The tradition of Aloha Friday goes back to the mid-twentieth century. During summer, businesses relaxed their dress code requiring a business suit and allowed Hawaiian-made aloha shirts to be worn during the warmer months. Eventually, Aloha Friday became official, and wearing aloha wear was encourage every Friday all year long.
In the 1990s, the tradition of establishing a day for a more relaxed dress code spread to California, becoming known as Casual Friday. Suits gave way to khakis and polo shirts. The definition of “business casual” attire varies from location to location and continues to evolve. Nevertheless, the practice has become widespread.
In Hawaiʻi, aloha attire for business and all occasions has became commonplace across the islands every day of the year —from boardrooms to courtrooms and important celebrations including weddings and graduations. This includes aloha shirts for men and muʻumuʻus or Hawaiian print dresses for women.
However, the tradition of Aloha Friday remains a beloved part of the week that signifies one thing: the start of the weekend.
The 1982 song “Aloha Friday” by Kimo Kahoano and Paul Natto can be heard on Hawaiʻi’s airwaves every Friday. The following rendition of “Aloha Friday” is on the Quiet Storm Records compilation “Island Roots: Contemporary Music from Hawai’i”:
How to celebrate Aloha Friday
Wear Aloha attire! Put on your favorite Aloha shirt or Hawaiin print dress.
Smile all day long and wish everyone you meet a “Happy Aloha Friday!”
Pau hana (after work), get together with friends for happy hour, your family for a casual meal, wind down at the beach or at home, or any way to ease into your weekend.
In the 21st Century, snapping a selfie of your Aloha Friday celebration and sharing on social media is encourage to spread the aloha spirit.
You can also be on the lookout for music performances and special offers from retailers or restaurants in celebration of Aloha Friday.