Friday, February 20, 2015

Hilo Hattie files for bankruptcy protection, again

It seams that Hilo Hattie is on the rocks again, their parent company has filed for bankruptcy protection and it's not the first rodeo for the once beloved brand.  Back in 2008 Hilo Hattie files for bankruptcy, citing $23M in debt. Today the company filed for Chapter 11 reorganization in U.S. Bankruptcy Court last night, listing debts of between $10 million and 50 million.

With another well known Hawaiian shirt business and related textile suppliers and Hawaiian shirt manufacturers indicating that sales are decent for this time of the year, you have to wonder what they are doing wrong.

Let me be the first to say that I am a fan of the brand as well as history behind Hilo Hattie. But I have to say that I have never been a fan of their clothing, especially the shirts.

The last time I was in a Hilo Hattie store, which was the San Diego location, I found the selection to be minimal and the men's shirts were sort of cheap looking. I expected to see better.

While the parent company will never publicly say why they are in dire straits financially, an educated guess is that they made bad investments in and outside of Hilo Hattie. Again, Hawaiian shirt sales for this time of month are relatively strong and with peak season right around the corner its shaping up to be another good year.

I know what I am about to say will bring out the haters but they should dissolve the company and put an end to repeatedly stiffing all of their creditors and investors. They were very close to dissolving in a prior bankruptcy, so maybe this time it will actually happen.

Friday, January 23, 2015

The Best Concealed Weapon Clothing

I was thinking that we author a lot of articles about the many uses for Hawaiian shirts such as something to wear at a Luau, clothing to pack for a trip to an island paradise such as Hawaiian or Fiji.

So in this edition we are veering off the beaten path and writing about a use that you may not have thought of, wearing colorful Hawaiian to conceal your permitted everyday carry handgun. Anyone that carries a firearm for personal protection knows that there are a ton of specialized garments specifically designed for permitted firearm carry available on the internet and in gun stores, some are made with built in elastic holsters, some with added shoulder reinforcement to support the additional weight and more.

I am not going to get into which is best method to carry or if who should or should not have the constitutional right to do so (because this is just not what this article is about), but there are a huge number of men that carry with a inside the waistband holster as well as those that also conceal carry with a outside the waistband holster.

But don't confuse open carry with concealed outside the waistband carry, if it covered, its concealed. If your unsure which is which and which method is legal and what is not in your state, please review the handgun laws and requirements for your state.

So what makes mens Hawaiian shirts so well suited for this you ask? Well for starters the Hawaiian shirts are usually cut longer than most pullover shirts and they tend to have a very loose fit, which is important because the whole premise behind concealed carry is the element of surprise and easy access to your firearm. A overly tight fitting shirt will tend to hug every nook and cranny of your torso, including the firearm you are carrying, this is often referred to as "imprinting".

With a loose fitting Hawaiian shirt you can be reasonably certain that imprinting will not occur. As an added bonus, most Hawaiian shirts contain a allover design, often with multiple colors that almost act as a form of camouflage, which further reduces the chance of imprinting. Even if your concealed carry is outside the waistband as pictured.

But lets not forget about the ladies. Marksmanship and self protection is huge popular with the ladies. There are more deadeye women shooters than you can ever imagine.

The amount of concealed carry clothing available to the ladies is mind boggling. Women also have the advantage of being able to carry in quite a few additional areas of the body that are not afforded to the males.

They can carry in their belt line as well as in specially made bras and boxer shorts and a wide array of other specialized undergarments. Which brings us to non-fitted womens Hawaiian shirts which offer a looser fit compared to a fitted shirt as many womens shirts are.

Remember the element of surprise is lost once your firearm is visible due to imprinting or lack of material to adequately cover the firearm.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

The Muumuu

 I sell a lot of muumuus in my Hawaiian shirt store they seem to be a staple for the elderly and in fact I have had so many women come into the store looking for tropical dresses in younger styles because they say Muumuu’s are for Grandmothers. So I started stocking younger looking dresses for women who didn’t want to buy a muumuu.

One of our new styles is very popular it had straps for the shoulders, elastic in the upper back and a flounced hemline that falls slightly above the knee so it is a really good dress for a summery day or a luau or it can be worn to work along with a jacket for a more professional look. I just kind of assumed no young women would want to be seen in a muumuu however I was in for a surprise the following week.

A beautiful young girl in her twenties came to my store looking for a party dress for a luau. I saw her looking in the muumuu section and referred her to the tropical dresses more fitting for her age but she said she wanted to dress respectfully for her Grandfather and would prefer a more traditional look. I thought that was such a beautiful sentiment to want to please her Grandfather with a modest look so she tried on our Mid-Calf Navy Muumuu and it looked great on her. She was happy this muumuu came with 2 pockets so she could have her cell in one pocket and her keys in the other.

