Inspired by the idea of Shangri-La, a paradise here on earth, a utopia, surf brand Protest, easily the best online shop for surf and beachwear this summer. This top surf brand shares fun-loving vibes in their swimwear and beach clothing with stylish tees, hoodies, jackets, board shorts and tops with a festival feel and streetwise surf style.
In this review, we pick the ten best online shops for surf & beachwear so that you are properly kitted out for your next trip to the beach.
Protest create their clothes for a utopia with great swell, the sun is shining and the sand is between your toes. In their utopia, the party is always in full swing. Wearing your favourite festival outfit, sitting on the grass and listening to your favourite band. They create clothing for where you want to be.
The Protest SS19-1 collection uses print and technique to combine function with streetwise style, clothes that can take you from the surf to the street without a change of outfit.
The summertime Shangri-La arrives with the sun. With splashes of a Miami fairground mixed with some LA style. This collection is a wonder of print, texture and shine. A collection that is not just for the eyes, it’s their most textile range to date.
Protest are known for bringing the unexpected to functional clothing. This season is no exception. They’ve embraced the velvet trend in streetwear and figured out how to take this look into their swimwear. They found the perfect fabric with the look and feel of velvet but with stretch and quick-drying properties of Lycra. And their ‘Bess’ bikini was born.
They have also developed bikinis made from ribbed, matt & shine fabrics, bringing glamour fused with function to the beach. It’s the details that make the difference, straps are knotted, panels are filled with crocheted lace and designs are embroidered. This season, they’ve ruffled and tied, embellished and adorned, to bring something unique to the simple.
But the fun doesn’t stop at swimwear. To highlight just a couple of looks that will be big this summer, the peekaboo and the wrap. The sun is out and it’s time to show some skin and have some fun with swimwear styles with well-placed cut-outs revealing just a little extra. The classic wrap is never out of fashion, it’s flattering and easy to wear. The wrap is a style that suits every shape and it can be worn day or night, dressed up or dressed down. It will protect your skin from the sun and an evening breeze.
Colour is always key at Protest and this season the first are earthy tones with beet red and olive green at its centre, the accent colours are bright contrasts. The second colour group is concrete, a blue-grey tone with marvellous bright reds as its accent. These two groups are both combined with the ever-important pair, classic, bold black and white, which is never out of style.
The fun doesn’t stop at women’s beachwear. Their men’s collection is just as good, and I insist on kitting my boy out in Protest’s best for the summer. You see, I grow his hair in the summer, whilst he’s out of school. We live by the beach, you see, so the combination of hair and suntan makes him look like a 9-yr old surfer (even though he’s yet to do more than boogie board at this stage).
Protest t-shirts are particularly great with vibrant colours, some with almost luminous logos on, others depicting beach scenes with palm trees etc. I love the fact that Protest isn’t afraid of colour and they have one sky blue t-shirt that seems to merge into the sea and sky when my son wears it on the beach.
It will be such a shame to take him out of the uplifting Protest colours and back into boring old school uniform in the Autumn. I will shed a tear.
Bottom line, Protest design well-cut beach and surf wear that lasts and maintains its shape wash after wash. The uplifting colours brighten your mood, the bold and dreamy logos and images used take your mind on holiday to a better place. To a beach with sunshine. That’s where we should all spend our entire summer… right?
Billabong is a surf company, primarily a clothing retailer that also produces accessories, like watches and backpacks and skateboard and snowboard products. Whether your idea of Australian beachside paradise is all about riding the waves, lounging on the sand or hitting up the beach bar for sundowners, Billabong has you covered with some of the best surf and beach wear on the market.
Founded in Australia, Billabong has been kitting out the Gold Coast with their go-to board shorts since 1973. Now they’ve widened their net and cater to all your beach and poolside essentials. Pick from fabulous swimsuits, bikini bottoms and bikini tops in tropical prints, shore-themed colour palettes, and tropical florals. Its wetsuits are are ideal for swimming or surfing, while their selection of shorts, tops and beach dresses make you look great down the beach.
