How to Wear Hawaiian Flowers

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Hawaiian flowers such as plumerias and orchids add a tropical vibe and an enticing scent to an outfit. The blooms can subtly enhance a look, or they can stand out and attract attention. To wear Hawaiian flowers, take a cue from Hawaiian traditions. The islanders wear them for all kinds of occasions and in a variety of fashions.

  • Get lei-ed. The most common way to wear Hawaiian flowers is in a lei. The lei is a long chain of flowers that fits loosely around the neck and over the shoulders, dipping to a little below the chest. Leis are commonly given at celebrations such as birthdays, graduations, anniversaries and weddings. However, Hawaiians consider lei-wearing acceptable anytime; there doesn't need to be a celebration to wear one. Giving a lei is a sign of affection, so always accept a lei when given one, and don't remove it in front of the person who gave it to avoid appearing rude.

  • Think about the head. For a festive, youthful, island look, wear a smaller chain of flowers on your head like a crown. Usually the flower crown fits loosely, and worn properly, goes from the forehead to the nape of the neck.

  • Go for the ear. Tuck a single Hawaiian flower behind the ear for a fresh, romantic adornment. According to Hawaiian traditions, wear a flower behind the left ear, the side closest to your heart, to indicate you are in a relationship. Wear a flower behind the right ear to show that you are single and looking for someone. Afflix the bloom with a hairpin or clip to secure your flirty, natural look.

  • Go for a bracelet. Fit a loose chain of flowers around the wrist, or attach a single bloom to a ring of elastic or a plain bangle for a corsage. More inconspicuous than flowers on the head or around the neck, the bracelet nonetheless adds subtle Hawaiian flair.

  • Try an anklet. Pair an anklet with any other Hawaiian flower accessory for a truly island vibe. Anklets need to accompany another flowered accessory to look pulled together. An anklet alone looks odd and out of place.

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