The Retro Board Shorts Done Right


Contrary to what many style racks are desperately trying to tell you, so-called heritage collections – threads with conspicuous retro cuts or designs – are really on the outs. That’s because upstanding men can only take so many kitschy tie-dye tees and vintage-cut shorts without feeling like a tween. Then there’s iconic surfwear company Quiksilver, which also took a look to the past for inspiration, but managed to hit the old-school jackpot. Its new collection of simple board shorts, with patterns and logos that harken back to the brand’s startup days in 1969, are completely fresh. Unlike other throwback wannabes, Quiksilver didn’t overcomplicate the designs of this limited edition collection so that they looked vintage. Instead, the brand actually reintroduced its original gear from the seventies. That twist makes the world of difference.

Available exclusively at J.Crew, the vintage collection is actually a modest three styles of trunks in varying prints and patterns. Each fabric design made its debut around the time Quiksilver founders Alan Green and John Law were shilling their shorts from the back of a truck in Australia in the early seventies. Of the three, there’s one obvious standout: the aloha print, featuring a classic creme palm frond design on the front and rear over an eye-catching blue hue that’s enzyme-washed to feel slightly sun-faded. With a 7.5-inch inseam, the shorts are, well, shorter than usual – though certainly not as upper-thigh-baring as they were back in the day – and sit a smidge above the knee. The sharp, stitched Quiksilver logo is a brand original along with the trunk’s double-snap closure. Take them to the beach, or just hang poolside with a white tank top and boat shoes for a laid-back look, but either way, take a note from the timeless surf brand: The stylish never try to look hip. [$40;]

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