but it’s fucking serious, guys. These are Hawaiian shirts we’re talking about here. Treat them with respect. Treat them with dignity. Treat them with pride. Use your judgment to pick which one suits you best, wear it, and rock the living fuck out of it. No matter what shirt you choose to wear, know that as soon as you put it on, you will be transformed. You will become something greater than you have ever been before. You will be stronger, you will drink more, you will be a bigger hit with the ladies, and most of all, you won’t give a single shit what anyone else thinks about it. That’s the spirit of the Hawaiian shirt, gentlemen.
Take it easy.
Image via Shutterstock