The "Original" Aloha Shirt is Back!
The exclusive Reyn Spooner USNA Hawaiian shirt was produced by (Chris Hodges ’87) more than 10 years ago. I sold them on single purpose website. After the initial run I shut down the website and turned the last few 3XL shirts into BBQ aprons for classmates.
Since then, a steady trickle and now a stream of emails have come in asking for shirts he no longer has. His plan was to produce more shirts when I retired, whenever that is.
However, recently he was contacted by other classes and grads who wanted to produce the shirts again. As always, the challenge is the numbers. Specifically, to make these shirts the minimum order is about 650 shirts with a much better price break at 1200 shirts. No group has the class size or the parent group big enough to buy that many shirts. Also, all orders need to go through him as the owner of the design and rights to the shirt.
If you or another shipmate or family member want one of these shirts, we have a three step process to follow:
- You need to complete this survey to indicate your interest and specifics for the shirt(s) you want. Use the Survey link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/CP78R57
- If we hit the minimum number of people who will commit to the shirts you will be asked you to make a deposit of $70 per shirt via Venmo.
- Chris will order the shirts from Reyn Spooner and have them sent to you personally or your class or club if you buy them in bulk.
1. Please complete this survey to indicate your interest. Survey monkey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/CP78R57
2.If you want to order in bulk please send me an email with “USNA Reyn Spooner" in the subject line.
Important point: The best way to get this to happen soon is to share this with as many USNA Alumni, Friends and Fans as possible, now. If Chris gets the numbers you will be notified in another message and asked for your deposit.
Your Likely Questions answered by Chris directly:
Answer: The plan is to do blue and white again if the demand justifies it. See Photos.
Answer: M, L, XL, 2XL (These shirts run roomy as they are aloha shirts) I am 6’1 and 185lb and wear large
When will they be delivered?
Answer: It takes 9 months from order to shipment. When I get the deposits I will order the shirts.
When will the order be placed? Deadline?
Answer: I will place an order when and if I get the deposits. I will not bet on the come and sit on inventory like last time. My goal would be to send out the order by June 1st so everyone has their shirt by the summer of 2023.
What will the shirt cost?
Answer: Depending on volume they will be between $105 and $115 each. Inflation may push this up between now and them but you will know that when we place the order. Reyn retail today is about $120 depending on the style.
What do these shirts look like?
Answer: See below
What are they made of?
Answer: Spooner Kloth is a 60/40 blend. It arrives a bit stiff and softens up every time you wash and dry it. My oldest Reyn Spooner is 30 years old and feels like pajamas. These are very well made and last many years.
What images are on the shirts?
Answer: The list of images includes: The Chapel, Bancroft Hall, Parade field with mid and Sailboats, Graduation with the Blue Angels, Marine and Naval Officers Swords, USNA spelled out in pinafore (very subtle and proud statement). Please see the images attached or if someone did not keep the attachments then send me an email and I will send you the original email.
Has the academy approved of these images?
Answer: Yes. I also had to custom shoot some and pay for rights for others. Those are 29th company mids posing in the graduation shot. Yes I paid them. The reason I do not include the crest, goat or N* is because I wanted the shirts to be different and more subtle. There are plenty of those great standard navy images in the mid-store.
Why not sell the in the Mid-store?
Answer: I did sell some of the last shirts in the mid-store. They require a ridiculously low price to do this which makes it impossible to do it again or the sale price would be $150 or more.
Do the shirts fade?
Answer: Yes, slowly. The shirt i am wearing in the photo below has been washed at least 30 times. They are meant to look “washed” and that is why the image is done on the reverse of the cloth.
Is there a women’s version?
Answer: Not specifically. This was purely a numbers game. I did see several women have them tailored at the waist and hips but this is up to you. Sorry I would love to do a womens version if there is a style and demand to do it.
Is there another design?
Answer: Not by me or Reyn Spooner. I personally choose to base the design on one of the Reyn classics and avoid a ‘louder' Hawaiian shirt style.
What Reyn Spooner and not some other vendor?
Answer: Reyn is the Gold standard of Hawaiian Shirts. I was encouraged to have them made by some cheap shirt company to save money. Reyn is the best in the Hawaiian shirt business and known as the Brooks Brothers of the islands. A unique feature is that they match the patterns in the pockets and seams. They really look sharp and they come at a price.
Answer: I am choosing Venmo for two reasons. 1. It is easy. 2. If the funds are sent via the “friends and family” option there will be no transaction fee. Please remember there is very little margin in these shirts when it is all added up.
Can I pay with a credit card?
Answer: Not this time. I don’t run a retail business and i don’t want to pay the credit cards fees. Please download the app or find a friend or family member who has it.
Where else can I get these shirts?
Answer: I have heard you can get them sometimes on e-Bay. Don’t laugh. This shirt will outlive you too.
What about using shirts for a fundraiser?
Answer: YES. If you can order 50 or more shirts I will gladly have the box sent to you at cost. This might save my marriage. Last time we shipped them one by one. Ever seen 1200 hundred shirts show up at once?
What about returns?
Answer: I will not accept returns unless there is a defect in the shirt and Reyn will replace it. Of the 1400 total shirt from last run, not one was defective.
Can you trust me with your Venmo Deposit?
Answer: Yes but if you are going to hesitate just don’t move forward. I wear the ring proudly and won’t screw you over. I even sent the XO I didn’t like a shirt last time when he ordered it through gritted teeth.
Who is Chris Hodges (this email author)?
Answer: I was in 29th company and the class of ’87. If you want to check me out for legitimacy my linkedin profile is below and you can find me in the alumni directory. I am not in the garment business. Rather I speak and consult for what that is worth. LinkedIn:www.linkedin.com/in/cwhodges My Website: NobleAutomationNow.com
What if we can’t get the numbers for the order after I pay my deposit?
Answer: If you have paid a deposit and we can’t get the the rest of the people who committed to come through (shame on them) I will refund your deposit. No deposit is required yet. We first need the commitments. I will drop this for now at the end of the summer if we can’t get it together. Go Navy!
Who will ship the shirts?
Answer: Hopefully your class or chapter will order them in bulk and ship them to you. If not, I will ship them from my house. Then I will bribe my wife to help me with some romantic getaway.
Where do the proceeds go?
Answer: Last time around the “proceeds” were trivial after the advertising costs and marketing. If your class or group orders them in bulk you can do whatever you want with the proceeds. This time, if I have to sell them personally from my basement, i will donate part of any proceeds to the academy. I was thinking of hosting a luau open to mids at a local restaurant maybe? Open to ideas but let’s cross this bridge when we get to it.
Last points: This shirt was a personal project more than 10 years ago that I hoped a few other grads would end up liking. I am humbled to see that many do. I did not do this to make a bunch of money. Unless you count my time and that of my wife at about $1/hr, we did not make a bunch of money. The garment business is tough and I have huge respect for those who can make it work. I am just a grad who wanted a cool and very unique aloha shirt.
I have had a few people complain that they got a “commercial email”. I get it. I had to balance sending this to people and offending a few or knowing that those who wanted the shirts would never get them. Last time I spent thousands of dollars in advertising to get the word out. I even had a few admirals complain that I put flyers on their windows at Navy games only to have them turn around and order a shirt. Please don’t be that admiral. If this is not your thing please delete this message and accept my apology. If this is your thing and you look forward to sitting back with a cold one wearing a very unique, subtle reminder to just how much of your life was invested in USNA and the fleet/corps, let me know.
Email me directly if you have questions. email@example.com 240-401-2466 Class of ’87. Please put Reyn Spooner in the subject line