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Burt Reynolds was known for many things throughout his acting career, but perhaps most iconic was his penchant for wearing colorful printed Hawaiian shirts. These bold and eye-catching shirts became a signature part of Reynolds’ look both on and off screen.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: Burt Reynolds helped popularize Hawaiian shirts, especially the camp collar style, through wearing them in films like The Longest Yard and TV shows like Evening Shade in the 1970s and 80s.

In this article, we’ll take a deep dive into the history of Burt Reynolds’ Hawaiian shirt obsession. We’ll look at how he helped bring these tropical prints into the mainstream, the most memorable shirts he wore, and why this style became so closely associated with Reynolds.

The Rise of Hawaiian Shirts in Pop Culture

Hawaiian shirts, also known as Aloha shirts, have become an iconic fashion statement that is often associated with relaxation, vacation, and a carefree lifestyle. These vibrant and colorful shirts have gained significant popularity in pop culture, thanks to influential figures like Burt Reynolds, Elvis Presley, and Tom Selleck.

Elvis Presley and Hawaiian shirts in Blue Hawaii

One of the earliest instances of Hawaiian shirts in pop culture can be traced back to Elvis Presley’s film “Blue Hawaii” released in 1961. In the movie, Presley’s character is frequently seen wearing these flamboyant shirts, showcasing the laid-back and tropical atmosphere of the Hawaiian islands. This portrayal of the Hawaiian shirt as a symbol of leisure and relaxation helped fuel its popularity among the general public.

Elvis Presley’s influence on the fashion world cannot be overstated, and his endorsement of Hawaiian shirts brought them into the mainstream. With his charismatic persona and widespread appeal, Presley turned the Hawaiian shirt into a trendy and fashionable garment that was sought after by fans and fashion enthusiasts alike.

Tom Selleck’s Hawaiian prints on Magnum P.I.

Another significant pop culture figure who contributed to the rise of Hawaiian shirts was Tom Selleck through his portrayal of private investigator Thomas Magnum in the hit television series “Magnum P.I.” which aired from 1980 to 1988. Selleck’s character became synonymous with Hawaiian shirts, often donning them in various scenes throughout the show.

The popularity of “Magnum P.I.” and Selleck’s iconic portrayal led to a surge in demand for Hawaiian shirts, with many fans wanting to emulate the laid-back and adventurous style of Thomas Magnum. The show not only brought Hawaiian shirts into the spotlight but also showcased a wide variety of vibrant prints and designs, further expanding the appeal and versatility of these shirts.

Today, Hawaiian shirts continue to be a fashion staple, not just in Hawaii but all around the world. Their distinct patterns and relaxed fit make them a popular choice for casual wear, beach parties, and even formal events. Whether you’re a fan of the retro charm associated with Elvis Presley’s era or the rugged yet suave style of Tom Selleck, the Hawaiian shirt remains an enduring symbol of tropical paradise and carefree living.

Burt Reynolds’ Personal Style

Burt Reynolds, the iconic Hollywood actor known for his charismatic performances, was also famous for his unique personal style. One of the most distinctive elements of Reynolds’ fashion choices was his love for Hawaiian shirts. These vibrant and colorful garments became synonymous with his laidback and carefree persona both on and off screen.

Reynolds’ laidback fashion

Reynolds’ fashion sense was a reflection of his easygoing nature and his desire to stand out from the crowd. His collection of Hawaiian shirts showcased a wide range of patterns, colors, and designs, from bold florals to playful tropical motifs. These shirts became an integral part of his signature look and helped him exude confidence and charm.

What made Reynolds’ fashion even more interesting was his ability to effortlessly pair these vibrant shirts with a variety of outfits. Whether he was attending a red carpet event or simply running errands, he could often be seen wearing a Hawaiian shirt with a classic pair of jeans or khaki pants. This unique combination of casual and stylish elements became a symbol of his personal style.

Influence of his Florida upbringing

Reynolds’ fondness for Hawaiian shirts can be traced back to his upbringing in the Sunshine State of Florida. Growing up in a coastal town, he was surrounded by a vibrant mix of cultures and a relaxed beach lifestyle. The bright and breezy atmosphere of Florida greatly influenced his fashion choices and laid the foundation for his love of colorful and comfortable clothing.

Moreover, the popularity of Hawaiian shirts in Florida, with their lightweight fabric and tropical prints, made them a natural choice for Reynolds. These shirts not only reflected the spirit of the state but also provided a sense of nostalgia for him.

Reynolds’ personal style, including his affinity for Hawaiian shirts, has left an enduring impact on popular culture. His fashion choices continue to inspire new generations to embrace their individuality and have fun with their personal style choices. So, the next time you see someone rocking a vibrant Hawaiian shirt, you can thank Burt Reynolds for his enduring influence.

Reynolds’ Hawaiian Shirts on Screen

Burt Reynolds, the legendary actor known for his charismatic roles and iconic fashion choices, was often seen sporting vibrant Hawaiian shirts in his movies. These colorful garments became a trademark of his on-screen persona, adding a touch of tropical flair to his characters’ wardrobes.

The Longest Yard football jersey

One of the most memorable instances of Reynolds donning a Hawaiian shirt on screen was in the 1974 film “The Longest Yard.” In the movie, Reynolds played the role of Paul Crewe, a former professional football player who leads a team of inmates in a football match against the prison guards. During the climactic game, Reynolds can be seen wearing a football jersey that features a Hawaiian print design, effortlessly blending sporty and island-inspired aesthetics.

