Standing out in a slick outfit can be a wonderful thing. However, on Maui we have a very laid-back lifestyle. Even outfits for a nice dinner out are understated. If you would like to blend in with the vibe of the island, we’ve got some light-hearted fashion dos and don’ts, and a few other tips, just for the guys.
Don’t wear loud Hawaiian shirts. Just because you saw them on Hawaii Five O (or Magnum PI in the previous generation), those “aloha shirt” fashions pretty much only work on TV. Fabric matters too…polyester fabrics with a sheen are definately out.
You can, however pickup a loud Hawaii Five O shirt and shorts to wear with your new tan when when you get back home, and throw your own luau party.
Going out to dinner? Do spend a little money for a nice, quality, aloha shirt with muted colors. It is the perfect thing to wear for an evening out, paired with slacks (for fine dining) or nice plain colored shorts and loafers with no socks. Save the rubber slippers for daytime footwear.
A collared aloha shirt adds just enough style for a nice dinner. If sized appropriately, wearing an aloha shirt untucked is perfectly acceptable. Matched with casual shorts (not swim trunks) with a little elastic at the waist and slip on beach loafers, this is probably the most comfortable guys outfit ever for fine dining.
Now that is styling!
Avoid touristy garb. A big no-no is wearing Aloha outfits that match your spouse, partner, or children. Of course, if you want to get a modeling job for Aloha wear or want to be hired as an extra in a movie shot in Hawaii, certainly wear matching clothes.
Most bargain shirts marketed to visitors like to broadcast the word Maui or Hawaii in big letters. Ugh. A better way to show your love for the island is to look for t-shirts with a bit more authentic appearance, such as incorporating an ancient Hawaiian tribal print.
And remember, literally nobody on Maui wants to see you in a Speedo, so wear shorts that are at least mid-thigh length, or better yet, board shorts that reach above your knees. You wouldn’t want to cause a mass beach evacuation because your show off a bit much.
Don’t wear socks with your slippers. In Hawaii, our “slippers” are any kind of sandal, but usually refer to the kind made out of foam rubber or plastic, with a strap that connects to the base next to your big toe. Only ancient kapuna are allowed to wear socks and slippers, with the sock material squished up in their toe gap. Socks should only be worn with dress or athletic shoes, and please, match white ankle socks with white shoes and black socks with black shoes. No knee highs. Slippers are a must and are easily found just about anywhere on Maui. However, check out the drug stores like Longs for a nice selection.
Here are a couple of other things to keep in mind when visiting Maui:
Red is NOT the new white. Skin reddened by too much sun is a sure sign you are a tourist. But worse than that is the sunburn could ruin your vacation and suffer skin damage. Find a canopy or tent to escape the hot, burning sun. And remember, only 100% reef safe mineral sunscreen is allowed on Maui by law.
Rent a car- just not a convertible. Convertibles are a sure indicator you are not local, because we’d rather enjoy the outdoors outside of the car. Plus, it’s nice to keep your noggin from getting sunburned while driving, and not have to deal with wind and occasional rain. But do consider renting a regular car and driving on the road to Hana, a scenic route around Maui. Be sure to tune your car radio to local stations, or download the Shaka Guide.
Find your aloha. Be chill and enjoy the beauty of Hawaii. There’s no need to speed through the sights. Smile and be friendly, and you will receive the same in kind. The locals refer to the contingent US as the mainland, not the states. Learn the words Aloha (hello, goodbye, love) and Mahalo (thank you). Practice how to share the Shaka sign- hold up your hand, pinkie and thumb out, three middle fingers folded into palm facing inward toward your body, rotate your hand at the wrist right to left and repeat. It’s a positive form of communicating a greeting when you can’t communicate verbally.
Relax and enjoy the experience, you’re on Maui time now!