Get on Board

Mix classic 70s skater style with modern essentials

Get on Board

Words: Buntu Ngcuka | Styling: Akim Jardine | Photography: Bevan Davis

Trends come and go, but certain subcultures withstand all of that and their influence can be felt decades later. For the past year or so, menswear has gone through a casual phase. Part of this easy aesthetic takes inspiration from the Californian skater look, which finds its origins on the beachfronts of Venice Beach in the 1970s.

The logo tees, relaxed fits and functional accessories come as a bit of an antithesis to the super-skinny and minimal look that’s drilled into us for most of the past decade. Want to freshen up the laid-back trend and make it your own this summer? Here are some of the essentials you’ll need, even if Lupe’s 'Kick, Push' isn’t your personal soundtrack.

The graphic T-shirt

VANS graphic tee

Logo tees skyrocketed in popularity as a sportswear necessity in the 80s thanks to the likes of adidas, Nike and Vans and the world’s biggest rock bands. Cut to the 90s and surf brands like Stüssy, Billabong and Quiksilver got in on the trend too. Wear yours without looking like a visitor from decades past by pairing it with slim-fit jeans and low-top sneakers.

The short-sleeve shirt

Short sleeve tropical shirt

Few things evoke the mood of beachfront skating better than a short-sleeve shirt. Palm trees are a must. Go for an old-school look with a slightly oversized fit, but keeping it modern and true-to-size is just as effective. Rock it with swimwear-inspired shorts and complete the outfit with branded calf-high socks and low-tops.

The printed shorts

Board shorts

Most skaters’ go-to bottom is usually a pair of tough chinos, but that’s probably the last thing you want to wear in summer, so switch it up with some lightweight shorts. Experiment with bold prints and patterns (like dark florals) or go with the popular-right-now selection of pastel hues.

The plimsoll sneakers

VANS plimsole

Everyone loves a pair of sturdy plimsolls. Made with a canvas upper and tough rubber sole, they’ve become an enduring style mainstay and the foundation of everyone’s footwear rotation. The must-have silhouette is a low-top, so make sure that if you aren’t socks to show off, your ankles are moisturised.

The accessories

Skater boy accessories

Your choice of add-ons help your personal taste shine through any trend. The man-on-the-move (that's every skater) needs to be hands-free, protected from the elements and have his essentials within easy reach. Some of our favourite accessories this season: a crossbody bag, moon bag or classic backpack for your daily essentials, retro sunglasses like aviators or wayfarers, because there’s nothing cool about squinting hard, and finally, a peak cap with a logo on the front to show everyone which brand you’re repping.

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