The Surfers Wore Short Sleeves | The Beach Boys


The Beach Boys first three albums all contained the word “surf,” in them, and yet oddly enough of the original five members, Dennis Wilson was the only one that actually surfed. The fact that The Beach Boys were more likely to ride the airwaves than actual waves did little to hurt their image though, and from the moment “Surfin’ Safari” hit stores in 1962 they became America’s shaggy haired surf riding celebrities. Aside from their album titles, and the countless surf-centric photo shoots during their early years, The Beach Boys also wisely favored a wardrobe that was unmistakably coastal. To really dial in their sea seasoned image they dressed in terry cloth polos, cropped khakis, plaid overshirts, floral trunks, and most importantly short sleeve shirts.


The Beach Boys, especially during their first handful of years, wore short sleeve shirts constantly. Sometimes they were plain white tees, sometimes they were matching striped button-downs, sometimes they were checked sport shirts, but in all cases they fit impeccably and reflected the breezy attitude that The Beach Boys’ strove to exude at all times. Their shirts were befitting of both the California climate and of their beachy aesthetic, stamping them as The Beach Boys without ever even having to play a note. Now if only we could all look so sharp in short sleeves, wouldn’t that be nice?











Comments on “The Surfers Wore Short Sleeves | The Beach Boys

    Skenflin McGinty on August 26, 2014 11:54 AM:

    It’s no Ed Abbey as style icon, but how can you write an entire article about the Beach Boys and fashion without mentioning Pendleton? They were originally called The Pendletones. You can do the math from there I’m sure.

    KVG on August 26, 2014 3:19 PM:

    No, it’s okay; you’re above rules of grammar and punctuation; no need to write well to be published!

    Meridith Moore on August 26, 2014 4:19 PM:

    I was a teenager in L.A. at the time the beach boys began. I surfed and hung out with surfers. My male surfer friends took great pride in dressing well, similar to the styleyou shared the Beach Boys had. It wasn’t for a decade or so that the surf rats started looking so gnarly.

    Michael Williams on August 27, 2014 12:54 PM:

    KVG – It’s the Internet for God’s sake. Let’s not confuse this with real “publishing”. We’re just a couple of guys in a van by the river using a borrowed wifi connection.

    Christian on August 27, 2014 2:16 PM:

    Dennis Wilson will always be one of music’s true, unheralded style icons. Clean-shaven and close-cropped, or shoulder-length hair and beard, he always pulled it off so effortlessly. Even in his later, strung out days, he set the standard for casual masculinity; never looking contrived. And while I would be the last person ever to stick up for Mike Love, ya gotta love the guru-with-overalls-and-skull-cap look he had circa ’71-’72, around the time of the “Carl And The Passions”album. And Mr. Love did do his fair share of surfing.

    P.S.: Props are also in order for Al Jardine around that time, thick beard and pilgrim hat covering up that nice comb-over!

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