There's nothing wrong with a statement piece, but we like stoic clothes – garments that don't whine and don't wear thin. Built for the long haul, these clothes are carefully made of the right stuff and designed for function rather than form. Your favorite pair of khakis will have dissolved to dust before these jeans and jackets give up the ghost. These are the clothes that will outlast you.
According to legend, SoCal surfer Dale Velzy and buddies at the Manhattan Beach Surf Club invented the modern board short by cutting their white sailor pants just above the knee. Why the long length? Their decision was one of practicality – the length prevented their thighs from chafing against their wax-covered boards. While hemlines have periodically risen and dropped over the ensuing six decades, quality baggies like Birdwell 301s still measure 15 inches – long enough to honor Velzy's vision but short enough to fit today's more tailored look. Handmade in California by the same family since 1961, Birdwell Beach Britches are extremely durable: They're made of two extra-thick layers of heavy nylon that are double-stitched for strength (expect 10 seasons of use) and nicely designed to dry quickly. They're available in 26 colors, but we dig royal blue and classic red, worn by Newport Beach lifeguards since 1961. [$61; birdwellbeachbritches.com]