STYLE POLICE: Hawaii - here we go

Irony rules at Club Tropicana this season, as the lads take a shine to exotic prints. The brighter the better, says JAMES SHERWOOD

Style Police saw a pair of black leggings stalking the high street last week. But hold the phone a minute. Was leggings girl cracking an ironic fashion in-joke about the Eighties revival? No, the perm was way beyond irony. But it's hard to tell these days.

Take the Hawaiian short-sleeved shirt. On Terry from EastEnders it looks crass. On Austin Powers it looks retro ironic. But on a slightly sweating geeza in summer it says sex. These are Club Tropicana prints you'd find on tacky resort postcards: palm trees, lush pineapples, hot pink tropical flowers. You'd think lads would rather order a pina colada in the local than wear a poncey print shirt. Not a bit of it. Go out on a summer evening in London and it's like an am dram dress rehearsal for South Pacific.

So why are the boys living it loud this season? Girls have already got it on with spray-dyed tropical sunset Ts by Chloe and Anthony Symonds. But hip chicks are also wearing tight denim hotpants this season and we don't want too many men copying that particular look - more's the pity. No, the lads are loving Hawaiian shirts because they are pure fashion irony: Miami Vice, Wham! and The Spy Who Shagged Me.

"It's camp ironic, mate," says Loaded fashion editor Beth Summers. "Last summer the lads were wearing Bruce Lee prints. Now they're into the Second World War GI story with South Pacific prints." It's so fabulous to see solid gold tack rescued from the bargain bin of 20th-century fashion. It shows that British men can 'ave a larf with fashion rather than at it.

How to where it

"You've got to stay true to that Eighties vibe," says Crystal McClory, assistant fashion editor of Arena. "I shot Hawaiian shirts with faded denim jeans recently because I think dark denim has had its day for now."

Here's the deal. Go for a print as busy as a professional fluffer's sex life. It doesn't matter if it scares small animals and children. But make sure your pants are a single colour block. Faded denim is cool again. So is GI white drill cotton. The ultimate is obviously a short, tight Hawaiian shirt with fairly fitted crop pants. Style Police has said it before and we'll say it again. Lads are wearing crop pants and looking good. The look is camp ironic but never camp as knickers.

Where to buy it

Style Police bows to the expert on this one. Arena's Miss McClory has already hunted the best Hawaiian shirts down and shot them. She's also changed our mind about two of Style Police's favourite targets: Gucci and Gap. Gap has gone beyond khaki with its cream and green palm tree print shirt (pounds 26). Gucci's floral print - which we've always said looks terrible on this season's dresses - is lush as a Club Tropicana shirt for pounds 360.

Mambo, the Aussie skate and surf label, is loud and proud when it comes to tacky cartoon prints (from pounds 45). Replay gets it right with curry-house wallpaper prints for pounds 55. If you're going to get really clever, then haul yourself over to Top Man for some Indian batik prints which are half Hawaiian with a dash of ethnic spice (pounds 20). Top Man has also got the Hawaiian palm trees covered as well as the reverse print story (from pounds 20). Reverse print is the wrong side of the printed fabric which makes it a bit faded and a lot subtler. But when you're wearing postard print, who wants subtle? As the great Bette Midler used to say, "F---' em if they can't take a joke."

Address book

Gap: 0800 427789.

Gucci: 0171 235 6707.

Mambo: 0181 741 2444.

Replay: 0171 505 2700.

Top Man: 0800 731 8284.

Suggested Topics
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Guru Careers: Software Developer / C# Developer

    £40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...

    Guru Careers: Software Developer

    £35 - 40k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Software Developer (JavaS...

    SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant / Resourcer

    £18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: As a Trainee Recruitment Consu...

    Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, AngularJS)

    £25000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, JavaScript, HTML...

    Day In a Page

    Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

    Sun, sex and an anthropological study

    One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
    From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

    Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

    'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
    'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

    Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

    This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
    Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

    Songs from the bell jar

    Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
    How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

    One man's day in high heels

    ...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
    Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

    Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

    Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
    The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

    King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

    The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
    More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

    End of the Aussie brain drain

    More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
    Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

    Can meditation be bad for you?

    Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
    Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

    Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

    Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine
    Letterman's final Late Show: Laughter, but no tears, as David takes his bow after 33 years

    Laughter, but no tears, as Letterman takes his bow after 33 years

    Veteran talkshow host steps down to plaudits from four presidents
    Ivor Novello Awards 2015: Hozier wins with anti-Catholic song 'Take Me To Church' as John Whittingdale leads praise for Black Sabbath

    Hozier's 'blasphemous' song takes Novello award

    Singer joins Ed Sheeran and Clean Bandit in celebration of the best in British and Irish music
    Tequila gold rush: The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product

    Join the tequila gold rush

    The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product
    12 best statement wallpapers

    12 best statement wallpapers

    Make an impact and transform a room with a conversation-starting pattern
    Paul Scholes column: Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?

    Paul Scholes column

    Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?