Mark Loproto
Posted on March 1, 2019

What to Wear to a Luau

What Should I Wear to My Luau?

by Mark L., March 19, 2019

Couple holding three plates of food at a luau.
Comfy resort casual is a great alternative to Aloha wear.

Whether it’s a formal affair or just a casual dinner, most people like to know what kind of clothes are appropriate for the occasion. This is also true of one of the most popular activities in Hawaii. So, what is considered appropriate luau attire?

Luaus don’t have set dress codes, but try to remember that you’re taking part in a tradition that has deep roots in Hawaiian history. You don’t want to show up in just anything, especially if your wardrobe is mostly made up of raunchy t-shirts.

When you’re planning what to wear to your luau, keep in mind that they are family-friendly affairs and there are only a few guidelines to follow:

  • Leave beachwear, activewear, and skimpy attire at the hotel.
  • Dress comfortably, you’ll be outside for hours.
  • Dress for a festive occasion, but don’t go overboard.

While there aren’t any hard and fast rules, here are a few tips to ensure you fit in with the festivities.

What to Wear to a Luau: Tips for Men

Closet of Aloha shirts in a muted color palette.
You can’t go wrong with a Hawaiian shirt, whether loud and brightly colored or muted and subdued.

Guys, you might not be used to having fun with your clothing choices, so this is your chance. Sure, you could always go for the basic polo shirt and jeans look, but where’s the fun in that?

Instead, try to loosen up, and get into the spirit of things. This is a party after all!

A Hawaiian print button-down shirt paired with either nice shorts or khakis is the perfect luau outfit.

You just can’t go wrong with a Hawaiian shirt at a luau. Also called Aloha shirts, they can be found everywhere in Hawaii. Cheap ones are sold in convenience stores and expensive, high-end shirts go for hundreds of dollars in Waikiki’s boutiques.

You may think Aloha shirts aren’t for you, but they’re not all loud and brightly colored like what you’ve seen back home. Aloha shirts come in a wide range of colors, patterns, and materials. There are so many cool and creative designs available, odds are you will find one you like.

As for footwear, you can wear sneakers or other comfy kicks, although sandals or flip-flops are equally acceptable. The weather can sometimes get a bit cool in the evening, so you also might want to bring a light jacket. Reconsider bringing a hat, though. Outdoor luaus are breezy and you’ll need your hands free for drinking, eating, and clapping!


What to Wear to a Luau: Tips for Women

Two ladies wearing flower leis enjoy and drink and a laugh at the luau.
A simple sundress is always appropriate in Hawaii.

A colorful floral sundress is always perfect for a Hawaiian luau, but there’s nothing to stop you from rocking a Hawaiian print top and pairing it with pants, a skirt, or shorts.

While you may be tempted to wear high heels, it’s a much better idea to stick closer to the ground. Hawaiian luaus often take place on soft, uneven surfaces and heels are just not conducive to walking around and mingling. (Especially after a mai tai or two!) Sandals and sneakers go with just about everything and will complement the tropical look you’re going for.

Consider bringing a light jacket in case the evening breezes turn chilly. Also, reconsider wearing hats or overly flouncy clothes because it can get windy. And if you have long hair bring a hair tie along or consider wearing your hair up.

To complete your look, many luaus will give you a flower to wear in your hair. In Hawaii, it is traditionally worn above your right ear if you are single and above your left if you are married or in a relationship.

Don’t Forget this one Essential Accessory

No matter what you decide to wear, there is at least one essential you don’t want to leave behind: sunscreen.

Most luaus start at around 5:00 to 5:30 PM when the tropical sun is still shining brightly. And many luaus include outdoor activities before dinner, so you could be in the sun for several hours. Protecting your exposed skin from the Hawaiian sun is our Number 1 fashion tip!

Ready to book your dream luau? Click here for more information!

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