She also picked out a beautiful, white plumeria hair clip and a pair of matching earrings to complete her look. I asked her what type of shoes she was going to wear but she said it was a backyard luau and shoes were optional, but most of the family would be barefoot including her Grandfather.  She was such a pleasant young lady and she will look fabulous at her Grandfathers luau.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Hawaiian Shirts and Levis…

Recently I have noticed a lot of guys are wearing some really moderate prints and they pair them with Levis while some guys are wearing shirts that I consider a little gaudy. The truth is some guys want to wear the gaudiest shirts they can find. The definition of the word Gaudy is as follows: ostentatiously or tastelessly ornamented. Does this even bother you to think that someone thinks your shirt is Gaudy? My hubs definitely tries to find shirts that I would consider Gaudy personally I think he does it just to bother me.

One of the ugliest, gaudiest shirts we sell here at the Wave Shoppe is our Ugly Hawaiian shirt where every piece of the shirt is made from a different colored remnant. It is appropriately named the Ugly Shirt and is currently our number one selling shirt.

I myself like to see a guy in a nice pair of jeans and a shirt that casually matches the jeans so two of my favorite shirts at the Wave Shoppe are the white/blue hibiscus shirt (white background with beautiful blue hibiscus flowers) and the blue pineapple paradise Hawaiian shirt (tranquil mix of blues with leafs, pineapples and other patterns and both of these shirt go great with blue jeans.

So if you are dressing for a casual date night with your girl or your wife I suggest you try the tranquil shirt or if it is a night out with the guys then by all means wear the Ugly shirt.
The men's Hawaiian shirts with the Wave Shoppe label sold on are available in men's sizes small up to 5X. Many of the shirts are also available in women's cuts and select dresses such as muumuus and long tank dresses.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Hawaiian Aloha Shirts inspired by Home Depot

As most of you know Wave Shoppe Hawaiian shirts is a mom and pop Hawaiian clothing manufacturer and retailer. Approximately 40% of the shirts and muumuus you see in our showroom are actually designed in-house. What few people know is how we actually get some of our inspiration.

Inspiration for the designs can come at anytime and often in the most unlikely situations. Lets use one of our most recent designs (pictured), a classic yet simple design containing hibiscus flower, palm and banana leaf.

This beautiful navy blue fabric contains 5 colors, 4 of which are shades of blue and a shade of grey. This was utilized in production of these blue Hawaiian shirts which are available in mens and womens styles as well as dresses.

The purple fabric, also pictured, follows the same convention, 4 shades of purple and a shade of grey. This color is also available as purple Hawaiian shirts in men and womens styles as well as muumuu dresses

Inspiration for this design actually occurred while I was at Home Depot selecting some paint for our family room.

Yes you read that correctly, Home Depot. While I was waiting for some help, I stood in front of the paint strips and was just mesmerized by all of the color combinations and variations of color.

It was almost impossible to resist thinking how cool it would be to have a Hawaiian fabric that was colored in such a way that it actually mimicked the paint samples.

So on a whim, I grabbed bunch of samples of purples and blues and stuck them in my pocket and preceded to purchase 2 gallons of grey paint for my family room.

A few months had passed and we just happened to be working on a new blue and a new purple fabric design. We were in phase 3 of the design process, balancing had been signed off on and we had just received our first colorized proofs in the mail. Proofing is always performed with design printed on paper, its the best and most accurate way to determine what the coloring will look like on a textile. 

Unfortunately upon our initial and immediate inspection of the artwork, we were simply not getting a good vibe from the coloring. The colors just didn't flow properly or disperse the design as evenly as we were hoping for.

And then it hit me, why not incorporate the colors used in these paint samples? Magically (one revision later) we all unanimously agreed that we had a winner and began prepping the artwork for printing on cotton.

And the grey color? Well I always have to be different, so we filled the area around the hibiscus stem with grey, the same grey we painted our family room in. It gave the hibiscus flowers some additional contrast and balance. That's a true story about the inspiration for that particular design. It has been well received and we anticipate using this very same coloring/design convention with some different colors, possibly red or green and I think that orange would look super cool with that treatment.


Thursday, December 11, 2014

Cars n Beaches in Textiles

Its a well know fact that people have a love affair with automobiles, as well as a deep passion for the beachcomber lifestyle. When you first think of cars you usually associate them with highways and racetracks, a topic we will revisit in a little bit.

What you may or may not realize is that cars have also been at home in the sand. Be it driving up and down Daytona Beach or Corpus Christi Beach (since re-named North Beach). With the 1952 Nascar Daytona Beach Race claiming the lions share of fame, though driving up and down Corpus Christi Beach should be on everyone bucket list. There is an incredible amount of wildlife, especially if your into bird watching, as well as natural dunes to take in, not to mention 5 miles of drivable sand.

And next up is the surf crowd, while many popular surf beaches were once open to automobiles, those privileges are now just a fond memory of the good old days. Still there were many surfer that utilized station wagons, Ford Galaxy's, woodie cars and even panel trucks.

As you can only imagine, it was just a matter of time before the textile industry decided to meld the two together and print automotive themed fabrics. Many of which could be utilized in something novel like a Hawaiian shirt with a red woody car parked on the beach.

