Trend Alert: Hawaiian Prints

Prints and patterns are an excellent way to generate visual interest, and certainly Hawaiian prints have been a go-to staple for a lightened-up look. The trend initially became popular in the 1950s and '60s, as soldiers from World War II returned home adorned in "Aloha" shirts, and since then it ricocheted from cool to passé to trendy again. While camp shirts remain the most common locale for this island design, Hawaiian prints have expanded into all sorts of other items. Here are a few of them.

Robes and Kimonos: Nothing says "I'm ready to kick back" more than a robe or a kimono. The tropical print bathrobe (8100-bamboo bl) from Island Traditions (asi/62927) truly exemplifies this pattern and mindset, without looking tacky. "Our robes are primarily aimed at spas, resorts and hotels in the West Coast, southern states, and tropical locations," says Robert Jackson II, president of Island Traditions. "However, we've found interest in other locations, including New York, Chicago, and even in Europe!"

Tote Bags: Purses and bags – most often tote bags – are perfect beach-ready options for an array of Hawaiian designs and prints. Because of their large surface area, they are ideal for logos and even embroidered emblems. "A larger logo with fill could be a great option for decorating on fabrics with textures and patterns," says Nadia Santoli, communications manager at alphabroder (asi/34063). "This draws attention to the logo, as it creates a break from the consistency of the fabric background."

Hats: In a combination of two throwback trends, Hawaiian prints and bucket hats have teamed up to create the essential headwear for the beach or outdoors. Printed caps and hats give a funky look for anyone wanting to make a bold-yet-casual statement. Items like the printed bucket hat (38187) from Caplee Corp (asi/43798) allow for a unique style that is also subtle enough to pair with a variety of other attire.

Pants: In recent years, printed pants have become an increasingly popular choice. Hawaiian printed pants are a fun twist on this trend, and work fantastically as a statement piece. "I particularly see these patterns as an alternative way to offer differentiation from a style with a solid or color block design," says Santoli. Pants (CP-332) from Apparelstar Inc. (asi/36539) are a great choice for ladies wanting to stand out in Hawaiian prints, and the trend is also suitable for men.

According to Jackson, currently this "resort wear" look is not just for resorts anymore. "Companies now desire a casual and relaxed but smart-looking attire for their corporate apparel, uniforms and special events," he says. Hawaiian prints are an excellent way to fuse the business and the casual of the workplace, and give employees laid-back dress fitting for warm weather.