Can a man walk around with flowers on his chest and still feed his family? There is no single person credited with inventing the walking postcard; they came about as Japanese, Filipino, and Chinese workers immigrated to Hawaii in the 1800’s. Kimono fabrics, barong talongs, and multicolored silks race-mixed with native tapa (or “kapa”) cloth made from tree fibers.
It was probably just a meme, but it soon became clear that white people could be coerced into buying these shirts unironically. WWII got the ball rolling when sailors who spend all of their time on a ship with men in tight quarters mysteriously gravitated towards these loud prints. Oddly enough, Hollywood also started to push them. Frank Sinatra and Montgomery Clift rocked Alohas in 1953’s From Here to Eternity. Bob Hope lived in them throughout his The Road film series. Then Elvis Presley donned a bright red one on the cover of the Blue Hawaii soundtrack in 1961… not to mention all the other weird sweaty Hawaii Elvis stuff.
Then things took a turn for the complicated. From December 11th 1980 to May 1st 1988 Tom Selleck gifted the world Magnum, P.I. His trademark “Red Jungle Bird” shirt shifted the paradigm irreconcilably. Maybe it was Marxism, maybe it was cocaine; but the 1980’s meant a man was able to dress gay yet act straight. This LARPing as a Ferrari owner fad lasted into the early 90s, when it was finally put to rest by Ace Ventura: Pet Detective.
These abhorrent shirts were comfortably obscure for the next decade, until a fringe element Neo-Nazi group decided to revive them. Calling themselves the #TikiRight, these boozy extremists embrace Tiki culture and idolise Tom Selleck as their ideal Alpha-Male archetype.
Tiki bars have become recruiting centres for “Tiki Terrorists”, as members of #TikiRight use Aloha shirts to signal rank and faction. Knowing who is already indoctrinated, they move in on unsuspecting patrons without matching attire. Neo-Nazi hate group speech think is occurring across the nation, as correct thinking people fall prey to these wolves in Selleck’s clothing. Dens of depravity since inception, Tiki Bars have become a matter of national security.