We can attest to the fact that just about every factory production car has most likely reproduced in a fabric. And due to the high cost of licensing, there are also a lot of fabrics sporting no name cars that slightly resemble their famous counterparts, some almost mirror them but we wont tread in those waters today.

Now back to racing, believe it or not Hawaiian shirts are quite popular at the racetracks, why I do not know, but they are everywhere. Even popular racetracks such as Fontana Speedway wear them as staff uniforms and such.

Of course Hawaiian shirts with cars are not limited to speedways, the car cultures demand a myriad of designs, themes and colors in their clothing. Patronize any car show or cruise night and you will see what we mean.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Luau Sized Mens Clothing

In Hawaii a luau (Hawaiian: lū‘au) is a traditional Hawaiian party or feast that is usually accompanied by live entertainment in the form of music, dance and or story telling. Most luaus feature food such as poi, kalua pig, poke, lomi salmon, opihi, haupia, and huli huli chicken. Most of the time the delicious food is served buffet style and overeating is just bound to occur.

Lets get this out front, when you dress for any luau you want to dress comfortable, as well as look "Hawaiian". The last thing you want is to be seen standing in line or sitting in front of a plate full of yummy food wearing a shirt that is so dam tight that it looks and feels like the buttons are going to blow right off the shirt. Even worse is if it actually happens.

It happens more often than you think, and while the guys may be somewhat at fault, some of the blame has to be placed on the clothing manufacturers. There are so many companies pumping out Hawaiian shirts that are way to small for the grade, some are two to three sizes too small and that's before washing! We sell a lot of big mens Hawaiian shirts for one simple reason, they fit.

Shown on the left is a design that is very popular, the Hawaiian shirt is made from rayon material, which offer superior had vs. cotton shirting.

The print in this shirt has beautiful tropical leafs containing Polynesian designs and these Indigo (Blue) Hawaiian shirts are cut very liberally, the shirt will offer your body a comfortable fit in al of the right places without looking like you are wearing the wrong size.

We can not express enough the importance of choosing the best looking and well fitting clothing you can when planning on attending a luau. Even if the luau is on the mainland please take the time to select or a Hawaiian shirt that allows room for movement after washing. We guarantee that if you buy any handcrafted Wave Shoppe labeled shirt that it will fit well right out of the package, as well as after repeated washings. Wave Shoppe makes their clothing in the USA!

Monday, November 17, 2014

Ever been fired by someone wearing a Hawaiian shirt?

If you haven’t figured it out yet, I am the number one fan of Hawaiian shirts and clothing with motifs that depict the cool laid back lifestyle of Hawaii. When you wear one, even on a brutally cold February day in the northern United States, it still feels appropriate to cut out of work a bit early and indulge in a Mai Tai or four. Let me prove my point by telling you about a company I once worked for. For something like 10 years I worked for a company that made pilot training software, while some of the day to day tasks were somewhat challenging, my mind still wandered.
I lost track of the numbers of days and months that I spent dreaming of being on a beach with my toes in the sand.
Fortunately for me the company dress code was fairly loose, though the downside was they didn’t allow management to wear shorts or flip flops on the property, lesser employees could wear whatever, especially if it was hot outside. But if you were in management they expected you to dress business casual when in office, to business formal during business trips.
In the early years of employment with them, my daily wardrobe primarily consisted of sneakers, jeans and a toned down Hawaiian shirt, something similar to this reverse print Hawaiian shirt.  

But the longer I was at that company, the more daring my wardrobe became. The Hawaiian shirts in my work wardrobe became brighter and bolder with each passing month, my closet at home was a kaleidoscope of color! I remember one day in particular, I wore blue jeans with a shirt that had vivid yellow and red parrots and a sprinkling of green all on a white background, you could probably see me from space that day. I think some of the progression had to do with rebellion, I detested weekly meetings, and attendees were regularly subjected to some of the longest and most unproductive meetings in recorded history.
The meetings I was forced to attend were full of kiss ass people wearing ties and business suits, eagerly awaiting some drivel to spill from the CEOs mouth, and then there was me, usually wearing a shirt with big loud flowers and such. Meetings demonstrated that time really does stand still, like an old photograph. I mean who has not wanted to add color back into an old, black and white photograph at least on time in their life?  

In the final 2 or 3 years of employment there my passion for Hawaii and island lifestyles in general started spilling over into the 2 departments I managed. Be it a tropical screen saver, hula doll etc. by the time my employment was terminated most of my full time 8 employees had something tropical in their cubical, a few even converted over to wearing a tropical themed shirt at least once a week. Honestly, they were enjoying their jobs more than the company liked, it actually irked senior management to no end.
Sadly there was a dark side to my position, which was having to let go of contracted help or worse, terminate a permanent employee. My approach was pretty laid back, I would usually tell them we have to have a unpopular discussion and asked them if they would like to have it over lunch at Islands or down and dirty in the meeting room. Only a few opted for the meeting room, which provided no mechanisms to retain ones dignity.  

While I have never seen any of those people I had to let go, I am optimistic that they would be genuinely friendly towards me. I also know that they will forever remember being terminated (often for being slackers) by a guy wearing a brightly colored Aloha shirt.