Surf Fashion, Lightly Salted

It wasn't fashion, exactly, but surfers enjoyed their little style touches. The drawstring atop their trunks, for example, was often purposely left undone while on the beach to swing freely about the crotch. This was surf culture in its purest form—cheap and simple, homemade, and a bit raunchy.

Postwar surfers, as a rule, didn’t wear much—prewar surfers didn't either, for that matter—but what they wore had to be distinctive. Furthermore, unlike blanks and wetsuits, clothes didn’t need the help of military research or patented chemical products from Dupont and Dow. Surf fashion was mostly DIY, invented on or near the beach, by actual surfers, using plain old-fashioned wool or cotton. Bef...

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