Dennis Wilson circa ‘Pacific Ocean Blue’.

I’m trying to keep the Golden Garb choices varied and vaguely seasonal. So with desert based oil drilling and Christmas crime fighting behind us we move on to summertime beach loitering and the first ‘real’ Golden Garb entry; Mr Dennis Wilson.

As it’s well documented, Dennis was the only ‘real’ Beach Boy from the Beach Boys. While the rest of Brian’s troupe waxed lyrical about their boards and surfin’ safaris, Dennis was the only member putting the art of Surfing in to practise. Wave chasing aside he was also the only member to genuinely adopt the free wheeling beach lifestyle that defined much of The Beach Boys music.

Another ‘Pacific Ocean Blue’ promotional shot. High waisted is the way forward for Den.

The darker sides of Dennis – from his tragic involvement with the Manson Family, the heavy drinking and pot smoking (which damaged his voice to gravelly perfection – see/hear Pacific Ocean Blues), to the alcohol abuse that would lead to his premature death from drowning – all contribute to form a complex and intriguing super dude that is often overshadowed by the legacy and immense talent of his brother, Brian.

Dennis promoting ‘Pacific Ocean Blue’ circa 1977.
Dennis in the classic Hawaiian shirt.

But rather than this being a mini-biopic of the man I’d of course like to focus on his inimitable relaxed style. There aren’t many gents that can get away with such high waisted pants and still look 110% cooled out with the situation. And not many people have donned Hawaiian shirts with the same degree of sincere causality before or since his Pacific Ocean reign. Team all that up with a Grizzly-Adams-Mountain-Man beard and you’ve got a winning combo on your hands that can even chill a tuxedo the-fuck-out.

Formal Dennis / Casual Dennis. Unkempt beard and penguin suit is always a winning combo for me.

So with many brands ‘reviving’ the Hawaiian shirt this season and some fine examples out there already, I thought it would be good to take a leaf from Dennis’ book to show how to wear ‘em loud whilst playing it cool. Here’s a variety of Dennis vs The Hawaiian Shirt images with some recently available latter day options from Stitched & Stitched favourites; Engineered Garments, Levi’s Vintage Clothing, Monitaly, Our Legacy, and Woolrich Woolen Mills.

Engineered Garments Hawaiian Print Chauncey Shirt from Oi Polloi.
Levi’s Vintage Clothing Hawaiian Red Print Shirt from Tres Bien Shop.
Monitaly Vacation Shirt in Geometric Blue and Geometric Teal available from Mohawk General Store.
Our Legacy 1950s Button Down Shirt Indigo Potplant from End Clothing.
OK, so not strictly a Hawaiian, but you get the gist… Woolrich Woolen Mills Half Sleeve African Print Shirt from Sarah Coggles.


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