How to Design a Custom Hawaiian Shirt

March 26, 2021

Hawaiian Shirts or Aloha Shirts are one of the fastest growing merch items anywhere right now.  Ideal for company BBQ’s, team building events, work from home gifts, charity auctions and, of course, for reselling we absolutely love a custom made Hawaiian shirt.

There are a couple of options when designing your own custom shirt.

  1. Embroider your logo onto a pre-made Aloha shirt.
    If you are making a very small amount of Hawaiian shirts (less than 50 units), the best approach is to choose a pattern that looks great and lines up with your brand.

    You can then get any printer with embroidery capability (this is most printers) to print directly onto the shirt.
  1. Create your own Custom Hawaiian Shirt from Scratch
    While embroidering a logo can look good, we love the custom printed Hawaiian shirts that are made from scratch.  Simply take your brand guidelines and run wild with any pattern you like.

    We’ve included below some of our favourite Hawaiian shirts for inspiration.  Some general guidelines are:
  1. Pick a floral pattern where possible. While you can do anything you like on an original Hawaiian shirt, a floral pattern always looks best.
  2. Pick loud and bright colors. Bright colors look amazing on Hawaiian shirts and really stand out.  We love pinks, oranges, blues, yellows and reds.
  3. Don’t make your logo too big. While it’s important to incorporate your logo, subtle branding works best. You want people to wear the shirt again and again – they’ll know who gave it them a large corporate logo generally doesn’t help the wearability of the shirt.
  4. Create custom labels. For any branded product, it needs to be fully labelled with your logo – you want your own logo on the inside label nice and clear and polished. 

Design Inspiration

The Michael Scott / Microsoft Office Hawaiian Shirt

Everybody loves the Office TV series and this memorable episode where Michael goes to a conference is a classic.  The Microsoft Office shirt remains a much loved and very much sought after item of swag.  We absolutely love the outrageous color with an extremely lazy pattern and tacky embroidered logo.  Ultimate kitsch.

Image of Michael Scott in Microsoft Office Shirt

Brad Pitt / Once Upon a Time in Hollywood Hawaiian Shirt

The amazing Quentin Tarantino movie, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood featured Brad Pitt as the coolest stuntman / assistant to feature in quite some time.  We absolutely loved this outrageous yellow shirt with a classic pattern and some amazing colors throughout.

Brad Pitt in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood shirt


Forgetting Sarah Marshall Hawaiian Shirts

One of the funniest movies in the past decade has to be Forgetting Sarah Marshall where a heartbroken Jason Segal heads to Hawaii to get away from his TV star ex-girlfriend played by Kristen Bell.  The Aloha shirts in this movie are many and varied – some of our favorites are below.

Extremely loud colors, lots of floral prints make these shirts incredibly impressive.

Forgetting Sarah Marshall Hawaiian Shirt 1 

 Forgetting Sarah Marshall Hawaiian Shirt 2

Scarface Hawaiian Shirts

In one of the all-time classic movies, the main character Tony Montana (played by Al Pacino) wore some iconic Hawaiian Shirts.  Bright colors with eye-catching patterns only slightly obscured by the blood coming from his face, the shirts are pretty awesome.

Scarface Hawaiian Shirt 1

 Scarface Hawaiian Shirt 2

Ace Venture Hawaiian Shirts

Ace Ventura was a serious pet detective – he could track down almost any animal in super fast time.  He also had a great sense of style.  Casual vest worn underneath a classic open Hawaiian shirt, oversized pants with a belt without belt rings, this guy knew how to wear it.

His shirts were outstanding – lots of bright colors, super comfortable looking – effortless style from the worlds best pet detective.

Ace Ventura Shirt

 Ace Ventura Shirt 2

Back to the Future II Hawaiian Shirt

We absolutely love the Back to the Future movies (well the first two at least) and Doc Brown remains one of the most beloved characters in movie history.  When dressing appropriately for 2015, his attire includes an incredibly fashionable Aloha shirt with cartoon patterns or trains and cowboys.

Back to the Future Hawaiian Shirt  

We hope some of these Hawaiian shirts provide you with design inspiration.  If you would like any help with design, we have a design team that would be more than happy to assist you create something unique.

Remember, when creating a fresh design, inspiration is important - what works best is bright bold colors, fresh patterns (floral are great) and when building in your brand the more subtle, the better.  

Our design team is always happy to help and we've lots of experience creating unique shirts for our customers.  We use the full shirt - collars, sleeves, front and back to create something really special.  The shirts are ideal for PR initiatives, social media and employee gifts.  We also have a lot of customers who resell the shirts.

If you would like some further details on pricing or some help with the design, please click the link below and we'll be delighted to help.