January is Hawaii’s official Mu‘umu‘u month (pronounced moo-oo, moo-oo), honoring, preserving and celebrating the mu‘umu‘u, the iconic dress that marks Hawai’i’s unique fashion history. A lot of Hawaii’s female residents have at least one mu‘umu‘u in their closets. Many have a variety of styles. The garment was originally designed to provide a loose and comfortable fit for Kauai’s warm tropical climate. This fashion style varies from simple to elaborate and is worn for work, casual gatherings, out to dinner and for more formal affairs. The design incorporates vibrant color and unique neck, shoulder, sleeve and garment configurations. On the Royal Coconut Coast, Vicky’s Fabrics offers classes in making a mu‘umu‘u as well as a large away of Hawaiian print fabrics.
Kauai’s Shannon Hiramoto, an instigator of January being designated Mu‘umu‘u month, shows off some of her creations. Proceeds from the sale of these dresses go to the Kauai Historical Society. Photo by Dennis Fujimoto, The Garden Island