I like to consider myself the Anna Wintour of surf fashion, I have a keen eye for what should and shouldn’t be worn on the beach. This is especially relevant if you’re a bit white and a bit wobbly, less Protein Princess more Donut King. Women surfers just don’t have time for fake tan, bouffant blow drys and slashed to the navel bejewelled coverups. So here are some helpful dos and donts on how to exude sultry self-assurance….
- A hat – YES!
My favourite is the FCS hat which has an attractive under the chin cinch strap. It also has a toggle that you can attach onto the back of your bikini or swimsuit. And if those mechanisms fail (and they won’t) the hat also floats. But the thing I really love about this hat is that it serves a second purpose as a rape deterrent because it won’t be your finest look. I know this because a potential rapist once approached me on a deserted beach, but luckily I was wearing the hat. When he got close and saw the hat he said “I just want to be friends” and then ran off. I rest my case
- the poncho – YES!
Getting changed in the beach carpark with just a towel is a highly skilled art form. A sudden gust of wind, or a leg lifted too high, and your modesty is lost. Women have the added problem of having more bits to cover up. So hooray for the poncho. It’s nice n’ cosy and it stops you from accidentally mooning innocent passerbys. My only concern with the poncho is that it’s so darn comfy that you will want to wear it everywhere … shopping in Tescos, the office, and glitzy Christmas parties. At this juncture it may be relevant to point out that time-honored adage: “You can’t poncho away all your problems”
- Mona Beach Life – YES!
Sexy, bright and hip …this is swimwear’s Spanx without the sweating and discomfort
This Latin America brand is functional and feminine. The one-piece wonders have a very flattering and slimming fit. Strategically placed patterns and stripes will draw in any wobbly bits and create an hourglass silhouette. The in-built bras are great, especially if you have the sort of boobs that need to be lifted and parked in something. Also the one-pieces have a zip pocket which I am slightly ecstatic about. It means I can take my zinc, motorbike key, and some extra wax with me in the waves, and not have to rely on a male friend.
Never underestimate a woman who wears big pants!
I’m also in love with the high waisted bikini bottoms, which I call my granny pants. My lower abs are my own personal Gaza Strip. It’s an area I’ve fought over for many years, and the only solution (which still evades me) is peace. These bottoms are surprisingly capacious so they cover up my troubled areas. Remember the basic rule in choosing a one piece or a bikini is to find one that is primarily comfortable. Never sacrifice comfort for sexiness. I once tried to wear a flimsy halterneck bikini top to surf, but when I wiped out I got hit in the face by my tits, and nearly knocked myself unconscious. A lesson for all of us who don’t have pert boobs.
- Zinc – YES!
Nothing says kookbitch more than a face plastered with zinc. Aim for the Robin Williams look in Mrs Doubtfire when he plunged his face in a white iced cake. It will make your teeth look yellow and your eyes sunken. But hey, premature ageing isn’t that sexy either. Also it’s better than the facekini, a trendy outfit from China which we’re probably not ready for yet….
- Sunglasses with strap – YES!
Sun, salt, sand and suntan cream can play havoc with your eyes. Surfer’s eye, where fleshy tissue starts to grow on the white part of the eye, and also cataracts are very real problems. I’ve started to wear the seaspecs brand of sunglasses whilst I’m surfing. To be honest, they are a pain in the ass and I think I look like a pratt, but on balance I’d rather protect my eyes for old age.
- Hurley phantom boardshorts – YES!
These are my absolute favourite boardshorts because the fabric is super comfortable and stretchy so it doesn’t restrict me when I’m popping up. They tie at the side so I don’t have to lie on a pesky knot. Crucially these boardshorts have a pocket with a ZIP, praise ye the Lord and thankyou for small mercies (see note above on zips). I feel that zip pockets are a huge step forward for womankind, akin to the invention of the vacuum cleaner.
- Roxy longjohn – NO!
I am almost in awe at how awful these are. The only people they could possibly look good on are stick thin supermodels or the gorgeous Steph Gilmore. I am at a total loss as to how Roxy could have thought these were a good idea. I imagine that 2 male (of course they had to be male) Roxy executives were surfing at Malibu. As one of them paddled for a steep wave the other yelled “if you miss that, you have to market the longjohn”. As the surfer pearled the instigator of the bet had a smug expression on his face. That’s it! That’s the only possible explanation.
- The sexy chiffon beach coverup – NO!
You will wear this when you are trying to pretend that you are a woman without neuroses. You think it gives off a nonchalant air that you are earthy and at ease with yourself. When you buy it you will imagine yourself wearing it at the beachfront houses of friends where you will eat a simple and locally caught lunch of grilled oysters , canapes and Beaujolais Nouveaux. It’s only later that you will realise that none of your friends have beachfront houses, and they are such a bunch of surfing misfits that they can barely muster a chopped tomato and a can of lager. Buy a cotton coverup that can also be used to towel down the dog after a beach walk, and to remove stains of dubious origin on the car dashboard.
- Crocks shoes – NO!
Only wear these if you want to look completely unfuckable. They remind me of the shoes my grandparents used to wear to do the gardening. However I am slightly enticed by the vibram 5 finger water shoes. I haven’t tried them yet, but being something of a princess I think they would be handy for surfing rocky spots. This should go without saying, but absolutely no wedges at the beach please ladies, you won’t be able to run after the ice-cream van.