What to Wear in Honolulu, Hawaii

What to wear in Honolulu? One word to describe the overall “dress code” in the islands is casual – you might notice signs in stores or restaurants saying things like “No shirt, no service” or “Footwear required”. It's common to see surfers and beachgoers walking about in their beach attire (sometimes without a shirt, sometimes without slippers).

On the other hand, you may also see people dressed to the nines, for dinner at nice restaurants or for a night out in town, and you’ll also see downtown executives in tailored suits.

And contrary to popular belief, aloha shirts aren't just for tourists. You’ll see that the locals wear aloha attire for almost everything - work, play and semi-formal events like weddings. The difference is, they prefer hues and prints that are not as bright and busy that the tourists favor.

So you can get away with dressing in shorts, t-shirts and slippers, if that’s your style. Do note that the temperature does dip in the early mornings and evenings, and even more so during winter months, so you should also prepare jeans/long pants and long-sleeved shirts and/or sweaters.


Besides clothing and important documents, you may also want to bring the following:

Your favorite things and photographs of family and friends. Although these days you can easily have a video chat with Skype and MSN Messenger etc, if you ever feel homesick.

If you already have a room/apartment lined up, you may want to pack a bedsheet set and travel-sized personal grooming products, so you can settle in/freshen up and rest as soon as you arrive. Most places will list the type of bed included (ask if they don't).

You may be thinking of packing food items, but make sure that the they are not prohibited by the US Dept of Agriculture (USDA) and the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP).

However, it's probably best if you travel light. Save your luggage space and don't pack household items (for example, pots and pans) that you can purchase over here.

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