The Evolution Of Surf Clothing And Related Accessories
Back in the post war fifties, surfers were known as "beach bums". Then, seemingly in the blink of an eye, everybody wanted to be a surfer. Everybody wanted to be a part of it and those baggy trunks that surfers wore became the first surf clothing fad. How did surfers go from being virtual outcasts to the creators of a fashion craze that has lasted to this day?
The producers of the film knew they were on to something big and enlisted big stars James Darren and Sandra Dee to star in the movie, with superstar Cliff Robertson in a strong supporting role. The movie featured some surfing footage, but mostly it featured girls in bikinis and well-built guys in surfing trunks.
The popularity of that movie led to many more imitators. In pop music, surf music became huge, with groups like Jan and Dean and the Beach Boys making in to Number One on the charts. About the only teenagers who didn't like their music were surfers, who really preferred to keep their sport to themselves. Instead, they listened to the music of bands like Dick Dale and the Ventures. The fast-paced guitar licks in instrumentals like "Perfidia" and "Walk, Don't Run" were what they listened to before they tackled the waves.
There was no stopping the tidal wave of interest in surfing, though. In just a few short years, surfing had gone from nowhere to mainstream. Suddenly the beaches were filled with surfers and where they couldn't surf, young people wore surfing fashions and dreamed of riding the waves.
Other than bikinis, Hawaiian shirts and men's surfing trunks, there really was nothing to define surf wear in those days. Surfwear evolved over a number of years and eventually, many surf-clothing brands emerged, some of which are among the giants in the clothing industry today.
Surfwear is not just for surfers anymore. You can find it in the most far-flung corners of the world. From the limited apparel of the sixties, the range of surfing related clothing and accessories has grown to include all kinds of men's and women's clothing, shoes and even watches and jewelry. Today, you can be dressed for any occasion in surfing brands and styles.
Surfing and surf clothing have entered the mainstream and are no longer on the fringes. The best surfers in the world make millions of dollars and the big surfwear companies compete for their sponsorship dollars. You can't help but wonder what Gidget thinks about all the changes.
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