Why I Thrift #4 (Aloha Edition)

Some days you just have to look up into the sky and smile. Some of these beautiful January days with blue skies and warm temperatures, you just have to enjoy the feeling of doing your part to make the world a better place.

I cleaned out a bunch of sportscards, clothing and other detritus out of my closets and made a trip to one of the local Savers stores. I figure I donated $400 worth of stuff, and I have the tax receipt to prove it. Savers gives you a 20% off coupon when you donate, so I went into the store to check it out.

I almost found a Harris Tweed sport coat, but the size was just a little too small. It wasn’t vintage enough anyway… So I cruised the hats and found a dirty (but cleanable -in fact it’s drying as I type this) San Francisco Giants fitted ball cap (New Era Authentic 59Fifty Authentic Collection) in my size for $3.99 (-20%…). Not bad. But the best was yet to come…

Looking through the shortsleeve shirts, one shirt jumped out at me for its obvious 60s pattern. So I pulled it off the rack. Hmm, I haven’t heard of shirts from the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel, but it’s kind of cool. Looking closer, other details jump out.

First off, the fabric is obviously 60s era rayon. It’s thick, and just different from what you find these days. Secondly, the button holes are horizontal, which is a tell of an older style of Hawaiian designs. Thirdly, the buttons are metal made to look like lava! Holy carp, I’ve never seen that before!

From the bit of research that I’ve done, the hotel opened in 1965. The style of the shirt suggests a date between 1965 and the early 70s. It very well may be an original from when the hotel opened. The buttons are certainly unique, and this is clearly a collector’s piece.

This shirt is in absolute mint condition (worn? I think not!), and fits me well. I’ll have a hard time parting with it if I choose to sell. I might have to throw it up on Ebay for $100+ just to see what happens.

If you know anything about the history of these shirts or the material (the shirt has no content tag). I’m super-stoked to find a piece of vintage Hawaiiana!






5 thoughts on “Why I Thrift #4 (Aloha Edition)

  1. Hi, I found you through the Late Night Coffee blog. I sell mostly women’s clothing, children’s clothes and vintage housewares and dabble just a little bit in the men’s department..mostly buying stuff for my hubby and 3 sons. So glad I found your blog. It’s definitely helpful in learning more about menswear. Thank you and I look forward to reading more of your posts..I’ve added your blog to my Google Reader.

    Take care,

    Margaret @ Live Like No One Else

  2. Cool. I’ll have to check your blog out as well, when I have a bit more time to read.

    This whole thing started off with me wanting to learn more about clothing, and what is “quality”. I’m becoming pickier and pickier… I donated two pairs of jeans yesterday that I thrifted last spring. One was Pendleton and the other was Tommy Hilfiger. I’m developing the style I like, and those didn’t work for me.

    I need to find some 60s “beach appropriate” pants to wear with my new shirt now [[looks up at the sky and says “please?” ; ) ]]. Google search here I come.

    Enjoy the posts. Hopefully I’ll be posting a bit more frequently in the months to come.

  3. I came from Late Night Coffee, too. Nice flip on the jacket! I don’t sell much on ebay any more – I like etsy better for vintage stuff and some things I make. I wanted to tell you though that our Savers has 20% off every Monday. Don’t know if yours does this or not. Good luck in your thrifting!

  4. Your shirt is a great find! My family vacationed at Mauna Kea Beach Hotel in 1969 (during its heyday as a “RockResort”) and the shirt is typical of those of its era (my dad had one with the “lava” buttons also 🙂

    Your shirt sports hints of what I would call “Mauna Kea Orange”, which to the “savvy” back in the day, telegraphed an association with the resort, popular with the “jet set” of that era…
    The thicker “bark” cloth or ribbed texture or waffle-weave cottons or rayons or thick cotton sateens were often used back then in splashy saturated colors and amazing bold graphics. The venerated Tory Richard apparel company, based in Honolulu made some of their designs and a lot of their fabric was custom printed to their specs in Japan, I believe. (Their clothes appeared in “Vogue” at least once that I know of.)
    The other famous Mauna Kea wear, was and is their logo apparel which features their signature orange plumeria blossom logo used in various sizes and ways through the years, sometimes on a white background and sometimes reversed, orange background, white plumeria.
    The hallmark of the Mauna Kea (and Tory Richard) clothing of that era is exactly what you mention in such things as the “lava” buttons — the marvelous details their clothing offered back then…

    Ironically, I find your post while planning our family’s return to the MKBH in the coming months!


    The men ‘s and women’s

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