Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Hawaiian Shirts and Bowling Shirts - dressed to swill

In the early 1990s when I was pretty poor, I got out to the occasional auction and yard sale here in the DC area. I remember going to an auction in Maryland, and while I didn't see much I liked, I bid on and won for a few bucks each some regular old luggage - a couple of garment bags among them.  When I got the garment bags home, I opened them and got a sweet surprise.

Four vintage silk hawaiian shirts and a silk robe from a Japanese hotel.  I still have two of the shirts and the robe.

I gave the other two hawaiin shirts to my dad and brother in law but never saw them wear them.  Makes me wish I had kept them, because I wear mine!  The robe has some seams that have separated and a stain on the inside lapel, but I haven't done anything to get it repaired.  I keep hoping I can find someone comfortable sewing silk, and I don't want to trust it to a dry cleaner.

As I've gotten more into vintage clothing I've picked up some new atomic style bowling shirts.  A couple of places I've found them are Daddy-Os, and 8-ball. The shirts have a great look that's Atomically Sophisticated (hmmmm, I like that phrase)  without being over the top.

When I was in Phoenix in early 2009 for business, I packed this blue and gray shirt and wore it when I went to check out the refurbished tiki bar at the Hotel Valley Ho, a classic mid century hotel on the edge of Phoenix and Scottsdale.

If I had worn my black shirt with three starburst logo to that bar instead, I would have looked like an employee, they all were wearing this shirt!  (Missed opportunity to pick up some tips, dang.)  The hotel and bar were OK, very high priced and frankly the bar did not have the tiki vibe I expected.

Speaking of tiki, here's my other favorite casual shirt with a tiki theme, including the metal tiki buttons!

I don't know about this one, what do you think, Atomically Sophisticated, or over the top?


  1. A.S. for sure... definitely not O.T.T.! I did a post on the Valley Ho awhile back. It looks great on their website. The bowling shirts remind me of my dad. (back in the day) I love that style. I think they are really classy looking shirts.

  2. Sometimes I wish I was a dude so I could rock the vintage Hawaiian shirts and fedoras. Alas, I'm stuck in my cardigans & dresses! The one with the tiki buttons is great, I'm throwing a Tiki-Fiesta party for my friends who just got engaged, I'll be sure to post pics for ya!

  3. Kewl Amber. You've got it better really. Think of all the accessories available to a tiki chicky - us guys have what, khaki shorts? You can wear a Hawaiian shirt. I'm not an ear ring guy, and I can't get away with bracelets, ankle chains, toe rings and nail polish. You'll have to post pics.