One comment (the only comment, actually) on my SURFER Q&A yesterday about the origins of surf fashion was from Orange Raindrop, who wrote: “The problem with Californians is their femininish concern for fashion. Just go surf like no one is watching and you don’t have Instagram you fucking self-righteous clowns.”

The second sentence I agree with. The first sentence, come on, I’ve been in Seattle for going on seven years, which means I was practically raised here. And also, my concern for fashion isn’t femininish, it is masculinish, it is dark like the corn on my big toe after a day in flip-flops, it is¬†the scent of my right armpit after four cups of coffee. Hate me¬†anonymously in the SURFER comments section, Orange Raindrop, but I am a Man, and I am occasionally interested in fashion.

Anyway, surf fashion had some early highs, then some lows, then more lows, and actually it’s been pretty much all lows since 1964. As I see it, from my vantage point here in Seattle (not California), the lowest surf fashion lows were 1967 and 1982.

Let’s start with 1967 . . .

Mostly, when you break down the bad in 1967, it’s the vests. Just the vests. Vests on the beach.

Model on the far left, I think Chas Smith would agree, is owning the look, feeling it, is maybe even a bit enlarged by it. Model on far right needs to walk off the set, put on his Katins, and repent.

The surf-world racing stripe died this day. Stripe the board, or the trunks, or the jacket. All three? Get the fuck out of here.

  • Aviva Rosenthal

    Vests are not a crime, per se. Satin vests that are color-coordinated with pants on the beach should be sent to Korea along with the slime eels.

    • Matt Warshaw

      Nylon vests, even worse. And actually, we’d need to check, but pretty sure vests have been a crime since Studio 54 closed.

      • Aviva Rosenthal

        Didn’t they close in 1980, though? 37 years is too long to go without vests, lord. Really, it’s one of those articles that can be done well or abysmally. The trick is tight and dark. And natural. Leather, wool or cotton is acceptable; nylon is not. BTW I think something can be nylon satin; the latter just connotes texture.

        Me at 21: Why don’t guys ask me out?
        Friend: You’re not gay?
        Me: What?
        Everyone: We all thought….
        Me (suddenly reexamining Annie Hall ensemble of fedora,vest, hiking boots and a tackle box for my art supplies): Ohhhh….you know what, fuck it. You can depend on a good vest. Men, ehh.

        I miss the early 90’s.

  • Celya723

    VESTS! As hideous then as they’re hideous now to see as a suggested shore going necessity – Yuck!
    Thank you for another great article directed at the fringe industries that horned in for better and worse on the beach culture.

    • Matt Warshaw

      Low-hanging fruit, but still worth a smash!

      • Celya723