How To Dress Like a Surfer and Elevate Your Casual Style

How to dress like a surfer?

Surfing is not just a sport, but a lifestyle that embodies a carefree, adventurous spirit. Surfers have a style all their own, and if you want to embody the surfer vibe, your wardrobe should reflect it.

With its origins in sunny beaches, surf culture has a distinct style that combines comfort and functionality with a laid-back, cool vibe.

Are you already thinking of boardshorts, sandals, gnarly graphic tees, and comfy hoodies? You’re in the right direction.

Whether you’re bound for the beach or just want to bring some of that coastal coolness into your daily life, dressing like a surfer is all about minimalism and simplicity that makes you look stoked and feel confident.

So, let’s trade in our office attire for some surfing vibes and show the world what laid-back cool really means.

Read on to learn how you can embrace the surfer look and how to dress like one. Here’s what you’ll need:


These are the most essential item of clothing for any surfer. They’re comfortable, long enough to provide you with greater protection from the sun, and your knees, and come in a variety of colors and prints.

Starting off as swimsuits designed for surfers, these kinds of shorts have now become the ultimate all-day, everywhere shorts, they are the ultimate surfing uniform, you obviously cannot surf or even look like a surfer without one.

In coastal towns, these bad boys are a real must. Try to leave the house without a pair during the scorching summer months and you’ll have the whole beach staring at you like you have three heads.

But most importantly, surfing is a physically demanding activity, which is why boardshorts were designed specifically with performance in mind.

Some boardshorts have an elastic waistband or drawstring, as well as a Velcro fly closure. This allows for maximum comfort and flexibility while paddling or standing on your board.

Boardshorts are usually made from a lightweight fabric such as polyester or nylon, which helps them dry quickly after a dip in the ocean.

It also makes boardshorts to be resistant to wear and tear, so you don’t have to worry about them ripping or fraying during your session.

And of course, they are also good for beach days and casual outings as they are relaxed, comfortable, and stylish.

While boardshorts are perfect for surfing and swimming, they are also meant to be used as casual wear.

Because of that, it easier to find a pair that’s not only practical but also stylish, with features like pockets to keep your essentials safe and secure. You know what they say: “What’s a man without a pocket?”

Graphic T-Shirts

Surfers love to show off their style through the use of bold and colorful graphic tees. It’s all about having fun with a variety of eye-catching prints, designs, and illustrations.

The world of surfwear is diverse, with styles ranging greatly depending on the climate. If you’re in sunny southern California, you’ll often see surfers sporting bold and bright tees.

Many surf tees are unique masterpieces that perfectly blend style and stoke.
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But, in the small surfing town of Ebeltoft, Denmark, a practical long-sleeved t-shirt is the norm.

Sleeve style is subjective, so we’ll leave that decision up to you, but when it comes to the graphic, there are endless options to choose from.

You probably noticed that surfers’ lifestyle also features tees with just logos, as trendy t-shirts come with just the brand name, and there’s actually a cool story behind that.

Back in the early days of surfing, small companies would sponsor surfers in competitions and put their logo on the surfboards and t-shirts of the competitors, acting as a walking advertisement for these little-known surf shops.

As the surf industry grew, independent surf shops emerged, attracting a local following and patrons who would buy their shirts to show support.

This trend continues to this day, and a stroll down any side street in a beach town like Santa Barbara is sure to impress with the number of thriving small surf shops.

Graphic tees have come a long way from being exclusively sold at surf shops to now featuring designs that showcase personal interests and affiliations, like hometown pride, musical preferences, or lifestyle beliefs.

When buying a new tee, it’s important to choose a good quality graphic t-shirt that won’t fade or shrink over time.

Look for a lightweight fabric like cotton, rayon, or polyester, and choose something with moisture-wicking properties so it’ll keep you cool in the hot sun, and with a good fit that’s not too tight or too loose.

T-shirts like these are versatile and can be worn as a cover-up at the beach, or paired with shorts for a casual day out, and of course, they embody the relaxed, carefree surfers’ lifestyle and are a must-have in any surfer’s wardrobe.

No matter what you pick, make sure it matches your own unique personal style and shows off your personality because this is what graphic tees are all about.


Why do surfers wear flip flops?

No surfer look is complete without sandals — they’re comfortable enough for walking along sandy shorelines but also great for hanging out on warm summer days and nights.

Surf culture often calls for going shirtless, but shorts and sandals are a staple. When speaking about sandals you could go either with flip flops or slides as they are both popular styles among surfers.

They can be dressed up or dressed down, making them the perfect footwear for surfers who like to keep things simple and casual. And when surfers go to the beach, they all wear sandals.

If you want to ensure both comfort and functionality, it’s important to choose sandals that can withstand saltwater and are easy to put on and take off.

