Planning your trip to paradise includes dressing the part too! Polynesia’s rich culture and history have inspired all aspects of life on the islands, especially fashion. As Hawaii’s number one paid attraction and cultural hotspot, The Polynesian Cultural Center and the adjoining Hukilau Marketplace are the perfect place to learn about the beautiful designs and styles that are deeply rooted in tradition and heritage.
Today, the beautiful colors and ornamentation of the indigenous Polynesians live on in modern-day styles such as sundresses, jewelry, and most commonly recognized– aloha shirts. When spending the day at The Polynesian Cultural Center, make sure to pay a visit to The Hukilau Marketplace to browse through a wide selection of dresses, shirts, jewelry, and hats. Much of the attire found in the marketplace is authentically handcrafted and created by local entrepreneurs. Don’t miss the opportunity to find a truly one-of-a-kind treasure that is perfect for remembering your stay or bringing back souvenirs to loved ones.
Enjoy your stay in Hawaii and the many activities the aloha state has to offer. Bask in the warm tropical sun and explore the breathtaking surroundings of the island in comfort and style. Truly dress for paradise.
Embrace the beautiful designs of Tahiti by wrapping up in a Tahitian pāreu (pareo). A pāreu, similar to a sarong, is made from colorfully dyed fabric that showcases several traditional and modern designs. The history of the pāreu demonstrates the fusion of western influence and Polynesian tradition. The introduction of woven fabrics and steel needles allowed the indigenous people to make different styles of clothing. Because the fabric is handmade, each pāreu is unique and essential for any wardrobe. This article of clothing can be worn by both men and women in a variety of ways. Follow this link to see how to tie a pāreu in 33 different ways when heading to the beach:
You can also find them online at The Hawaii Store. Look under pareaus/sarongs.
Where can I get one?
Visit Tahitian Treasures at the Hukilau Marketplace where Tahitian native Patricia Wilson, lovingly referred to as “Aunty Patty”, custom hand-dyes the fabric and teaches you the many ways to wear a pāreu.
Famous for its laid-back style, the aloha shirt (or Hawaiian shirt, as the mainlanders call it) is perhaps one of the most culturally iconic styles in the world. Created in the late 1920s, the aloha shirt is truly a product of the multicultural environment of Hawaii during the early 20th century. Most interestingly, aloha shirts were actually created by a Japanese tailor by the name of Kōichirō Miyamoto. He incorporated bright kimono fabrics from Japan with traditional Polynesian patterns to create the well-known button-up shirts that are so popular today. The printed shirts are appropriate for almost any island activity– no matter whether you’re going to a business meeting or luau.
Where can I buy one?
Stop into Nona’s Tropical Threads at the Hukilau Marketplace to find high quality aloha wear for all your shopping needs. The clothing store also sells matching aloha shirts and sundresses which are perfect for capturing ideal family, engagement, or honeymoon pictures – or see our exciting selection at The Hawaii Store by searching “aloha shirt’.
Also known as Hawaiians, J-Slips, Jerusalem Cruisers, Uncles, Moses Sandals, or Slippahs, you can find someone wearing a pair of these anywhere on the North Shore of Oahu. As Hawai’i’s most popular sandal, J-slips are the perfect choice for your stay on the islands. Other than being extremely affordable and stylish, the shoe’s durable and comfortable design will make you ditch your old flip-flops when hitting the beach, shopping, and going out for a night on the town. J-slips have an incredibly wide range of sizes, ranging from a toddler’s size 2 to a men’s size 14. And, if you’re worried about your little ones losing their pair, all toddler sizes come with back straps which helps to prevent constantly having to rush to the nearest store to buy new shoes. Look like a local and slip on a pair of J-slips for your next adventure!
Where can I buy a pair?
When visiting the Hukilau Marketplace, you can purchase a pair of J-Slips at Goo’s Plantation Store. You may also find them online at The Hawaii Store.
Searching for the perfect anniversary or christmas gift? Look no further– The Hukilau Marketplace is a treasure trove of beautiful handcrafted jewelry that you won’t be able to find anywhere else. If you’ve seen the 2016 beloved children’s film, Moana, you’re most likely familiar with the hook pictured below, otherwise known as “Maui’s Hook”. This well-known pendant stems from an ancient Polynesian legend and constellation known as Ka Makau Nui ‘o Maui (The Big Hook of Maui). In the legend, the demigod Maui pulled the Pacific islands from the ocean with his magical hook, giving life to the islands as we know them today. Each piece of jewelry comes with its own story and unique crafting process. Come and take away a little piece of Polynesia with you!
Where can I find one?
Come by Pukana La Creations and Tahitian Treasures to browse the Polynesian Cultural Center’s wide selection of handcrafted jewelry or pendants. You can also visit our online store at for Polynesian fashion jewelry and beautiful fine jewelry.
Lacey Westphal, a biology major at Brigham Young University-Hawaii, is driven by her love of learning and passion for the outdoors. She enjoys surfing, soccer, and writing (when she has the time). As a student at one of the most diverse universities in the nation, she is always eager to meet new people and learn about the unique stories they have to share.