Surf style then and now
Almost a year ago I asked the question: Where did surf fashion go? I didn’t suggest it had disappeared, I was just thinking about the state of surf clothing and how it compares to the gear that I grew up with. Do surfers still wear chequered Vans slip-ons? Do Jams and Jimmy’Z still exist even? Sure, I still see Rip Curl, Hurley, O’Neill, etc., but these were never cutting edge. I wanted to know what the cool brands were. I still want to know.
In Bali, where surf lives, grows and infuses both the tourist and local modern culture, surf shops cater to fashion-conscious surfers and practical tastes alike. As is always the case, a lot of people like the gear that have never and would never even step on a surfboard.
According to the South China Morning Post, Bali has become a destination for surf fashion bargains. From the mainstream popular brands to boutiques, factory outlets and market stalls, Bali has got it all.
Sunset beachside cocktails, infinity edge pools and cliff-top villas have their allure, but Bali also excels when it comes to fashion. Whether you’re seeking the chilled-out surfer look, a sophisticated dress for restaurant hopping, tropical chic for kids or some hand-crafted local style, the island has you covered.
Of course surf style makes perfect sense in Bali, a surfing mecca. In Miami, a city where small wave surfing is popular, so-called “surfer chic” has also made an impact. It is regularly seen in runway shows and high fashion circles. In fact, surf fashion arrived a long time ago and is as normal as normal can be.
If you’ve noticed, the proliferation of trendy so-called “hipster” culture has permeated cities around the world. One aspect of this culture of appropriation is its tendency to incorporate retro and “vintage” fashions from the 1920s through 1970s. It’s no different with surf fashion. Classic surf styles are in and truth be told, they look pretty cool. Think plaid Pendelton shirts, Jack Purcell sneakers and Ocean Pacific shorts. Though OP shorts can be a little too short for my taste, they’re better than the speedos that some surfers wore.
Read more about the years of surf fashion here and feel free to let us know what kinds of styles you like.
Lead image — modern surf style. Pic: Geraint Rowland (Flickr CC)