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Shopping Vintage on Oahu

Here at Holoholo Wale, we’re suckers for vintage Hawaiiana, be it kitschy or classy. And while we prefer to be part of the Aloha Wear and Hawaii Postcard Liberation Front (not a real organization) on the mainland, we still like to go treasure hunting in Hawaii. Oahu has a few great places to do just that — here are three very different picks for vintage finds.

Bailey’s Antiques and Aloha Wear: Bailey’s is a fabulous mess full of racks bursting with aloha wear, from new reproductions of vintage patterns to the outrageously expensive and super rare. It’s expensive by mainland standards — a vintage 70s neon colored number can set you back 70 dollars — that’s some cash for a 30 year old shirt. But it’s right outside Waikiki — ambitious visitors can walk — and it’s FUN. The really expensive stuff is hanging up high.  Wondering what a 3500 dollar aloha shirt looks like? This is the place to find out.

Tin Can Mailman: The boxes of Hawaii ephemera — maps, brochures,movie posters, so much more — are a gold mine of questionable clothing choices, snappy ad copy, and the golden age of Hawaii tourism packaged to sell just about everything. There’s more, though, tiki mugs and hula lamps and maybe, if it’s not sold, a spectacularly inlaid guitar. This tiny shop in Chinatown is jam-packed with tropically inspired antique wonders and the guy behind the counter? He knows about all of it. Take a cab or the bus.

Muumuu Heaven: Everything old is new again and it’s damned cute, and in some cases, slinky and sexy. Recycled aloha print and tropical fabrics are used to embellish skirts, sundresses, tops, and when we visited, there was an amazing selection of vintage dresses from the 40s to the 70s. There’s also a very pretty display of housewares, original artwork, jewelry… lots of one of a kind things. In Kailua. You’ll want a rental car to get there.

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  1. […] Hawaiiana beyond the Hula Doll: Better souvenirs via the New York Times. Though we have advice too. […]