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What to Wear To a Luau?

A luau is a traditional Hawaiian party that typically includes a feast and is accompanied by conventional forms of Hawaiian entertainment such as dancing, fun games, art and craft displays and demonstrations, and Hawaiian musical acts. Luaus can also include an imu ceremony (an imu is essentially an underground oven used to cook meat, usually pork, using hot coals), and will often include a Polynesian dancing show, with costumes and a lot of joyous music.

So if you’re going to a luau, you’re undoubtedly all excited about the food, the fun, and the entertainment. But before you get there, there’s the big question of what you’re going to wear to the party. Let’s look at some tips that can help you look great and have a wonderful time.

What kind of clothes should you pick?

Well, it’s a party. So, the dress code is casual, and the focus is on being laid-back. If you’re a guy, you can opt for a Hawaiian shirt – you can never go wrong there – and if you’re a girl, the obvious choice for a Luau would be a Hawaiian-style dress. You can keep it long and flowy, if that’s the mood you’re in. Or, if you’re feeling up for it, you could opt for a shorter, knee-length dress, and pair it with a Hawaiian shirt, knotted together at your waist. If a skirt isn’t your thing, try it with a pair of shorts instead, and if you like, a plain white t-shirt will go well underneath the tied shirt.

What prints should you choose?

Keeping in mind that the essence of a luau is casual, opt for tropical or floral prints in bright and vibrant shades, or simple but bold shapes. Alternatively, you could pick a bold, Hawaiian shirt with non-Hawaiian themes such as margaritas or puppies. Being informal and loud is the key, and where else can you rock such prints if not at a Luau party? Don’t be afraid to experiment with loud colors or neon apparel because a Hawaiian party is all about upping the fun quotient. Remember the basic fashion rule though; don’t pair a print with a print (unless they’re of contrasting sizes); take advantage of the contrast between strong plain colors and vibrant prints.

What about accessories?

First, let’s discuss footwear. Men and women are both better off picking flipflops for a luau party – nothing says carefree like a pair of colorful flipflops. Straw hats and light scarves are great accessories to pair with your luau outfit – they’re summery and stylish, and can help you to keep cool. As for jewelry, think flowery, dangly earrings, and beaded necklaces layered around your neck. A slim, simple choker can work wonders too, depending on your outfit.

And last of all, but certainly the most important, is to remember to wear flowers in your hair, and a lei around your neck. A lei is a beautiful necklace of fresh flowers and petals, deeply symbolic of the joy and generosity that’s such a central part of Hawaiian culture, and which you’ll get to enjoy at a luau in a special and memorable way. And there you have it, you’re ready to rock your luau!

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