Beyond the Bikini

Surf shop style spans the seasons

O’Neill Devie DRESS, Nixon Siren SS Watch, and O’Neill HAT, all from CB Surf Shop

For those looking to transition their beach style past the typical summertime bikini and into the cooler weather, local surf shops have the answers.

There are a variety of options available to continue that light, airy, comfortable style so that you can keep walking on the beach or cruising along the Intracoastal, even if it calls for a little more cover-up. Once you feel ready to transition your look, an obvious first step is to start by adding to your swimwear.

JENNIFER CAPRI, a women’s buyer from CAROLINA BEACH SURF SHOP, recommends wearing “kimonos or sundresses because they are breathable and come in a variety of styles and they are easy to throw on to elevate a look.”

Her kimonos are typically sold in muted colors with some pattern. Floral sundresses are another fun, practical choice and are popular because there is a wide variety of color and fit.

Even though it can seem some surf shops cater to a younger population, LISA YEARY, of SURF CITY SURF SHOP in Wrightsville Beach, encourages all ages to stop by because there is something for everyone.

“Right now, there is so much influence from decades past. We’ve seen the late ’80s and ’90s make a huge return to fashion,” Yeary says. “Higher-waisted jeans, button-front dresses, and crop tees are here to stay and are most relevant to a younger clientele.”

For a touch of sophistication, Yeary suggests cropped flared jeans and midi-length dresses.

“Those are some pieces that transcend all age groups,” she says.

While surf brand clothing makes up the majority of stock, it doesn’t mean there isn’t something for everyone, explains Yeary.

“At my age now, there are things I wouldn’t wear myself,” she says. “But, buying styles I would like to wear helps me buy for my more mature customers.”

Out of all the brands she carries, Yeary points to Billabong, Volcom, and O’Neill as her top three brands to keep an eye on. Also, she adds, watch out for Rip Curl, “which is quickly becoming a very important brand for us, not just swim but apparel, as well.”

There are set pieces from these brands that are particularly marketable through every season. A perfect example are cotton shorts from Billabong.

“Blues are big right now, but the line will expand to olive and rusts for the fall,” Capri says.

She echoes Yeary when referring to brands such as Billabong and Rip Curl as go-tos.

“They are great at creating clothes for transitioning into cooler weather,” Capri says.

Beyond changing the colors of their pieces for fall, surf brands also stay relevant in the market with sweatshirts and sweaters. Once the cold hits, people will tend to swap the beloved and reliable T-shirt for a sweatshirt. High in popularity now are logo crewnecks or pullovers.

Yeary explains that “pullover sweatshirts are more in style versus the zip style we’ve seen for so long now.”

DANIELLE BOURGEOIS, owner/partner at SWEETWATER SURF SHOP, says “the most popular item of the summer is our Sweetwater-embroidered crew sweatshirt because of its clean and simple design that comes in over eight colors.”

She reveals that fall weather is going to mean an unavoidable sweatshirt trend with which Yeary agrees.

Accessorizing can be just as important as choosing staple pieces, and the surf shops make sure they help provide the full look.

Dainty jewelry creates most of the inventory at CB Surf Shop, Capri says.

“We look for simple and elegant pieces that are low maintenance,” she says, adding that keeping the base piece of the look simple allows for more fun with jewelry and bags.

“Accessories are a must,” Bourgeois agrees. “Jewelry with any kid of seashell has been very popular this summer especially puka shell and cowrie shell necklaces.”

At Sweetwater, there is also a fun selection of clutches and purses from Bali made from wood beads and woven rattan.

Textured bags have been a huge trend this summer, and their earthy colors allow them to enter the fall season with ease. Pairing a trendy handbag with a post-beach outfit adds a level of thought and effort.

What about the man in your life looking for the same level of style and comfort? No fear. DALTON GILLEY, men’s buyer at Surf City, is on hand with a list of trendy must-haves.

He suggests continuing to buy from favorite summer brands but instead look for khakis in beige, navy, and black. Then, pair that with a dark-toned flannel for a full fall look.

Whatever your style and whatever the fall weather, be assured that with the assistance of these surf shops your transition from summer to fall will be far easier than deciding which beach to visit.

Categories: Style