Make sure they are made from water-resistant materials and sturdy soles that can handle both sandy and rocky surfaces.

When buying sandals, you can definitely find those are both comfortable and stylish, yet another way surfers express their relaxed lifestyle.

Also when going in for the waves, you’ll need to leave them at the beach so choose those that are unique so you won’t get them mixed up with someone else’s. Think vibrant colors, playful prints, and unique designs.

Jewelry — Bracelets, Necklaces and Anklets

Accessories like bracelets, necklaces, and anklets complete the surfer style. Avoid flashy or high-end pieces, instead go for simple items like string, beads, or braided rope accessories — that’s the authentic surfer look.

Shells and other marine life-inspired pieces are always popular with surfers and can also be used to make a statement and show off your individual style.

You might be asking, why not high-end pieces? Well, think of it this way: when surfing, it’s wise to wear items that you regret losing.

If you lose a beaded bracelet, it may only cause temporary disappointment, and it’s actually easier to recover from losing an expensive watch or gold chain.

It all comes down to minimalism, and that’s part of the surfer’s lifestyle. You can still wear multiple accessories and this type of jewelry tends to have a more eye-catching appearance when layered with several different styles.

Whether you choose to wear just one piece or multiple, it’s the material that matters (again — the more minimal the better).


Hats are also essential for keeping your face shaded from the sun during those long sessions in the middle of the day.

If it’s on your way to the beach or you’re just resting from that gnarly session, you better put a hat on,

Baseball caps are always popular with surfers, but if you really want to stand out from the crowd try wearing a bucket hat or wide-brimmed straw hat instead.

Of course, you might be more into letting your hair absorb some sun, but sometimes a hat is a must.

How To Dress Like A Surfer In The Winter

Some spots and surf towns in the world are gifted (well…) with cold weather and for that, you’d need some extra layers.

It could also be your sunny state going through a cold winter, or even early morning sessions, and then you’d also need something to keep you warm during these times.

But don’t despair, you can still look cool and keep warm at the same time. Here’s what you need:


Just because it’s chilly out doesn’t mean you have to go full turtleneck mode and when it comes to winter surfing fashion, layering is key to staying warm while looking stylish.

Surfers are hitting the waves when the sun is out, and later on, may just rest at the beach.

The sun is setting and as it can get a bit chilly by the ocean, don’t let it ruin your beach vibes and always bring along a cozy sweater or sweatshirt.

Even on sunny days, a chilly breeze can cool you down and make your beach adventure less enjoyable, so prepare yourself.

The best combo would be wearing shorts and a sweatshirt. Yep, that’s right, the combination of shorts and a sweater embodies the surfer aesthetic.

Being at the beach calls for shorts, but the cool breeze may warrant the addition of a cozy sweater.

While there are no hard and fast rules, a colorful comfy sweatshirt with a graphic statement or a brand logo adds to the look.


Hoodies are an essential part of a surfer’s winter wardrobe. Not only do hoodies provide just the right amount of warmth, but they are also stylish and comfortable.

They are a perfect way to stay cozy and stylish on those days when you don’t feel like wearing a full-on winter coat.

Surfers wear hoodies because they match the laid-back, carefree attitude of the surfer lifestyle, and surfers love them for their easy-going vibe.

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Hoodies are comfortable, practical, and versatile, making them the perfect accessory for the winter season or just cold weather.

They are the go-to if you want to stay warm and also look super stylish, there’s just something so cool about hoodies that make them the ideal choice for a surfer’s clothing.

The loose-fitting, casual design of a hoodie can be paired with shorts, pants, or even a wetsuit, providing warmth and protection from the elements.

Hoodies come in a variety of colors, styles, and materials, from basic solid colors to bold, graphic prints.

Surfers often go for a simple, classic hoodie in a neutral or light color, such as grey, black, or beige, sometimes with a vintage-inspired design with a surf brand logo.


Surfers often incorporate sneakers into their fashion and lifestyle, even when they’re not surfing, and even though they are more associated with skateboarding clothing.

This streetwear style conquered the surfing fashion style and while surfers not wearing sandals, they are wearing sneakers.

Sneakers are seen as a cool, timeless, simple, and functional accessory that complements the surfer’s relaxed and casual vibe.

One of the reasons surfers love sneakers is their versatility. They can be worn with a variety of different outfits, from boardshorts and a casual top to a chilly day outfit of jeans and a hoodie.

Sneakers are also practical, as they provide protection for the feet, especially when walking on rough surfaces like sand or rocks, or just walking around while it’s cold in the winter.

Surfers tend to prefer low-key, understated designs that are easy to wear and match with different outfits.

This simplicity is reflected in the surf culture, where there’s a preference for practicality over trend-chasing.


