All You Need to Know About Surfer Fashion

Surfing is the coolest sport, hands down. Can you imagine what the legacy of bands like Jan and Dean or The Beach Boys would have been without this particular pastime? Or, the fact that an entire subgenre of rock and roll would not even exist without the influence of surfing? Surfer rock always signals a good time, and being a surfer – even one who is not in the professional realm but rather an amateur – denotes chill vibes and a solid love for nature. 

Surfer fashion, just like music, is a whole subgenre onto itself, and many style aficionados look to it for inspiration, while surfers are always on the lookout to update their style. If you are a budding surfer, or someone who loves this especially laid back style and are looking for inspiration for your wardrobe, then the following are a few points spelling out everything you need to know about surfer fashion.


Footwear is crucial when it comes to dressing like a surfer. The surfer style in general prioritizes comfort, and the same definitely applies to your shoes. Sandals are the main form of footwear people turn to, and it makes sense: if you’re on the beach most of the time, why were your usual uniform of hightops and socks? That would be a pain, and you would be barefoot most of the time anyway – unless you’re walking on sand. In which case, a pair of comfy sandals that can be easy to slip on and off is crucial. Just be sure to look for a pair that will hold up well since salt water can do a number on them, and water-resistant materials with a sturdy structure will be crucial to ensure that you can walk around comfortably, while also keeping your shoes from falling apart easily. So, that means the leather is a definite no-no!

Colorful T-Shirts

Surfer style is a bit similar to skater style in that it does not shy away from bright colors, bold graphics, while also remaining supremely comfortable. Australia, like California, benefits a great deal from warm weather, and so t-shirts are always in supply. As the experts at can tell you, graphic t-shirts have a long history in surf culture, and the logo of certain brands have even come to denote a certain look or feel for particular eras in the history of surfing, making a few of them verifiable cult items that fashionistas are always on the lookout to acquire. Besides the rich history of graphics when it comes to surfing attire and its attendant subcultures, the general rule is to never be afraid of bright colors and bold designs. These elements make surfer fashion incredibly recognizable and are at the heart of any surfer’s wardrobe.

Cool Sunglasses

Sunglasses are arguably the most important accessory for the surfer’s attire. After all, you do need to protect your peepers from the glaring sun, and you need to be able to see properly while you’re out on the beach anyway. Colorful sunglasses with cool and fun designs are a staple of the surfer’s wardrobe and are elemental to surfer culture in general. Like everything else with this particular style, they tend to be bright, cheerful, and easy-going, embodying the spirit of surfer culture.

Board Shorts

You can identify a surfer from a mile away based on the shorts they wear. Surfer style is incomplete without board shorts, which are a definite staple in any surfer’s wardrobe. They were originally created with the intent of being comfortable and easy enough to slip on over swimsuits, but now, they can be considered as wearable all-day attire. 

Unlike swim trunks, they do not have a mesh lining, nor do they necessarily come with elastic bands. Board shorts are also a lot wider, and less prone to falling off the waist as compared to swim trunks. And, board shorts are very comfortable, made from soft cotton blends – swim trunks are almost always made solely of polyester.


Another component of surfer fashion is the layering of different pieces of material to help transition between night and day, or when the weather gets a bit colder at night or early fall. A simple shift dress for women typically worn over their swimsuit is a common look, as is wearing a sweatshirt overboard shorts is for men. Keeping lots of layers of clothes on hand is a big part of surfer style and an indelible part of the aesthetic. 

While the word “chic” has not always been synonymous with surfer fashion historically speaking, this has slowly changed and now whenever summer rolls around, fashion spreads highlighting the surfer aesthetic are all the rage in magazines. Surfer fashion is definitely not for the faint of heart, but anyone who loves comfort, and bright, bold designs are sure to feel at home with this sort of attire.