Charleston, South Carolina is known more for it’s culinary explosion and plantations than its surfing situation but then again, the surfing scene was hardly a hot topic in the hipster vernacular of New York City until the Saturdays boys came along.
Enter Rogue Wave‘s Rhett Boyd, avid surfer, skater and local tastemaker. Boyd grew up near the water in Beaufort, South Carolina where his mama bought him a used long board for $20 at a flea market. He lugged that damn 40 pound board to the beach daily while his friends dashed off with their shorter, lighter weight versions. But Rhett was the last one laughing as he realized the long boards are conducive to small waves, which are prevalent in the state.
Rhett studied the ministry (he never joined the church but is still a fan!) and then moved out to Orange County, California where he really started his surfing career. Flash forward several years and he is married and living in Costa Rica when he and his wife decide to move to Charleston to start a family. For them Charleston embodies the culture and heritage that they love as well as a city, the beach and the country. “The Holy City nails it!” he laughs.
Moving to this idyllic town inspired him to go for his dream and open his own surf shop. “My best friend growing up lived on a huge plantation and lead a lavish life of private jets, safaris in Africa and most importantly he was a really good guy. His lifestyle inspired me to present the surfing culture from a Southern Gentleman’s perspective,” he told us. Rhett opened Rogue Wave several years back to much fanfare and is now working on a bigger space closer to the water out in Mount Pleasant.
We sat down with Rhett and some bourbon on the back porch and heard more about his sartorial style evolution:
There is a pretty established style in Charleston – pressed dress slacks, button down, sport coat, tie and loafers. From the headmaster of my school to people in society , the uniform is pretty tight. But as I grew and experienced the world, my view towards style really evolved.
I love the grungy, old country, South Western style and vibe. So I tend to mix rock and roll and Western culture a lot. Earnest Hemingway’s style permeates everything for me too. His love of multipurpose clothing really makes sense – a shirt that you can go hunting in and then wear out to dinner.
If I plan to go surfing in the morning I throw on my favorite pair of board shorts by Yellow Rat that are inspired from the late 50s shorter length short. Then I may grab my vintage Rolling Stones tee and my Vans.
When I am heading to work I shower and change into my Western boots and my Imogene and Willy ‘Barton Slims’ in a raw selvedge denim. They are well broken in and have taken on my lines. I then throw on a basic V neck tee from Alternative Apparel– I love the fit and blend of materials and it looks great alone or layered. I then top it off with my fave glasses, ‘Briggs’ from SALT optics and I am good to go.
Any time I can wear a tuxedo I wear it. Mine is vintage and was a gift from a friend. The label reads, Worshaws of Walterboro. The tie is a Ben Silver tie.
If I am heading to a nice dinner with my wife or friends – Billy Reid’s double vent plaid blazer is my go to with Freemans Sporting Club olive chinos. Those chinos go with everything. I had them hemmed high water and I sport my Allen Edmond wing tips or Florsheim’s. A Freemans grey poplin button down pairs well with everything too. Pocket square is a must and I have a big collection of vintage ones. Im not afraid of mixing things or clashing so I sport a floral or plaid.
My belts are from my friend Billy Moore over at Cause and Effect. He wales on the leather over a rock in a stream (no joke!) in Nashville and the result is a great, rugged look.
Flag photo courtesy of Ben Gately Williams
Sofa shot courtesy of Rutledge Godly
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