Vertx Dadeland CCW Shirt

Although fall brings cooler temperatures, it is still anything but cool in many parts of the country. When carrying concealed, keeping a low profile can be tough in when the temperatures are up. Most warm weather clothes are not ideal for concealment. You do have some good options however, with one of the best being the aloha shirt.

Aloha shirts are a great choice for warm weather because they are made of light and breathable fabrics. Designed to be worn tucked, they also have a loose fit that aids in concealment and that also allows air circulation and prevents overheating. Aloha shirts come in a variety of colors and patterns that can brighten up any outfit and express one’s personality. They are also very versatile.

President Harry S. Truman (second row, center) with members of his official party (many attired in aloha shirts), while on vacation in Key West, Florida. Photo: Photo: National Archives and Records Administration/Office of Presidential Libraries/Harry S. Truman Library

The aloha shirt, also known as the Hawaiian shirt, is a distinctive style of shirt that originated in Hawaii in the early 20th century. It is usually made from printed fabric, often featuring tropical motifs. Its exact history is unclear. According to Dale Hope, the author of The Aloha Shirt: Spirit of the Islands, some of the possible inventors of the aloha shirt include:

  • Ellery Chun, a Chinese American who patented the term “Aloha Shirt” in 1937 and sold shirts made from Japanese kimono material at his family’s dry goods store in Honolulu.

  • Koichiro Miyamoto, a Japanese immigrant who advertised “aloha” shirts in 1935 and used English textile orders that were delayed by World War I at his father’s dry goods shop, called Musa-Shiya Shoten.

  • Local Japanese women who adapted kimono fabric for men’s shirting.

The aloha shirt became popular among tourists and mainland Americans, especially during the Great Depression and World War II, when people sought a sense of escapism and exoticism. The aloha shirt was also embraced by celebrities such as Elvis Presley, who wore a red one on the cover of his album Blue Hawaii, and by political figures such as Harry Truman, who posed in one for Life magazine. And of course, worn by everyone’s favorite fictional private investigator, Thomas Magnum of Magnum P.I.

Vintage aloha shirt, circa 1960.

A typical aloha shirt has a few distinctive features that set it apart from other shirts. It has a soft collar that is one piece and does not stand up but lies flat on the shirt. It also has a loose fit, a straight or slightly curved hem, and short sleeves.

Aloha shirts are typically made from fabrics that allow air circulation, such as cotton, linen, or silk. They often have bright colors and designs that reflect tropical or Hawaiian themes. Aloha shirts are a summer essential that convey a relaxed and adventurous spirit. They are versatile and easy to wear, as they can match with different types of clothing and create a casual and comfortable look.

Although originally designed with men in mind, the aloha shirt can be worn by both men and women. In fact, some aloha shirts today have been re-imagined specifically with women in mind.

Sizing & Fit

Aloha shirts are designed to be loose and comfortable, so you don’t have to be very precise about the size. However, you should still find a shirt that fits you well. A simple way to do that is to see if the shoulder seams match your shoulders, and if the sleeves reach your mid-bicep. You should also be able to button up the shirt without any strain or gap and have some space to move freely.

Vertx Dadeland CCW Shirt

A shirt that’s worn as a CCW cover garment needs sufficient length to give coverage when bending and during strenuous activity, without being so long as to restrict clearing of the garment when seated. A good way to check if the length of a cover garment is sufficient is to raise both of your arms over your head. If the garment rides up to a point that it exposes your gun or holster when you do this or it nearly does, the garment is likely too short in length.

All things being equal, darker shirts better conceal than lighter colored shirts since they visually print less to the eye. Patterned shirts conceal better than solid color shirts, since they tend to visually break up any bulges and shadows.

Several manufactures offer aloha shirts with purpose designed CCW compatible construction. 5.11® Tactical and Vertx® are notable examples. Both companies offer shirts extra coverage in concealment positions and a faux-button snap system placket that allows for quick and easy access to a concealed weapon. The placket looks like a regular button-down front, but it is actually a faux-button snap system that can be opened with one swift motion for quick breakaway and easy clearing of the garment.

5.11 Hog Hunter’s Short Sleeve Shirt.

What to Wear with an Aloha Shirt

Aloha shirts are versatile garments that can suit different occasions. Here are some tips on how to style them: For a casual and easy-going outfit, you can wear your aloha shirt with shorts and sneakers. For a more polished and refined look, you can swap the shorts and sneakers for trousers and loafers. For a tropical and relaxed vibe, you can pair your aloha shirt with linen pants and sandals.

When not being worn as a CCW cover garment, another way to style your aloha shirt is to leave it open over a t-shirt or a tank top for a casual look. This works for both men and women. Women can also opt to knot the shirt at the waist. Women can also opt for a skirt to complement the aloha shirt for a feminine touch.

When you pick an aloha shirt, the most important thing is to have fun and enjoy the vibes. So feel free to try out different colors and patterns and find the ones that match your personality and mood. Aloha shirts are a great way to express your individuality and style.

Rear Adm. Jonathan Greenert, Deputy Commander Pacific Fleet, escorts singer/songwriter Jimmy Buffet (wearing an aloha shirt) and his family on a tour of Pearl Harbor on 12 June 2003. Photo: US Navy photo by Photographer’s Mate Airman Benjamin David Glass / RELEASED.

Aloha shirts are a great choice for casual wear. They offer a range of colors, patterns, and fabrics, and can be matched with different outfits. Aloha shirts are also low-maintenance, as they are usually made of breathable and wrinkle-resistant materials. Whether you want to create a tropical mood, a vintage style, or a simple look, there is an aloha shirt for you. Aloha shirts are not just fashionable, they are classic. They are also an outstanding CCW cover garment.




*The views and opinions expressed on this website are solely those of the original authors and contributors. These views and opinions do not necessarily represent those of Spotter Up Magazine, the administrative staff, and/or any/all contributors to this site.

By Eugene Nielsen

Eugene Nielsen owns and runs a private intelligence and security consulting firm. He has a BA degree from the University of California, Santa Barbara in Political Science. His byline has appeared on over 1,500 articles published in major national and international journals and magazines. He was on Contributing Staff of SWAT Magazine for over 20 years.

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