Surf Chic

Those who frequently visit the beach know that Surf Chic is not just a style of dress, it’s a state of mind. Relaxed living, outdoor activities, bright accents, unconventional items, corner restaurants visited year-after-year, blissful landscapes, fresh and flavorful food, rustic simplicity…these are all things that make us think surf. And at the beginning of each summer, we’re eager to add a hefty dose of the creative, colorful, laid-back surfer mentality to our everyday lives.

Nothing is more beach-appropriate than savory and fresh cafe favorites served from a seaside food truck. Featuring fish tacos, burgers, crab cakes, french fries, as well as a range of rotating specials, CURBSIDE GOURMET in Palm Beach is a food truck you’ll definitely want to hunt down if you want to try the best of surfside fare.

The Stinson Beach House by San Francisco-based BUTLER ARMSDEN Architects utilizes a unique H-Shaped floor plan. The layout as well as the thoughtful living room design help this home make the most of its beautiful surroundings, including the surf-ready Pacific nearby.

Unique patterns and brilliant hues remind us of tropical cultures around the world. This cotton chambray top with its loose fit and lighter, natural fibers is a comfortable choice for a beach cover up. Not to mention, all those beautiful embroidered details make the top easy to dress up for a night out. Find this and other wonderful summer pieces at ETC… in Birmingham. Those who tend to keep their garb more neutral at the beach but love a pop of color can try infusing the brilliance of beach life into a look with some bright accessories. These bracelets, available from SCARPA in Charlottesville, VA, are lush with visual interest, and the handcrafted look vibes with many of our favorite beach styes.

ANNEX SURF SUPPLY and Surf City Surf Shop in Wilmington have everything related to the surf lifestyle one may ever need or desire. We wish we could just jump into the photo, taken by TSG Wilmington photographer Anne Liles and hang out for awhile, soaking in the surf culture before catching some waves.

This “Celestial Tides” map from Denver’s The OLD MAP GALLERY will inspire you to consider the ebb and flow of sea life no matter where you may be.

For active beach-goers, FLASH TATTOOS are a beautiful and functional way to accessorize, swim, and play without worrying about losing unique pieces. The metallic hues are perfect for glimmering summer sunlight and look great with a tan. They’re also excellent for injecting a surf vibe into your outfit even when you can’t get to the beach (TSG c0-founder Susie Matheson—not shown—is currently rocking them on her wrist here in Charlottesville). The Sea Side Bar, captured by TSG New Orleans photographer SARA ESSEX BRADLEY PHOTO, looks like the perfect stop for a bit of refreshment and shade in the middle of one of those hotter, sunnier beach days.

This moment, captured by ANNE LILES PHOTO, feels blissfully familiar to many of us. We can practically hear the waves crashing! Great beach photography is a stunning way to complement the decor and calmer hues of a well-appointed beach getaway.

Suffering from inland blues? We love how Chattanooga’s TACO MAMACITA is able to bring the flavor of the beach to us city folks. Those flavors being: Blueberry, Strawberry, Tangerine, Pomegranate…we could go on.

MCALPINE BOOTH & Ferrier fashioned this interior for a home in Vieques. The details are wonderfully beachy, calm, tactile, and natural, but don’t shout beach house. This hand-carved bone crab from TCHOUPITOULAS FINE FURNISHINGS in Northern Virginia would be a great complement to such a space. Speaking of crustaceans, how amazing does the crab cake slider from Annapolis’s CRAB A GOGO look?

Somedays, you just can’t get to the beach. We love the magnificent pools executed by Austin-based ROOT DESIGN COMPANY, because they always feel so at home in their respective settings. With its use of flooring instead of concrete, this pool is part backyard accessory and part back porch.

Hand planes, available at ANNEX SURF SHOP, are a great surf-side activity for kids and grown-ups alike. When they’re ready, kids can head over to the real deal like the great Charleston surf shop captured by the talented JAMIE CLAYTON, lead photographer of TSG Chattanooga.

Find more kid-friendly surf activities at Palm Beach’s ARISTOKIDS. Their stuff is so great, you’ll wish they made it in adult sizes!

The surf lifestyle dictates that accessorizing should be less formal. Mix up your beach routine with this straw fedora from ETC… We love the yellow detail, with its rounded, modern feel.


This brilliant-blue suit from ANNEX SURF SHOP is a simple but substantial swimming go-to. We love the thicker halter straps and pretty construction details. Pair the suit with a soft Turkish beach towel from Jacksonville’s TRUNKS BEACH COUTURE, available in every color of the rainbow.


Chris Leidy’s Earth series features washed-out ocean and beach scenes like this “Exposed Beach,” available at LEIDY IMAGES. These beautiful landscapes may not look exactly like their subjects, but the bleached feeling certainly resonates with our experience of these places.

Wilmington’s NEST FINE GIFTS’ framed signs offer a pop of fun beach attitude for an indoor space.

Jackson, Mississippi’s TREEHOUSE BOUTIQUE carries these Trina Turk palazzo pants, which have the perfect shape and movement for a beach lifestyle. Despite the bold pattern, the relatively simple color scheme makes a striped shirt or a statement jewelry piece a useful pairing.