What Is a Mumu, Muumuu or Moomoo Dress? – Meaning and Origin

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Candace Osmond

Candace Osmond studied Advanced Writing & Editing Essentials at MHC. She’s been an International and USA TODAY Bestselling Author for over a decade. And she’s worked as an Editor for several mid-sized publications. Candace has a keen eye for content editing and a high degree of expertise in Fiction.

Would you consider a muumuu fashionable? Most people don’t because it’s been stereotyped as a garment that only overweight people tend to wear. But that’s not the case.

Muumuus are beautiful, loose dresses that are a huge part of the Hawaiian culture. So, let’s take a look at what a muumuu really is and how you can use it in everyday conversations and even writing.

What Is a Muumuu?

What Is a Mumu Muumuu or Moomoo Dress Meaning Origin

Have you ever been to Hawaii? It’s one of my favorite cultures from around the world. It’s a beautiful, family-oriented, embracing culture with unique fashion. One garment they traditionally wear is a muumuu, usually worn by females.

It’s a light, airy, unbelted dress that can be long or short but is usually long. What’s really indicative of a muumuu is the bright floral patterns and colors of nature. It’s since branched out, and the convenience of it caught on around the world, but especially so in America.

Is It a Muumuu or Moo Moo Dress?

From what I’ve seen, most people spell the noun as “moo moo,” but the correct spelling is actually “mu’umu’u,” as a single word with proper punctuation throughout. You might also see “moomoo” and “mumu,” but those are incorrect.

“Muumuu” is also acceptable in most other English-speaking languages. You could probably get away with the “moo moo” spelling in casual settings, but you should try to be as accurate as possible so you’re respectful to the Hawaiian culture.

Origin of the Muumuu Dress

The mu’umu’u is a floor-length, loose dress that has been a part of the Hawaiian culture for centuries. However, its origin in relation to how it’s used around the world today started when the Westernization of the tiny islands began. In an attempt to retain their cultural identity, Hawaiian women wore dresses while joining the Westernized workforce.

Muumuu Pronunciation

It’s pretty easy. What does a cow say? “Mu’umu’u” or “muumuu” is pronounced as moo-moo.

Are There Other Words for a Muumuu?

While “muumuu” is the most commonly used term for the traditional Hawaiian dress, you can use any of these terms in place of it.

  • Hawaiian dress
  • Aloha dress
  • Polynesian dress
  • Floral sundress

Using Muumuu in a Sentence

What Is a Mumu Muumuu or Moomoo Dress Meaning Origin 1
  • Jane wore a colorful muumuu to the Hawaiian-themed birthday party.
  • While on vacation in Hawaii, I bought a beautiful muumuu as a souvenir, and now it’s all I wear.
  • The muumuu my sister wore to the beach was perfect for the warm, humid weather.
  • The store has a massive selection of muumuus in a bunch of patterns and colors, so I bought one in every color.
  • My grandma’s collection of muumuus was perfect for her first tropical island getaway.

Muumuus are Awesome!

When something that’s loved and used globally but comes from a specific culture, it’s essential to be respectful when using it or referring to it in spoken or written language. A muumuu or mu’umu’u is a traditional Hawaiian floral sundress and is probably one of the comfiest things I’ve ever worn. Highly recommend! Now, check out my other grammar guides and expand your knowledge!