Surf culture has been witnessed as both an integral component of the California lifestyle and a key influence in creating several American subcultures. Like hip-hop, surf culture has become globally recognized as a specific style or way of life, most notably through the aesthetic of popular music, advertising, television programming, and film, all inspired by the beachside look and the beauty, ease, and gentleness of the California coast.
Beachside style has affected many aspects of daily life, most notably fashion. For SOCOOLKIDS, we take inspiration from classic images of surf life; it's all about functional and comfortable clothes like logo tees with a laid-back beach feel. Adopted by surfers, American teens, and rock n' roll royalty in mid-century California, the logo tee became an iconic piece of pop culture. Since its introduction, it has been a staple in closets everywhere—from indie boutiques to well-known fashion labels alike. Another must-have when thinking of beachside style is the tank top; tanks can be worn with any outfit, anywhere. We love an all-cotton tank top with shorts and hiking boots! The tank top is for taking long strides down a beachside path, arms swinging as you stride along an invisible line between opportunity and possibility! The most important thing to consider when picking out a tank top is that it fits correctly: close to your skin without being too tight or too loose. A tank is great because it gives off a relaxed vibe, looks put together, and easily transitions from day to nighttime.
Every summer, many come to the coast of Northern California to enjoy all things beach; restaurants and shops on the main street are full of customers looking for souvenirs, surfboards, or just enjoying a warm and sunny day. A staple for any surfer is a sweatshirt, the perfect top for sitting on their back deck or porch where they've gotten off their board only minutes earlier. One may ask why the classic sweatshirt is so popular? Well, it's simple, really—they're lightweight enough for breezy coastal warmth but heavy enough to offer protection from spray or cooler evenings. They also work well as an outer layer after surfing or in a coast-side restaurant's chilly, crowded interior.
Many patrons see the all-cotton sweatshirt as an iconic beach style and fashion representation, and it looks great with their favorite pair of jeans or board shorts out on the sand or at home. For surfers, they're just right to throw over your wetsuit if there is any chill left in the air after coming out of the water. Sweatshirts are perfect for keeping either warm indoors or outside when walking along the strand to get that fresh sea breeze while also sharing what makes them happy—their passion for surfing. Beach sweatshirts are made from 100% cotton, which is one of many reasons they are so popular for their comfort. Because they're made from all cotton, this allows for increased mobility that other materials don't offer. They stretch to fit perfectly, too—always returning to their original size after stretching out during use or washing. The fabric also has a soft feel which is one of the reasons people love them so much and wear them from the boardwalk all the way home, where many times they are seen sleeping in or lounging around with friends. Another reason sweatshirts are sought after by beach lovers is their color choices. There are typically a few colors available: green, red, and blues, with some variations having green multi-toned varieties. Many locals take great pride in wearing their favorite colors, whether representing their school's team or just an individual sense of fashion. One may even see someone wearing a sweatshirt with multiple colors depending on who made it—clearly, these are not mass-produced! These sweatshirts are created by independent artists and companies specializing in creating unique, high-quality sweatshirts without the cost usually seen for this type of apparel, allowing everyone to enjoy them at an affordable price. They also make great gifts, representing everything you love about being beachside. If you're looking to surfers style your wardrobe while staying warm and comfy by the water, sweatshirts are perfect for you!
The surfer's aesthetic can be attributed to several reasons. For one, the surfer is always moving in line with nature, following its rhythm and guiding his own life by it. Thus, their choice of clothes often follows the organic materials of their sports- like linen for board shorts or waxed cotton for jackets. They follow nature's pace and embrace the elements: pairing lightweight and neutral colors with practical, breathable fabrics that protect them from nature's energy and weather conditions. This is why we often see them in earth tones rather than electric neon; they draw their inspiration from nature and work with its raw elements to create their style. The sea may also influence their aesthetic sense: it is often called a "female force," and this symbol helps form their more profound understanding of femininity, which they honor in their casual attire while respecting its power. Surfers dress with ease and comfort. Their look can be compared to an art form that's always evolving. The surfer has played a part in moving beachside fashion forward, not only being a forerunner in sportswear but also in popularizing casual American sportswear. Their sensibility is pointedly different from the rest of the world's, exuding omnipresent confidence and a certain "coolness." Thus, their style does not mimic or "try to be" something else but embodies what they are. Their self-awareness and commitment to the fusion of their sport with their lifestyle drive them to create a consummate look that can transition easily from beach to street. It's no wonder surfers rank among the most stylish people in any country where surfing culture thrives today. The surfer's aesthetic challenges and invites all to follow its simplicity and authenticity; the mere existing fact is proof enough that it's a lifestyle worth living.
We love the surfer's aesthetic sensibility – exuding self-confidence in yourself. Beachside style inspires us because it invites belief in qualities, skills, and capabilities rather than current trends; it represents an approach to life that is laid-back yet purposeful, relaxed yet driven. Like surf culture, we strive to deliver a narrative that captures one's authentic spirit while encouraging, challenging, and engaging.
What could be more inspiring than the sea-loving lifestyle to appreciate the ocean and its wonders? We hope you'll join us for the next post as we continue to explore beachside culture, surfers style - and so much and more!