Do You Muumuu?

9 Jul

It’s July in Texas once again, when the ultimate goals in dressing for the day are:

A. avoid having your thighs stick to the blistering black leather upholstery in your car.
B. figure out how to wear that cute halter maxi dress without a damn bra.
C. resisting the urge to run to Target in your bikini and cut-offs because you need more limeade for the margaritas*.

Yes, we know the people of Wal-Mart show us daily that there are far more major fashion faux-pas than wearing a bikini to Target, but seriously, we are better than that. I once caught my husband coming home from a quick grocery store run after we had been out at the pool all day in his fluorescent Hawaiian print swim trunks and a Tshirt with the sleeves cut off so the armholes went down to his waist. “Seriously? You wore that out of the house??” I was mortified. He was amused, and that Tshirt went in the rag bin the next morning. Who wins now??
So, I bring you, the muumuu. Not the loud, floral, housedress that can double for a tent muumuu, but the classic, true Hawaiian muumuu that will soon become your summer staple.


The word “mu’umu’u” in Hawaiian translates to “cut off” because originally they were made without a yoke. They were long, simple dresses made from tropical printed fabrics that mirrored the Polynesian feel of the islands. When tourism to Hawaii began to boom in the 1960s, at the top of every woman’s shopping list was an authentic Hawaiian muumuu, and, if she could convince her spouse to oblige, an “aloha” shirt for him in the matching fabric.


The most coveted muumuus were made out of bark cloth. A cotton/linen type fabric made from the bark of trees common in Asia and the Pacific. Popular brands included Hawaiian Casuals, Malihini, Ui-Maikai and Hilo Hattie, but any brand made in Hawaii is a real treasure.




So, embrace the tropics and the heat wave, make yourself a mai tai and keep cool in your vintage muumuu. Mahalo!

*bonus! Best Margarita Recipe Ever
1 can frozen limeade
orange liqueur (optional)
Dump can of frozen limeade in to blender. Fill can to the top with tequila, dump in  blender. Add 1/4 can of orange liqueur. Fill blender with ice. Blend to desired consistency.


One Response to “Do You Muumuu?”

  1. thevintageporch July 9, 2013 at 3:42 pm #

    I can relate, I used to live in Texas, and love your post about the moumous…love barkcloth

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