Surfer style for men is a fashion trend inspired by the laid-back, carefree lifestyle of surfers. It typically combines casual and comfortable clothing pieces with beach and tropical elements that capture the essence of the season.
Having grown up riding the waves in Australia, pro surfer Connor O’Leary is no stranger to the aesthetic, and thanks to his raw talent and enviable personal style the 29-year-old has secured several fashion brand sponsorships.
Currently on tour with the World Surf League, Conner shares what you need to get the look if you want to hang ten with the best of ’em!
Having grown up riding the waves in Australia, pro-surfer Connor O’Leary is no stranger to surfer style. The 29-year-old shares his knowledge on the popular summer aesthetic
In competition Connor is known for having one of the best backhand attacks in the world; outside the water he’s revered for his likable personality and stellar fashion sense
In competition Connor is known for having one of the best backhand attacks in the world; outside the water he’s revered for his likable personality and stellar fashion sense.
His look embodies an easygoing attitude towards life, offering a blend of style and practicality with a hint of rebellion.
‘Style in the competitive world is one dimensional,’ shared the athlete featured in the Red Bull series “All IN”, a behind-the-scenes documentary following surfers as they take on the World Surf League Championship Tour.
‘I get a lot of influence out of free surf guys (non-competitive surfers) and pro skaters – they are very stylish people.’
Read on to discover what it takes to embody the surfer look, according to someone that has mastered it.
Boardshorts are designed for surfers
‘Hurley makes some really cool shorts and they are leading in the boardshort category for surf,’ said the pro athlete who stars in the Disney+ original series “Chasing Waves.”
‘They make high-tech versions that are rash free, stretchy, and lightweight, so when you’re in the water they don’t feel too bulky.’
While boardshorts are popular in the surf community, Connor admits to not wearing them outside of the water, mainly because they don’t have pockets.
‘Full time I’m in Hurley gear but I definitely look around to see what other brands are doing cool things. I’m a huge fan of labels like Dickies and AFends, a really cool brand based out of Byron Bay.’
Surfer style takes inspiration from beach culture, making it perfect for summer when many people head to the coast or enjoy outdoor activities
Boardshorts, t-shirts, and hoodies are staples of surfer fashion, offering practicality and versatility in beach environments
T-shirts are ideal for warm weather
Graphic tees made of lightweight fabrics play a prominent role in a surfer’s wardrobe rotation.
To look like you just stepped out of the water, opt for t-shirts featuring vintage surf graphics, ocean-themed visuals, or urban-inspired artwork.
‘I’m a huge fan of a mid-size graphic in the middle of a shirt; if it’s got a cool print or something, I’m all in,’ said Connor.
He favors new designs by artists at Hurley and one-off styles created by a local designer in his home town.
‘To be able to help a young kid live his dream as an artist is cool to be a part of, and I’m constantly trying to find things that not everyone will wear and are unique to me.’
Cool kids wear hoodies
Surfer street style combines elements of surf culture with urban streetwear, creating a unique and contemporary look.
Hoodies and sweatshirts with surf-related graphics, logos, or typography, in oversized or cropped fits are a must.
‘A hoodie is a great travel essential for me, not only to wear around events when it’s a bit cooler but even at the airport,’ shared Connor.
‘Put your headphones on, the hood over your head, and get in your own world.
‘While the flannel is huge in surf culture, if it’s a location that requires warm clothing I would choose a hoodie.’
Versatile footwear is important
‘I’m a huge fan of Crocs, they are just so practical,’ admitted Connor.
According to the pro, sandals and flip-flops can cause irritation between the toes of sandy feet.
‘Crocs are a great tool for warmer climate locations, you just slip them on and slip them off, you can even wear them with socks if you want.’
Off the beach, sneakers are key.
‘In the surfing world shoes are a pretty big deal; we’re barefoot most of the time but when we have shoes on we like to wear good quality shoes.
‘Golden Goose is my main number one for traveling and competing. I just think they’re such a such a cool brand.
‘They just want to make shoes that are very good quality but also fit into society, I’ve been wearing them for the past year now.’
‘In the surfing world shoes are a pretty big deal; we’re barefoot most of the time but when we have shoes on we like to wear good quality shoes. Golden Goose is my main number, I just think they’re such a such a cool brand’
The best type of sunscreen for surfers is water resistant that won’t sting your eyes. Connor favors a tan colored zinc by Shiseido that blends effortlessly with his skin tone
Killer shades add to the look
Want to look good while protecting your eyes? Connor favors sunglasses by Australian label EPOKHE.
‘They have a stylish approach to sunglasses, it’s upper market but still a very humble brand. It was started by a few surfers in Byron Bay.
‘I definitely get a lot of influence from those surfers, they’re not competitive surfers, they are called free surfers – they are a bit more conscious about their style.’
A good SPF is a must
Spending hours under the sun, a water resistant SPF is vital for a surfer.
Connor favors a tan colored zinc-oxide sunscreen by Shiseido that blends effortlessly with his skin tone.
‘I put it all over my face and focus on my lips, because surfers get sunburnt lips and it’s the worst thing in the world.’
Get creative with your hair
Hair styles come and go, but surfer hair is as timeless as it is desirable.
Traditionally the look is long, tousled, and bleached by the sun, but according to Connor, the current trend is the equivalent to a designer crew cut – but not for him.
Last year in Tahiti the athlete rocked a mullet with shaved sides featuring three side stripes.
‘Not to look different but to make it more fun,’ he said.
Last year in Tahiti the athlete rocked a mullet with shaved sides, featuring three striped lines. ‘Not to look different but to make it more fun,’ he said
While there are several trademark attributes of your typical surfer, take a tip from Connor and relax!
The look is about capturing the essence of a carefree beach lifestyle.
Feel free to mix and match these elements to create your own unique interpretation of surfer fashion.