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Packing for Oahu

Salem, Oregon
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Packing for Oahu

We are attending a conference at the Hyatt this summer which requests "business casual" as the attire. When this conference is held on the mainland, that would probably mean long pants like Dockers, a long sleeved shirt open at the neck possibly a jacket, but no tie.

How would you reinterpret "business casual" when packing for Hawaii? I really hate to bring more than we need.

Northern California...
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1. Re: Packing for Oahu

Hawaiian business casual (for men):

long pants (Dockers ok)

short sleeve "business aloha" shirt or most any collared golf polo

socks

shoes

Business aloha shirt is the kind you tuck-in as opposed to hanging loose. Also, the prints are very muted in color or "reverse print".

Jacket (light weight blazer) is only necessary if they have the AC cranked up in the conference room. Not very likely though.

Salem, Oregon
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2. Re: Packing for Oahu

That helps me a lot, thanks. I was wondering whether long pants were appropriate or everything was done in shorts. I really hate to pack a sport coat... probably should though, yes?

Northern California...
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3. Re: Packing for Oahu

The sports coat really depends on what type of conference you are going to. Most of the ones on Hawaii are not that formal (you're lucky to even get people to stay until the end of the day). A plain solid color zip front jacket would probably suffice just to keep the chill off. This jacket from Dockers is what I'm thinking of:

www.dockersstore.com/product/index.jsp…

I know a lot of people insist that they don't need to pack a jacket when they go to Hawaii because the the highs are in the 80s and the lows in the 70s but there are plenty of places that keep the AC set at 68 and that is just too cold for me.

laguna niguel, ca
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4. Re: Packing for Oahu

any type of business person like a hotel manager will always have the long pants, khakis and a reyn spooner is standard convention wear.

Honolulu, Hawaii
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5. Re: Packing for Oahu

Can the jacket, there are exceptionally few occasions where wearing one is appropriate (unless for reasons of personal taste), and even fewer where they are required (I can only think of a handful of times in the past three decades).

Not sure where the differentiation between wearing an Aloha shirt tucked in or loose creates a different style of attire comes from; i.e. one being "business" the other something else.

Aloha shirts were originally designed and still generally manufactured today to wear "outside" of one's pants, and many, many businessmen and community leaders still wear them that way for any and all occasions. Tucking them in started moving into vogue in the late 1970s, but the practice seems to have peaked, and there has been a gradual increase in the "out" style in recent years.

At present, probably about 70% or so of most businessmen do the "tuck" today, but no one considers one way more or less formal than the other.

Being as it is Hawaii, do please wear a demure Aloha Shirt instead of a Polo, which are most commonly thought of here as golf course/resort wear, and worn in business mostly only by younger, less established, or non-professional guys.

I think most Honolulu businessmen would consider Dockers to be fairly to unduly casual business attire. They are not that commonly seen in the financial and capitol districts. Most wear a higher grade of slacks.

If you choose dockers, just make sure you wear ones that are either super wrinkle resistant or don't show them due to color. The tropical heat and humidity just seem to make pants wrinkle something fierce, which is why most businessmen wear some form of blended material trousers; heavy on the polyester or wool components.

And, absolutely loafers.

California
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for Oahu
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6. Re: Packing for Oahu

Dockers and sport shirt (Aloha shirt, polo shirt, etc.) socks, shoes. Perhaps a light jacket ... for over-airconditioned areas. Sure wouldn't bring a tie.

Other events and spare time: shorts, t-shirts or light sports shirts, sandals or good walking shoes.

Northern California...
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7. Re: Packing for Oahu

I'm thinking the trend towards wearing the Aloha shirt outside the pants is tied to the expanding waist line of America....

Actually while I agree that business men in the islands do wear the light-weight nicer pants, you gotta consider that the OP is going to a conference. No one is going to expect people to bust out regular office wear (not to mention having to iron the stuff). Dockers (no not khakis) does make pants that are wrinkle resistant so the OP'll look presentable in them.

As for the golf shirts - I have to disagree. You get a bunch of people together in Hawaii for a conference and I'd bet money that most of the guys will be sporting golf shirts ... with TW discretely embroidered on it.

Salem, Oregon
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8. Re: Packing for Oahu

I appreciate all the feedback. Maybe I shouldn't have chosen the word Dockers... I was using it generically like one uses kleenex for any tissue. A lighter weight fabric would certainly make sense.

Suppose this conference were, in fact, related to the capitol district. Would that make a difference regarding a sport coat?

Extreme Northern...
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9. Re: Packing for Oahu

I don't think you need a jacket. We've been to conferences filled with doctors and lawyers and been to fine dining restaurants all over HI and I don't think I've ever seen anyone wearing a jacket. If there are people wearing them at your events I bet there will be plenty of people without as well.

I would bring some nicer lightweight woven trousers and some aloha shirts in the style of Tommy Bahamas. A cut above what you would wear touring around the island. Will you have any shopping time before your business events? My husband always finds the perfect pants etc. at Macy's in the Ala Moana center when we arrive since we don't always have that sort of apparel available where we live.

10. Re: Packing for Oahu

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