Fashion

The Hawaiian Shirt That'll Have Everyone Asking, 'Where'd You Get That?'

Tombolo makes shirts for beach naps, barbecues-and the office.
IMAGE TIM MULCARE
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We talk a lot here at Esquire HQ about what sets a certain piece of clothing apart from the rest: "These picks are the best way to spend your hard-earned cash." And there are a lot of reasons why the products we're discussing are worthy of a portion of your paycheck. But more often than not, the question I tend to ask myself is, "Will this get our dear reader a compliment or two?" Yes, there are more important things in life than wearing things that spark inquiry. But a little confidence boost can go a long way in evolving from "Chris, you look nice today!" to "Man, Chris looks nice every day."

On the day I finally deployed my Tombolo Hawaiian shirt, I had more conversations about it than any other item in recent memory. Even during peak Hawaiian shirt season, Tombolo's shirts are hard not to notice. They aren't like the kind you're used to seeing at the frat's luau night (though I expect them to be a staple there soon enough); there's something more noticeable about them. And there are a couple of fine details that come into play to allow that sort of separation. These unisex, well-draped, and artfully patterned shirts lend themselves to earnest inquiries. Here's why. 

The contrast piping gives the shirt a pajama-esque feel that is, counterintuitively,
actually kind of dressy.

Photo by TIM MULCARE.

It's fun, without being a 'fun shirt.'

I loathe the dude at the function in a "fun shirt." You know the type: overly washed, only brought out once a year, way too loud, and dying for attention. (And don't get me started on the shirt he's wearing.) Practicing the art of standing out and simultaneously blending in looks kind of like this. But these are the shirts that help you get it done. They're printed, sure, but a subtle detail like pajama-esque piping can make all the difference in gently whispering, "This is good shit" versus yelling, "Look at me!" Because that quality is so visible, you can even throw one on under a suit for that late-summer wedding or a workday that ends in Y. 

A vent on at the back is designed to let the breeze in.

Photo by TIM MULCARE.

It's stronger than the Hawaiian shirt you already have.

When I say "stronger," I don't mean Schwarzenegger strong, I mean Charmin Ultra Strong strong. More than likely, the Hawaiian shirts you've been wearing-whether they were thrifted or come from a Big Designer-are pretty thin. And there's definitely a benefit to wearing something a little flimsier when the days just keep getting hotter. But Tombolo's 100% rayon poplin jawns will not only last well into the evening-they'll last you well into September, should you choose to keep them in the rotation until the official start of fall. The thicker shirt also allows you to relieve yourself of an undershirt, which you should, unless you plan on wearing it open, but maybe even then, depending on how relaxed that setting is.

Classic aloha shirt themes like waves, tableaus, and fruit, are all present,
they’re just a little more toned down.

Photo by TIM MULCARE.

It's reimagined in more ways than one.

Tombolo didn't just rethink resort-y shirts for the Instagram generation; the brand also created a collection of great-looking shorts, long-sleeve shirts, and sweaters that you can share with whoever you want. Anyone can look good in these shirts, and there's something about them that turns heads. Maybe it's that you can tell their vibe is new and fresh. Maybe it's that piping that makes you pause. Or maybe it's simply because it's a shirt that, no matter who's looking at you, is going to spark a "Where'd you get that?" It's hard to bring people together these days. I'm not mad at the thought of a shirt doing its small part. SHOP $128, tombolocompany.com Prop styling by Miako Katoh Photography by Tim Mulcarea

This story originally appeared on Esquire.com. Minor edits have been made by the Esquiremag.ph editors.

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