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Anyone else noticing the surf/wetsuit influence infiltrating some of the Resort 2012 collections? Summer is a great time to test out bright, sporty looks and the zip up dresses from Michael Kors or the rash guard inspired tops from Derek Lam are the perfect inspiration to get you started. Check out a few of my favorite designer translations of the trend, plus get great BurdaStyle patterns to make your own fresh and modern surfer girl look!

For the Resort season, both Michael Kors and McQ showcased surf-inspired looks that are a great balance between sporty and sexy. Michael’s girls look like modern day Bond femme fatals with their zip-up dresses, sleek shades and hip packs. A really easy way to get this look is to add a large exposed zipper to the front of a simple, form-fitting dress, top or pants.

Michael Kors:


Derek Lam made the rash guard chic for Spring by pairing it with streamlined skirts for an overall sporty feel that doesn’t look like you literally just got off your board.


Speaking of rash guards, these adorable ones from Pret-a-Surf are fashionable both in and out of the water.


Stylist/swimwear designer Lisa Marie Fernandez’s sporty bikinis and one-pieces are among my favorite beachwear options, while her dresses, skirts and bodysuits translate the look perfectly from beach party to cocktail party.


Last year, the Proenza Schouler boys injected a healthy dose of surf chic into their Resort and Spring collections with board shorts, bikini tops and sleek, form-fitting tops.


Meanwhile, Canadian fashion glossy Flare and the Anna Dello Russo-helmed Vogue Nippon picked up on the trend last summer and ran their own editorial variations on the look:


Vogue Nippon

Ready to try the look for yourself? I pulled together a few BurdaStyle patterns to help you create your own take on surf chic.

Dresses: Dress with Zipper Detail, Dress with A-line Skirt, Drop Sleeve Dress. Tops: Bustier Top, Bustier, Oversize Tank. Bottoms: Fitted Skirt, High Waist Zipper Trousers.

Other Patterns to Try: Tank Mini Dress, Mesh Shirt, Dress with Side Gathers, Shift Dress.

While the silhouettes are generally simple and sleek, you can play with color and pattern within the piece and if all else fails, just stitch in a bold exposed zipper and you’re good to go! Who else is feeling the surf-chic vibe for Summer?

Photos via Fashion Gone Rogue, Vogue,, Lisa Marie Fernandez and Pret-a-Surf.


  • Missing

    Aug 28, 2012, 08.59 AMby brilad

    Hmmm, yeah. I don’t think these are going to take off anytime soon. Especially here in the UK, you’d get laughed off the streets wearing some of these. Top marks for effort and inspiration though!

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    Dec 2, 2011, 09.51 PMby turbobob

    Yeah… I’ve gotta agree with most of the other commenters, most of these look pretty horrendous! You could maybe get away with the dress in the middle but most of them…just no, sorry. Harry

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    Nov 16, 2011, 04.50 PMby ariana33u

    This was an excellent and cool article. I love this cool surfer outfits. I manage a free mature 50+ Dating UK resource and I have really enjoyed this great reading. I love this awesome website. Thanks again for sharing.

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    Nov 8, 2011, 09.29 PMby alexa30m

    This was a great and interesting article to read. I have really enjoyed reading this very cool and helpful information. This was really so very cool and fun to read. I have learned so much. Aquaristik Pool Teich Shop

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    Aug 9, 2011, 06.38 AMby Min Sun

    This is just the information I am finding everywhere.Me and my friend were arguing about an issue similar to this! Now I know that I was right.Thanks for the information you post. I just subscribe your blog. This is a nice blog. oil press

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    Jun 17, 2011, 10.07 PMby ruthw

    Er… What’s a rash guard when it’s at home?

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    Jun 15, 2011, 05.12 PMby moorjenn

    Well, I think it’s a bold and sleek look perfect for summer. I don’t think you would need to smother yourself in neoprene to make it work—a nice stable knit would do just as well and breathe better. It’s sassy. It’s different. I like it.