Smokey and the Bandit camp collar prints

In the 1977 action-comedy “Smokey and the Bandit,” Reynolds portrayed the charming and rebellious Bo “Bandit” Darville. Throughout the film, he wore a series of camp collar Hawaiian shirts, characterized by their relaxed fit and open collars. These shirts featured various playful prints, including palm trees, hibiscus flowers, and tropical motifs, reflecting the carefree spirit of the character and adding a touch of fun to his adventurous escapades.

Aloha shirts on Evening Shade

Burt Reynolds continued his love for Hawaiian shirts even in his television roles. In the sitcom “Evening Shade,” which aired from 1990 to 1994, Reynolds played Wood Newton, a former professional football player turned coach. In many episodes, his character can be seen sporting colorful Aloha shirts, exuding a laid-back and relaxed vibe that perfectly matched the show’s small-town setting.

Burt Reynolds’ choice to incorporate Hawaiian shirts into his on-screen wardrobe not only added a distinctive flair to his characters but also contributed to the popularity and cultural significance of these vibrant garments. To this day, his iconic fashion sense continues to inspire and captivate audiences, reminding us of the timeless appeal of the Hawaiian shirt.

The Most Iconic Reynolds Hawaiian Shirts

Burt Reynolds, the legendary actor known for his charismatic on-screen presence and unique style, became synonymous with Hawaiian shirts throughout his career. These colorful and vibrant shirts not only added a touch of flair to his outfits but also became a symbol of his free-spirited personality. Let’s take a closer look at some of the most iconic Reynolds Hawaiian shirts that have captivated fans for decades.

The Red Floral Silk Shirt

One of the most memorable Hawaiian shirts worn by Burt Reynolds was the red floral silk shirt. This shirt featured a striking red color with intricate floral patterns in contrasting shades. The luxurious silk fabric added an element of elegance to the shirt, making it a standout piece in his wardrobe. Reynolds was often seen sporting this shirt during public appearances, and it became a fan favorite.

Blue Palm Tree Print with Wood Buttons

Another iconic Hawaiian shirt worn by Reynolds was the blue palm tree print with wood buttons. This shirt showcased a vibrant blue color with a playful palm tree print, evoking a sense of tropical paradise. The wooden buttons added a rustic touch to the shirt, giving it a unique and eye-catching look. Reynolds effortlessly pulled off this shirt, and it became an instant hit among fans.

Green Leaf Camp Collar on Tonight Show

During one of his appearances on the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, Burt Reynolds wore a green leaf camp collar Hawaiian shirt that stole the spotlight. This shirt featured a refreshing green color with leaf patterns, perfectly capturing the essence of a tropical getaway. The camp collar added a casual and relaxed vibe to the shirt, making it a great choice for a late-night talk show appearance.

These iconic Hawaiian shirts not only showcased Burt Reynolds’ fashion sense but also became symbols of his larger-than-life personality. They continue to inspire and influence fashion trends, reminding us of the timeless charm and charisma of this Hollywood legend.

Reynolds’ Lasting Influence on Men’s Fashion

When we think of Burt Reynolds, we may remember his charismatic performances on the big screen, but his impact extended beyond his acting talent. One area where Reynolds left a lasting impression is in men’s fashion. His iconic Hawaiian shirts became a symbol of his laid-back style and continue to inspire fashion trends today.

Helped popularize camp collar shirts

Burt Reynolds played a significant role in popularizing camp collar shirts. These shirts, characterized by their relaxed, open collar, were a departure from the traditional button-down shirts of the time. Reynolds’ preference for these shirts in his movies and personal life helped bring them into the mainstream fashion scene. Today, camp collar shirts are a staple in many men’s wardrobes, thanks in part to Reynolds’ influence.

Opened door for bolder prints in menswear

Another significant contribution Reynolds made to men’s fashion was his embrace of bolder prints. His Hawaiian shirts were adorned with vibrant patterns and colors, breaking away from the more subdued styles commonly seen in menswear. Reynolds showed that men could confidently wear bold prints and still look stylish. This opened the door for designers and fashion enthusiasts to experiment with patterns and bring more excitement to men’s clothing.

Inspired relaxed SoCal style

Burt Reynolds’ iconic Hawaiian shirts also played a role in inspiring the relaxed SoCal style. With their lightweight fabric and tropical motifs, these shirts perfectly captured the carefree, laid-back vibe of Southern California. Reynolds’ preference for this style helped popularize the association between Hawaiian shirts and the relaxed coastal lifestyle. Today, the SoCal style continues to be celebrated, and Hawaiian shirts remain a key element of this fashion trend.

Burt Reynolds’ influence on men’s fashion cannot be overstated. His embrace of camp collar shirts, bolder prints, and relaxed SoCal style has left a lasting impact on the way men dress. So, the next time you see someone rocking a Hawaiian shirt or a camp collar shirt, you can thank Burt Reynolds for his enduring influence.


Burt Reynolds embraced easygoing printed Hawaiian shirts decades before they became a mainstream menswear trend. His laidback style featuring these colorful camp collar shirts both on and off camera helped popularize them in the 1970s and 80s.

Though Reynolds will be remembered for many legendary film roles, his Hawaiian shirts remain an iconic part of his image. He helped prove that floral patterns and bold prints weren’t only for women’s fashion. Reynolds paved the way for men to be more adventurous and expressive with their clothing choices.

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