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How to Dress like a Surfer

   October 16th, 2018   Posted In: How-To   Tags:

All the Details on How to Dress like a Surfer

The surfer has been a style icon for decades. Beachy waves, golden tans, lingo, shorts and sandals. For those of us who love the vibe, but weren’t raised on a board, this post highlights the fundamentals of the look, head to toe. Dressing like a surfer involves more than just wearing what the surfers wear, it’s the whole shabang. Here’s how to dress like a surfer:

Surfer hair

The long, shaggy cuts are stereotypically classic, but that doesn’t have to mean looking sloppy. Matthew Mcconaughey’s pushed back waves could make anyone forget that he’s from Uvalde, Texas and not Huntington Beach. Gents – don’t be afraid to grow your hair out a little!

Ladies, ditto on the advice. Let it grow and let it go. Those fresh-out-the-ocean waves may come naturally to the watersport regulars, but can be recreated inland quite easily with a salt spray. Bumble and Bumble’s Surf Spray is the OG est. 2001. Spray, scrunch, air dry, channel Honolua Blomfield, repeat.


The pros swear by two beauty rules. SPF and moisturizer. We don’t need to remind you that exposure to the sun’s harmful rays is dangerous, so say it with me, “healthy skin is sexy skin”. Always wear sunscreen, even if you’re not spending all day in the water. And if you are spending the day in the water, opt to wear a rashguard which will protect you from harmful UV rays! Look for SPF protection in makeup and face moisturizers so you can’t forget to apply!

The ocean is a giant natural spa treatment; salt and sand exfoliate the skin. Use a body scrub a couple times a week in the shower for a similar effect, and don’t forget to moisturize your skin regularly for a healthy glow. That goes for you too dudes. Surfers know that dry skin sucks. (Side note, self tanner has come a long way from the Cheeto-stain days and is an awesome option for safe, year round color.)


Surfing is as fun as it is tough – there’s a reason why surfers look as fit as they do! Find a hobby that gets you outdoors and keeps you active. Stand up paddle boarding, hiking, yoga, skateboarding – there’s so many activities that inspire the active lifestyle of a surfer, even if you don’t live by the sea.

Dress like a surfer

Surfer style comes down to the basics: tees, flannel, shorts, chinos, worn-in denim, flowy dresses. Imagine a wardrobe you could pull a solid outfit out of with your eyes closed, and feel free to do so. Casual, comfortable, cool. Brands like O’Neill, Quiksilver, Roxy, Rip Curl and Billabong all have clothing collections for women and men inspired around the surfer style. Well loved sneakers, think Converse and Vans, are also MVPs for an adventurous lifestyle.

You can also check out your local vintage stores for rad printed tees, retro jeans, and free-spirit dresses. It’s a great place to score funky jewelry and accessories too (hello seashell necklaces and woven friendship bracelets)!


‘Surfer’ is much more than a fashion statement – it’s a lifestyle. Everyone could use a little of the cliché laid-back, ocean-loving, free-spirit, beach-bum as inspiration, but really anyone can be a surfer. You could even follow surfing pros on Instagram for ultimate insight into the world of surf and everything that goes with it (they all really do seem to be laid-back, ocean-loving, free-spirit, beach-bums).

And for those who are really serious:

Wetsuit like a surfer

Surfers spend a good part of their lives in wetsuits. They provide warmth and protection from the elements and make the sport more enjoyable year-round.

Growing up all over the world, Elizabeth loves a good adventure. Scuba diving in the Maldives, surfing in Sri Lanka, skiing in Canada, struggling with sunglasses in Delaware... she's always ready for the next challenge. These days she's merchandising and marketing at Wetsuit Wearhouse, and sometimes writing cool content like this bio.

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