Roxy is a great women’s beachwear surf brand. I have been a fan of Roxy Bikinis & Swimsuits, Flip Flops and even their ski clothing since I was 16. The last Roxy piece I picked up was a super pair of furry trainer shoes in the ski resort of Solden. They get everywhere but it is beachwear that they originally specialised in and that remains their staple offering.
Think cute tops, tanks, dresses, bikinis and tankinis. This year they have gone more muted and pastel. The colour scheme is more like a cloudy day on the beach than the vibrant colours of Protest in our number one spot. I prefer the bright, uplifting colours of Protest!
Hurley say that they provide everything you need to perform your best in and out of the water. Certainly, the surf and beachwear brand Hurley designs, develops and manufactures some of the world’s best surf and beachwear but they are not a small, much loved and utterly unique brand. They are owned by one of the best sportswear brands in the world, Nike, Inc.
Since the Hurley brand launched in 1999, it has been an intriguing success story within the apparel industry. Through its partnership with music acts such as Blink-182; its sponsorships of a broad range of athletes in the surf, skate, and snow markets; and its deep relationships with retailers in the action-sports market, Hurley quickly gained traction not just as a “surf” brand but as a “youth lifestyle brand.”
Hurley reminds the world that boarding is fun. And by helping people overcome whatever stands between them and their boards. A fresh perspective for all boarders. Beginners who aren’t quite sure if they’ve got what it takes and masters who may have forgotten the pure joy of the ride. Hurley reminds riders of the reason they set foot on a board in the first place – to have fun! Their goal is to make our clothes accessible to as many boarders as possible. Surf, beach or board, Hurley have it covered.
Quiksilver is one of the best places to buy surf & snowboard products online. From bags to board shorts, Quicksilver’s current range is slightly muted but gorgeous nonetheless with tees with fun logos and jumpers and hoodies that will take you into the fall once the beach cools down.
6. Rip Curl
Rip Curl is an Australian designer, manufacturer, and retailer of surfing sportswear and beachwear and has ranges including the Bombshell series of wetsuits which feature super stretch neoprene styles that combine high performance, style and quality; add flexibility, durability and comfort into the mix – the Bombshell Series of Wetsuits for women is the ultimate in women’s wetsuit technology and design.
They also have a back-to-school range so that you can take a little bit of the beach back to the classroom.
I was originally introduced to Volcom by my skater husband but these guys also produce boardsports-oriented products. The company primarily produces clothing, footwear, accessories, and related products for young men and women. Volcom is headquartered in Costa Mesa, California, United States and this season, they have a collection by the legendary visual artist Mike Giant.
O’Neill was originally a Californian surf wear and surfboard brand started by Jack O’Neill who is credited with inventing the wetsuit. It has now moved down the coast from San Francisco to the warmer Santa Cruz and offers pretty floral and paisley designs. Everything that you could possibly need to surf or wear to the beach. All collections feature sustainable fabrics and O’Neill Blue – products derived from recycled plastic, striving to preserve the oceans and everything they offer for generations to come.
9. Fat Face
Fat Face is a British lifestyle clothing and accessories retailer, based in Hampshire. It was founded in 1988 by Tim Slade and Jules Leaver as a business selling T-shirts at ski resorts. Today it has hundreds of shops including one in Gatwick’s airport terminal, selling surfwear to anyone interested in good quality items to wear down the beach.
10. Saturday’s NYC
Saturday’s NYC brand for the surfer who doesn’t want to look too much like a surfer, Saturday’s NYC is a streetwear brand from New York with trendy hoodies, tees, shirts etc. These items look great down the beach or on the New York City Streets and their autumnal colour scheme is stylish anywhere.
Disclosure: Most reviews are sponsored by the proprietor or brand being appraised. All opinions remain our own & are in no way influenced.