Dear Eddy

Eddy. Honey.

Hey there. May I call you Eddy? I feel like I probably can — despite what all the haters say on the internet, I imagine you’re a pretty cool dude. Oh hey, congrats on the 4k iTunes content deal! Take that, haters! I always believed in you, ever since I saw a bunch of mean people in the Mac Rumors forums saying that you were useless. And not only because I have a weird thing about rooting for the underdog!

So anyway, what I wanted to talk to you about is the other perennial target of your anti-fans: your shirts. I get that you prefer to go about untucked; I feel you on that one. I never tuck my shirts in either. In fact, I’m a spoiled tech worker who will probably never make it to the C-level (or the VP level), so I mostly wear tee shirts. But I digress.

The problem isn’t so much that you don’t tuck your shirts in; it’s that the kinds of shirts you’re wearing aren’t meant to be worn untucked. But there’s a really good solution for that, and one I think you’re going to like a lot.

See, I grew up in Hawaii (well, partly: 7 years’ worth of growing up), and in Hawaii, work-wear is aloha shirts (or, as mainlanders call them, “Hawaiian shirts” — but this is incorrect, and I would urge you to use the correct terminology, which is “aloha shirt”). Sure they can be tucked in, but that’s basically Hawaiian formalwear. Untucked is totally cool and expected.

Not, however, just any aloha shirt will do. You don’t want to look like you work in a hotel. There’s nothing wrong with working in a hotel, of course; the main thing to avoid is looking like you’re wearing a shirt chosen by hotel management. People who work at hotels don’t wear their hotel uniform aloha shirts except at the hotel, capisce?

This white guy definitely looks like he works in a hotel: avoid this

I used to choose my dad’s aloha shirts at Christmastime, and I sort of miss doing that, so I’m going to pick some out for you, and clue you in to what to look for when buying your own aloha shirts going forward.

  1. Kahala Ehukai*
    Kahala is a really good brand, and as you can tell by the price, this is a premium aloha shirt. One thing to note about all real aloha shirts is that they appear to be inside out; the “wrong” side of the fabric is always outward on authentic aloha shirts. It’s a style thing, I don’t know. It does look really cool. You’ll also notice the fish motif: fish occur on many of the best aloha shirts. But basically the pattern of this one doesn’t resemble anything mass-produced for a chain hotel.
  2. Tori Richard Pike Place *
    I promise — well maybe I don’t promise that they won’t all have fish on them. They might! It’s just that many more botanical patterns tend toward hotel-uniform. I don’t make the rules! Tori Richard is another very respectable brand of aloha shirt, incidentally.
  3. Tori Richard Rain Dance*
    See? No fish. The geometric elements save this leaf print from being hotel-ish.
  4. Tori Richard Muir Woods*
    Okay yeah I really like Tori Richard. This particular shirt illustrates another key aspect of a quality aloha shirt: the pocket, when there is one, is perfectly matched with the pattern of the fabric so you almost can’t tell it’s there. This practice undoubtedly wastes fabric, but good aloha shirts aren’t about cutting corners.
  5. Reyn Spooner Kolonahe*
    I thought you might like the colors on this one. Aloha shirts can be super colorful! I have no idea, incidentally, what “Spooner Kloth” (which this shirt purports to be made of) is: presumably a cotton blend. Aloha shirts should definitely be all or mostly cotton. Do not, under any circumstance, buy a silk aloha shirt. Just don’t. Please.
  6. Kahala Opihi*
    This one reminds me of the coral-colored shirt you wore a few years ago, but in a good way. And opihi aren’t fish! Shellfish don’t count! I wouldn’t choose this one for my dad, Eddy, but I feel like it could work for you.
  7. Reyn Spooner Hala Kahiki Tapa*
    Here’s another colorful one for you. This one is meant to evoke tapa cloth (hence the name), which is an important cultural element in Hawaii and other pacific islands. So that’s cool.

These are just some examples, of course, and I’m limited by what I could find on Amazon. The best thing to do is, of course to go to Hawaii and go shopping. I’ll come with, if you like, and help you choose a new wardrobe of very good aloha shirts. I’m altruistic that way.

*Amazon affiliate link: I get a small commission if you buy a linked item or something else within a certain timeframe. Just, you know, FYI.