Aloha kakahiaka

I don't have much claim to Hawaii since my family only lived there for a few years, but places make an impression on people even if you're only permitted to visit temporarily. Because of my now minimal knowledge of Polynesian culture and the tradition of flowers in the hair I can not wear a flower behind my left ear until I'm "taken." Symbolically, single women wear flowers behind their right ear. As much as this is rather antiquated and not from my own cultural background, just knowing that fact keeps blooms firmly behind my right ear. Random facts just resonate with me--the way you're supposed to hold chopsticks and never leave them sticking out of your rice bowl, or the history of blue doors in the South. I just can't shake those tidbits of information and they change the way I dress, or eat, and want to decorate my house. In college I often tucked fresh flowers behind my ears before class in the morning (only to be dismayed at how wilted they looked by the end of the day). This particular hair pin is a preserved orchid and my sister bought it for me many birthdays ago from a market on the Big Island. At the moment it's a rather optimistic accessory hoping for spring blossoms to match...

Outfit details:
orchid hair clip (similar here)
H&M cardigan
dress c/o Modcloth (old, similar here)
Seychelles oxfords (similar here)
*pictures by Jon



  1. I too adore learning little nuggets of cultural information (and incidentally, what *is* the history of the blue doors in the South?) As you said, they certainly shape how you subsequently think about and perceive elements in your life.

    Loved the skirt...let's certainly hope spring decides to wake up and finally make its much awaited appearance, sigh.

  2. what a sweet little gift from your sister:) I lived in hawaii too! what island/ city were you in? I miss it so much! I would love to go back soon- living there was my first real introduction to japanese food, snacks, art, and culture, and it was a huge influence on where my life has taken me since. It was definitely an important primer. did you go to a public school with a lot of native Hawaiian kids?

  3. Love the dress, such a nice breath of spring!

    ~Sarah K.

  4. That's very interesting to learn about the flowers! I usually favor my right ear, but I may have to switch to the other side now :P

    The Occasional Indulgence

  5. Very curious about the meaning behind blue doors in the South, I'm not familiar with that. I looove that cardigan!!

  6. I so want to wear a flower but I always feel I should only do it for a party. Lovely,

    Marie @
    Lemondrop ViNtAge

    I am having a fabulous giveaway right here.

  7. Ahhh, our little Hawaii girl, even if you were here for a short time. It's OK. Hawaii will always welcome you back.

    I love this fact about flowers. And I love that it influenced you so strongly throughout your life. I learned it when I was a little girl. And, in grade school, there was this boy who lived down the street who asked me if he could give me a flower so I could put it behind my left ear. :)

    So cute.

    Me ke aloha,
    Mae Xx //

  8. so beautiful. i absolutely love this skirt... and your haircut.

  9. so cute babe!! love! xx

  10. Love those shoes!


  11. Beautiful outfit, and thank you for posting about those cultural tidbits. I love learning things like that.

    xox Sammi

  12. it's kind of fascinating the way our generation is able to encounter and acquire bits of cultures foreign to our own. we really do live in a truly global culture, where small bits of larger cultures are appropriated and repurposed for a new era. whether it be sweet flower rituals or strange dining taboos, it will be interesting to see how these new ideas and influences will shape our culture and future generations.

    btw, you look beautiful.


  13. I love your blazer!



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