Surf In The City

The TOP 5 beach culture trends taking over downtown this summer 



The boys in Venice Beach have switched out their hoodies and smart cars for tanks and long boards, turning our heads and hearts with every step they take. But as we city folk descend onto the streets of whatever beach town we’ve chosen for the season, all we can do is pray, Dear God. Please let at least one of these bouncy beach boys play for our team! Let's admit it, surfer guys are just a breed of a different kind. They don a casual coolness rarely seen in our inner-city lives that is both alluring and unnerving. Is he wearing … gasp! … flip flops? Probably so. The common thread? Surf Culture — a trend that's not just for the beach anymore, and we like it!


Trend 1: Big Wave Hair


Say goodnight Don Draper. The trend this summer is all about big tousled locks. The messier the better. To keep this look masculine consider growing out your beard a bit too. No need to get all Tom Hanks in Castaway with it, but a little scruff will go a long way here. Achieve the beachy saltwater kissed look by styling only with your fingers and letting your hair air dry. Products like Bumble and Bumble’s “Surf Spray” are also an easy way to look like you’ve been surfing all day without ever leaving the office. 



Trend 2: The Five Panel Hat

While your pops might still be sporting his panama hat and zinc oxide to the beach, the surfer bro’s have been rocking this baseball cap alternative for years with unparalleled style.This casual go anywhere look is quintessential So-Cal style especially when sported in funky patterns and prints. Brands like Supreme and Huf have all kinds of great options. Don’t be afraid to go too wild. A truly bold print like a floral or a polka dot can often be so extreme that it counterintuitively can function as a neutral and go with just about anything.



 Trend 3: Suns Out Guns Out


Tanks, like Hillary Duff,  are so yesterday. This trend is about achieving that same sex appeal with a bit of a harder edge. Take your favorite fitted T-shirt and cut the sleeves off at the arm hole. Please resist the temptation to turn your shirt into a sideless whisper of garment — it’s supposed to be a shirt, not a bib. The added bonus is that when you make one of these from an old rock tee, you can rest assured that you won’t wind up in a “who wore it best” duel to the death with your neighborhood rival stylisto. 


Trend 4: Friends Forever


… Or at least until the end of the summer. Probably our favorite of the surf-inspired trends is this throwback to the days of middle school when we used to collect friendship bracelets by the dozens. He with the most bracelets won. This time around it’s just about the same. Throw anywhere from three to ten on at a time, and wear them in a variety of colors and styles. We like the combination of leather hook styles with beaded and metal options. This playful flair gives a fun juxtaposition to otherwise serious looks and gives a welcome punch of color to more understated city styles.


Trend 5: Wiped Out Denim


Forget that American work-wear trend we have all been rocking the last few years. Trade in your dark denim for stone washed, ripped up – down right destroyed denim in styles that are slim but not skin tight. The key is casual comfort with a devil may care personality. Don’t be afraid to pair these bad boys with a striped tee under a navy blazer or with a chunky turtleneck sweater on those chillier summer nights. While inherently irreverent, distressed denim can work its way into just about any situation and look right at home.  

So there you have it — our top five beach trends for city boys. Remember, loosen things up and let these looks work regardless of your age or your location. It’s all about mixing in a little casual cool to whatever is your personal style. Start with a bracelet or two and go from there. What’s the worst that could happen? You end up living in an airstream trailer somewhere out in Malibu with Camila Alves? We think you can handle it.  


About the author: Michael Gonsalves is a prominent San Francisco-based trend spotter and style influencer known for his sardonic take on fashion and design culture. Keep up to date with his work at  

2 thoughts on “Surf In The City”

  1. I’m glad you put that old

    I'm glad you put that old bitch disclaimer near the end lol I'm 38 and was beginning to think I couldn't rock my 8th grade super washed denim and friendship bracelets. And yes… they still fit. BE JEALOUS. 


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