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A Shore Thing

This summer's biggest trend is riding high and generating a swell of fashions that rock from land to sea. Surfesque wear has taken off from the territorial surfing communities to Old Navy nationwide, and alas, to the high fashion design houses of Paris. People everywhere are awash with tropical prints, color graphics and wet suit fabrics.

This season, both Louis Vuitton and Balenciaga put a spin on the Parisian runways with jackets and mini dresses made with neoprene, the material found in surfers' wetsuits. Chanel dove into the scene as well with its own custom-made surfboard emblazoned with the Coco Chanel emblem. Not to be outdone, almost every major retail company has taken a ride on the chic-ness of surfwear.

FCUK on O'Farrell and Stockton went as far as creating its own Fcukiki Beach in its store windows. Walk into Macy's and you will see boarding shorts and graphic tees from large surfwear companies like Roxy, O'neill and Stussy. Old Navy and American Eagle won't be left out as they push Hawaiian prints and rainbow sandals into your bags.

So enough of the high fashion and retail giants who found "Blue Crush" inspiring. The local scene is where it all started and is still happening. Step outside of Union Square and brave the waves at Ocean Beach where the real surfing chic hang.

Aqua Surf Shop by Ocean Beach will not disappoint. Surfers Devin Dargell and Aleks Petrovitch own the place and take care to support the renegade skate-surf companies such as Volcom, Lost and Ruca. Surfers who are also artists show their talents on tees that feature colorful and crazy graphics.

"We try to keep things simple but with style," Devin says.

For women there are fitted tees with cap sleeves in wacky bright color combinations of brown and turquoise or blue and orange. Seashell belts by Betty's Belts hang loosely with the graphic board shorts or vintage cut jeans. Colorful beads and silver bracelets with floral shell motifs cuff both wrists and ankles.

As for the men, the tops range from short-sleeve button-downs to tees with unique logo hits that land askew. Hooded tops in navy and grey and beanies which come in stripes and solids keep the SF chill at bay.

So don't get caught in a two-wave hold-down (that's surf speak for someone getting caught under a succession of two waves). When you come up, you may have missed the biggest trend of this summer.

Aqua Surfshop
(aka Aquaholics)
2830 Sloat Boulevard
(Sloat @ Great Highway)
Phone: 415.242.9283
Hours: Daily (10 am - 5:30 pm)

French Connection United Kingdom
101 Powell Street
(Powell @ Ellis)
Phone: 415.677.4317
Hours: Monday - Saturday (10 am - 9 pm), Sunday (10 am - 8 pm)

170 O'Farrell Street
(O'Farrell @ Stockton)
Phone: 415.937.3333
Hours: Monday - Wednesday (10 am - 8 pm), Thursday - Friday (10 am - 9 pm), Saturday (10 am - 9 pm), Sunday (11 am - 7 pm)