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    Jun 14, 2011, 10.50 PMby nehmah

    When I have seen these in the past, the people all looked like their clothes were conspiring to suffocate them. The colors are harsh, and with the exception of the model for Pret-a-Surf, none appear to be comfortable. Still they beat the pointy-bra styles, but not by much. Nehmah

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    Jun 14, 2011, 08.22 PMby afrodesia

    Too bad so many of the comments posted couldn’t have been of people who appreciated the surfer look as fresh and new or interestingly different, instead bashing the art that passionate designers have crafted. Then again I’m sure a lot of the comments were made by people who wouldn’t look good in or could afford this type of mad-creativity!!! I’m not a surfer but I LOVE these looks. Sometimes the fashion is for the runway as a showcase, other times it’s for ready-to-wear, but I love it when there’s a crossover and MANY women can’t comprehend it. That’s where the fashionable and the window shopper are identified. We can’t all wear boring jean shorts and flowery tank tops now can we? I didn’t think so. :-)

    1 Reply
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      Apr 16, 2012, 02.53 PMby ice8823

      So true!
      Couldn’t have said it better myself

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    Jun 14, 2011, 06.58 PMby vanpatino

    super inspiringm super trendy !!!! LOVE IT !!!!! =D tks

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    Jun 14, 2011, 06.43 PMby Terri Hall

    I think it’s all hateful!

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    Jun 14, 2011, 05.20 AMby seasidelaundry

    With golf & tennis trends this season, I find these looks even more appealing. I really like the fit to form shapes. I think they would be equally attractive in pastels or even a single color with all the piecework adding the interest. So, a yeah from me-who lived in Hawaii during the peak of 60’s surfing…more a frame of mind to me than a style or a sport.

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    Jun 14, 2011, 03.44 AMby tashmopolitan


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    Jun 13, 2011, 07.48 PMby LimeSoda

    A pattern that allows me to create mod swimwear style frocks that could easily go glam in a different fabric? Wow. I’m sold. And cheers for the round-up of looks!

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    Jun 13, 2011, 04.22 PMby Sewing And Style

    Totally disagree with the pattern (middle dress) offered for this trend.

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    Jun 13, 2011, 04.22 PMby Sewing And Style

    Totally disagree with the pattern (middle dress) offered for this trend.

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    Jun 12, 2011, 10.46 AMby freakusbzzz

    kind of odd and unappealing

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    Jun 12, 2011, 05.05 AMby bluebetty

    Being a surfer, I would never wear any thing that was reminiscent of my wet suit or rash guard outside of the surf. The wet suit is to keep you warm and a rash guard is worn so you don’t get board rash, they are necessary items to protect your body. If you want to look like a surfer, let the sun bleach your hair, buy some boardies, and wear flip flops everywhere.

    I find this trend ridiculous, and do not plan on following it, other than to wear my rash guard in the surf.

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    Jun 11, 2011, 07.51 PMby cambra


    1 Reply
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      Jun 12, 2011, 05.06 AMby bluebetty

      I agree, not surfer girl chic at all,

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    Jun 11, 2011, 06.03 PMby iljalamalice

    I don’t like this “trend”. If I really had to pick something, it would be Lisa Fernandez.

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    Jun 11, 2011, 02.26 PMby turtlegirl00

    eh… it does remind me of the era of body glove… some parts of some of the items are cute—but i don’t really feel gaga for any one entire look.

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    Jun 11, 2011, 02.06 PMby knighttemplar

    I like the Vouge Nippon, the vest, and the last dress a lot. I might try to make something like it. also, I would buy the stripy shirt from Proenza Schouler, just because I don’t think I could sew it and I really like it… actually, the only ones I don’t like are the first three sets. I would wear the rest.

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    Jun 11, 2011, 01.09 PMby Tam Oconnell

    I could rock the trend. I especially like the Proenza Schouler take on this. Definitely 80’s color blocking is back. Anyone remember the neoprene zipper dresses by Body Glove that were all the rage. thanks for posting awesome patterns!

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    Jun 11, 2011, 12.08 PMby rogue-cellist

    I don’t get it. It looks really blah. My take on it is: swimwear for swimming- surfwear for the beach, cocktail dresses for cocktail parties. Oh and it doesn’t look comfortable. In summer, if you’re not actually getting wet you want fabric that will breathe and not be uncomfortably hot- this looks like you’d be dripping with perspiration.

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    Jun 11, 2011, 09.35 AMby VintageFusion

    nope definitely do not get this style but i suppose lots of people will.

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    Jun 10, 2011, 11.39 PMby jenss-1

    It reminds me of mall stores in the 1980s. Don’t think I’ll be doing this trend!

    1 Reply
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      Jun 11, 2011, 01.03 AMby designerroya

      I agree, I won’t be following this trend, but I do love those zippers and where they were placed! Very creative!

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    Jun 10, 2011, 11.14 PMby carottesauvage

    Besides the surfin’ feel to this post, the tune from Kraftwerk ‘Tour de France …Tour de France’ comes to my mind… Never thought that cyclism could be implicitly connected to swimwear( having liza Fernandez’s work in mind specifically) or some kinda fashion surfing ‘vague’…hum…well..err..

    • This is a question
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