At the start of the 1960s in Southern California, blue-collar life was beginning to give way to beach culture. Surfing was becoming popular as teenagers grabbed boards, grew their hair long and firmly established the birth of the counterculture. Carrie Birdwell Mann witnessed this transformation taking place and saw an opportunity, launching Birdwell Beach Britches in 1961.
Inspired by the nylon sails of sailboats, she worked with textile mills on the East Coast to develop a proprietary two-ply nylon fabric (SurfNyl™) that is the foundation of Birdwell Beach Britches. These durable Beach Britches (the original name for boardshorts) were built to withstand the rigors of surfing and to be wearable for a lifetime — just have a look at the two flanked on the sides in the image above; those dependable boardshorts are nearly 20 years old and withstood rigorous daily use by ocean rescue lifeguards.
While Birdwell’s first customers were the lifeguards of Newport Beach and SurfNyl™ is the pride of Birdwell, a new fabric has made its way into the iconic boardshorts this year. Chambray can wear-in and not out just as SurfNyl™ does — over the years it becomes more and more handsome. This long-lasting approach is more present than ever in the new 310 Limited-Edition Chambray Board Shorts.
Given its dedication to designing shorts that wear well, Birdwell has astutely used an indigo cotton chambray — a fabric that stylishly whiskers and patinas over time. For this new modern classic, created in a slightly evolved silhouette from the signature cut, these boardshorts also include a simple button fly, a tab closure for an adjustable fit, matching navy horn buttons, orange SurfNyl™ lining and a SurfNyl™ stripe running from back to front.
Every fabric, stitch and component Birdwell implements is scrutinized with purpose-built design philosophy. And thanks to the matriarch’s commitment to handmade quality since the 1960s, the original blueprint remains mostly unchanged. Birdwells are so reliable that many pairs of these quintessential shorts are still going strong today. Durable enough to last decades and backed by a lifetime guarantee, the 310 Limited-Edition Chambray Board Shorts will upgrade any guy’s beach threads for years to come.