Beanies are one of the most stylish accessories for a surfer, especially during cold winter months. They keep you warm while also adding an effortless coolness to any outfit.

For one, beanies are a practical item for keeping surfers’ heads warm, especially during cold winter days when the ocean breeze can be quite nippy.

Wearing a beanie also protects surfers’ hair from wind and sun damage, which is important for surfers who spend a lot of time on the beach.

Some examples of how surfers wear beanies include wearing a solid-colored beanie with a casual outfit or opting for a patterned beanie that adds a pop of color to their outfit.

Surfers often choose beanies with a vintage or retro design that adds a layer of visual interest to their outfits.

Whether worn during winter or on a sunny day, a beanie will add an extra layer of coolness to any surfer’s outfit.

How To Look Like A Surfer Guy

Now that we know what types of clothes we need, let’s talk about how to put them together into an ensemble that will present you as a surfer dude.

What makes up a surfer boy look? Here are some tips and tricks for achieving that perfect surfer dude vibe style.

To dress like a surfer boy, you should start with the basics. A good surfer look starts with comfortable and casual essentials like t-shirts and shorts.

When it comes to t-shirts, opt for a simple and laidback design, in neutral or bright colors that are suitable for the beach.

A pair of well-fitting shorts is also a must-have. You can go for boardshorts, swim trunks, volley shorts or jeans.

When it comes to footwear, sandals are the ideal choice for a surfer boy look. Look for sandals that are durable, comfortable, and have a casual look, like flip-flops or sliders.

Accessories can also make a big difference when it comes to completing your surfer boy look as surfers often wear bracelets, necklaces, and anklets which can be found in various styles.

A simple braided rope, beaded or marine life-inspired bracelets, and necklaces style will add a touch of surf-inspired style to your look.

If it’s cold outside, start by layering up — choose two or three pieces that complement each other in terms of color and texture, such as a light-colored hoodie or sweatshirt with ripped jeans.

To complete your look, accessorize with a beanie in fun colors or bold patterns. Choose one that matches the colors in your sweatshirt or opt for a solid neutral color like black or navy.

And of course, you might want your hair to achieve the wavy surfer’s famous look. Yes, you can use sprays that will make your hair wavy, but for a more natural approach, let your hair dry in the sun and wind after surfing.

The sun and salt water will naturally create a wavy texture and give your hair a lived-in surfer look.

By embracing the elements and going with the flow, you can achieve a surf-inspired clothing style and hairstyle that are both effortless and cool.

Just remember to keep it simple and natural, and you’ll have the perfect surfer boy look.

How To Look Like A Surfer Girl

If you’re looking to achieve a casual, surfer girl look, it doesn’t have to be different. Except for bathing suits, they should all be the same.

With a few key pieces of clothing and accessories, you can become the coolest surfer chick in town with minimal effort.

Surfers typically wear clothing that is made from natural fabrics such as cotton. Try incorporating these materials into your wardrobe for a more authentically surfer girl look.

Unleash your creativity with mixed and matched bikinis. As a surfer girl, your swimwear collection is an essential part of your style, ranging from bandeau tops to strappy two-pieces.

Elevate your surfer vibe by pairing a neutral-toned top with a brightly printed bottom. Experiment with different prints and patterns, just like surfers, who are known for their bold mix-and-match approach.

To add even more style points to your outfit, start piling on some cool accessories.

Surfer girls often sport low-cut and loose necklines, creating space to accessorize with multiple necklaces.

They often wear necklaces made of natural fibers or with crystal pendants on trendy chains, adding to their boho-beach vibe.

Another item could be the wide-brimmed hat which surfer girls really like and is also great for keeping the sun off your face while giving you a relaxed beachy vibe.

Be sure to accessorize with some fun minimalist jewelry such as anklets, necklaces, and earrings featuring seashells and other ocean motifs

Finally, complete your look with a pair of aviator sunglasses and you’re ready to hit the beach and showcase your surfer vibes.

But don’t forget to maintain a surfer hairstyle; many of us have naturally wavy hair, but if not, you can always get that beachy, messy hairstyle, particularly with long hair, with just natural elements as mentioned above.

With just a few simple pieces, you can easily pull off the effortless surfer girl style.

Final Thoughts

The surfer lifestyle is not about perfection in fashion, but rather about embracing a carefree attitude. To fully embody this lifestyle, it’s essential not to take one’s appearance too seriously.

Surf style is all about embracing the laid-back vibes of life by the sea while still looking stylish and put together.

Dressing up like a surfer is actually very easy as surfers like minimal looks, and raw clothing yet natural. You can pretty much easily dress like a surfer but ideally, you should embrace the surfer’s vibes.

Those should embrace and spread from your inside to the outside and your clothing should be the reflection of that.