A question I’ve been asked before that led me to write this piece is, “Is is true that no one wears shoes in the grocery store?” The answer is yes, it is true. The next question is, “What do people wear in Hawaii?”. I speak from personal experience because I typically don’t wear shoes in the grocery store after I get back from the beach. I hate putting shoes on after I’ve been to the beach because the sand in between my foot and my slippers is a terrible feeling, so I’d rather just not experience it if I don’t have to. You’ll see a lot of locals not wearing a shirt or shoes in places like foodland, matsumoto’s, ono’s and other places.
People wear very relaxed clothes in Hawaii, especially on the weekends after the beach. Rompers, beach dresses and high waisted shorts are all very popular. Girls, especially, look to these for their beach fashion wear. Boys typically wear boardshorts after the beach, sometimes accompanied by muscle tees.
A very popular fashion element in the islands are “jesus slippers,” they look like brown sandals with two straps, resembling Birkenstocks. They’re made of rubber and fairly cheap, I bought a pair for $6 and I’ve had them for almost 4 years. If I ever choose to wear shoes to the beach, I definitely go for these. They’re not the most fashionable shoes I have, and that’s why I pick them for the beach. They’re easy to slide on and slide off and they won’t get sand stuck in them, so it makes for less clean up after. Also, I don’t think you’re really from Hawaii unless you own a pair of them.
Some very popular local clothing store names like Manuheali’i and Hilo Hatties offer Hawaiian-print clothing and attire. Hawaiian-prints are very flower-oriented and nature-oriented in general. Hawaiian clothes and aloha shirts are popular wear for family parties, graduation parties and other events like that. The young crowd typically doesn’t wear these to the beach, like I saw, the young crowd wears the least amount of clothing as possible. Trucker hats are very popular at the beach, a lot of people wear them. They’re comfy, fashionable, lightweight and shade your face from the sun.
Headwraps and sarongs are slowly becoming popular in the islands as well. Hipsters are addicted to those things. They’re all over their Instagrams. In addition to those, round towels are also a popular beach accessory rather than the traditional rectangular towel. Round towels with ornate mandala designs have seriously grown in popularity. Other popular beach accessories are hydro flasks. Every single person in Hawaii owns a hydro flask, it’s like a license to live in Hawaii. Hydro flasks can be pretty pricey, but are very helpful because they’ll keep your water ice cold over the course of the day, regardless of how hot it gets, which is perfect for the beach.
Overall, people have a very unique beach style compared to the mainland’s “beachwear.” You’ll quickly learn this difference if and when you decide to move to the islands.