People Watching: Charlie Don’t Surf

This week I am back with another installment of people watching. Although he longer posts this UK based all-around cool guy who goes by Charlie don’t surf on IG (see here) continues to give me inspiration. Specifically he gives me fall/winter inspo with his casual-leaning-heavy-duty-rugged-ivy style mixing trad, ivy, and old school/new school gorp with fantastic results. It reminds me of an updated version of the 70s trad looks that HTJ used to post and it is really good.

Here’s how he does it. He goes for a boxier straight but not super baggy silhouette. The pants are almost always denim, but there is the occasional corduroy 5-pockets in brown. The shirts are OCBDs in blue or white. His shetlands are typically earth tones. The outerwear is rugged 70s gorp (down jackets, down vests, 60/40 jackets, etc.) and always offer a nice contrast with his sweater. The shoes are casual, often chunky and suede (Padmore 204s, camp mocs, Paraboots, desert boots, grey New Balance). His accessories are a cap (bucket or baseball) and a ribbon belt in green/red. David’s style is a study in silhouette, color, and texture. Couple that with his knowledge of self and you have some very very good fits.

A few takeaways. David’s reinforces my belief that a simple uniform style approach to getting dressed is the way to go. He keeps it simple, does variations on what works for him/what he likes, and it pays off. I have never really been into low top wallabee style shoes or ribbon belts, but now I am considering both. If you like his old school outdoor outerwear look for older REI, L.L. Bean, and brown label North Face on Ebay. You know I love my old green down vest. David is more proof that you can look cool wearing trad/ivy and that it doesn’t have to be all heyday, repp ties, and navy blazers even though that’s cool too.

After checking out this post you might also enjoy, The Late 70s Prep Checklist that I did back in 2015. It can provide some more inspiration for this style. I’ve included more pics of David below. Be warned, when imitating these looks that he is a very cool guy and your results may vary. Have a great weekend!

oxford cloth button down
Jerrod Swanton is a simple man interested in simple, classic, and traditional style.

4 Comments on "People Watching: Charlie Don’t Surf"

  1. Sean says:

    Good stuff, thanks for sharing! I’d put forth that his style has “Dad vibes”, in the very best ways – practical, durable, and with a dash of personality. His outfits would be appropriate on the streets of any hip neighborhood, or running errands, or schlepping the kids to and from weekend activities. Is rugged ivy my new Dad-style inspo?
    Love the people-watching content. So much more inspiring than any marketing materials from brands!

  2. Tie Clip says:

    Nice one Jerrod. This guy has a good style, but I’m not crazy about his default choice for denim jeans. If he wore beige or light beige chinos, all of these cool toned outfits would be lifted up.
    The sockless look with jeans and a sweater is a bit much.
    Those Uniqlo tech outerwear jackets look good undone, but done up they have a standing collar which obstructs a crew neck sweater and shirt.
    Honestly Ox I think this guy could learn a thing or two from following your blog! He is good, but you are a few levels above him in terms of refining and honing your style and taste.

  3. Andy Wagon says:

    Majoring on the 60/40 parkas, which is good! I tore my orange Sierra Designs one and live in hope of one day finding another. Like Tie Clip I see the sockless look with winter outfits to be somewhat of an affectation. Otherwise there’s plenty to inspire here with some good casual cold weather outfits that stand out from the herd, but not too much. He’s got good taste in cars, I sold my SAAB 900 because of the environmental charge on older cars in London.

  4. Phil J says:

    While I love all things trad/Ivy, I think this 70’s gorpcore or “rugged ivy” look may be my absolute favorite. I also love the idea of a uniform with interchangeable parts, which I think is why the trad look works as well as it does. Props to David for sticking to what works for him; he’s gained another follower on IG.

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