Before they were the Beach Boys, they were the Pendletones. This shirt is why.

CIRCA 1963: Photo of Beach Boys Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

The Pendletones

In the early 1960s, a group called The Pendletones adopted their name in honor of the surf uniform of the day: Pendleton shirts worn over tee shirts with khakis. The original lineup included brothers Brian, Dennis and Carl Wilson, their cousin Mike Love, and friend Al Jardine.

The Pendletones soon changed their name to the Beach Boys (learn more about them here: (the Beach Boys) Even though only one member of the group had ever been on a surfboard, they sang about the California surfing scene; waves, sunshine, cars and girls. This might have been simple subject matter, but layered instrumentation and soaring harmonies made these songs anything but simple. Under the unique artistic leadership of Brian Wilson, the Beach Boys defined surf music. And though their name changed, their uniform didn’t. The band wore this blue and charcoal plaid shirt on the covers of 45s and LPs throughout the early 1960s.

Album covers by the Beach boys, for Surfin' Safari and Surfer Gilr. The Boys are wearing Pendleton Board Shirts.

Surf History

The Beach Boys’ Pendleton shirts were part an existing trend. When surfing came to California in the late 1950s, surfers devised performance wear: swim trunks and plaid Pendleton shirts over a layer of Vaseline. Surfers wore the same shirts over light pants on the shore, and a fashion trend was born.

The Majorettes

This look hit the radio airwaves courtesy of the Majorettes, whose song, “White Levis” became a number one hit in 1963. As the lyrics said, “My boyfriend’s always wearin’ white Levi’s…and his tennis shoes and his surfin’ hat and a big plaid Pendleton shirt.”

Record and cover for the 45 single of "White Levis" by the Majorettes. The cover shows a drawing of a young man wearing white Levi's and a plaid Pendleton shirt.

That’s a Pendleton shirt  cover of that 45, even though they named the song after the pants. You can give it a listen here, and don’t be surprised if you start singing along.  But let’s get back to the shirt made so popular by the Beach Boys.

An Icon Returns

In 2002, Pendleton celebrated eight decades of Pendleton shirts by bringing back iconic shirts from each decade. To celebrate the 1960s, we brought back the Board Shirt in the same plaid seen on all those record covers. We call it the Original Surf Plaid.

The shirt has stayed in the line ever since.

A young man stands next to an orange surfboard in front of a shingled wall. He is wearing a Pendleton Board Shirt in the Original Surf Plaid made famous by The Beach Boys.

Photo Joel Bear

We’ve used it in caps, hats, bags and jackets. It’s still made in the original 100% virgin Umatilla wool as it was back then.

A man kneels in his driveway in front of a motorcycle, with is arm around a white fluffy dog. he is wearing a Pendleton Board Shirt in Original Surf Plaid.

Photo Cassy Berry

There’s some discussion now and then in Pendleton’s Menswear division about which is our most enduring men’s item of all time. Some say it’s the Topster, the shirt jacket that defined collegiate wear in the 1950s and 60s. Some say it’s the Original Westerley cardigan worn by the Dude in “The Big Lebowski.”

Musician Ben Jaffe leans against a cedarwood wall. He is wearing a Pendleton Board Shirt in Original Surf Plaid.

Photo Ben Jaffe, styling Suzanne Santo

Others claim the honor for the Board Shirt. We’ll let you decide.

A young man leans against a rusted orange camper. he is wearing a Pendleton Board Shirt in Original Surf Plaid.

Photo Travis Hallmark

No matter where you are, or what’s the weather, this piece of the sunny California surf scene will take you to the waves.

A woman and a man wear Pendleton Board Shirts in Original Surf Plaid.

Surf Pendleton Style – #surfinUSA

A man and woman walk down the beach with a dog, wearing Pendleton Board Shirts.

Surf Pendleton

Surf Pendleton is a growing part of Pendleton’s spring offering, with looks for men and women that feature natural and technical fibers, sun-bleached colors, and relaxed SoCal style. The collection builds on a connection between Pendleton and surfing that goes way back—waaaay back to the birth of the American surf scene in the early 1960s.

This look originally hit the radio airwaves courtesy of the Majorettes, whose song, “White Levis” became a number one hit in 1963. As the lyrics said, “My boyfriend’s always wearin’ white Levi’s…and his tennis shoes and his surfin’ hat and a big plaid Pendleton shirt.”

The cover of "White Levi's," a 45 released by the Majorettes.

That’s a Pendleton shirt  cover of that 45, even though they named the song after the pants. You can give it a listen here, and don’t be surprised if you start singing along.

The Pendletones

Around the same time, a group called The Pendletones adopted their name in honor of the surf uniform of the day: Pendleton shirts worn over tee shirts with white Levis or khakis. The original Pendletones lineup included brothers Brian, Dennis and Carl Wilson, their cousin Mike Love, and friend Al Jardine.

Photo of Beach Boys (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

Photo of Beach Boys (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

The Pendletones soon changed their name to the Beach Boys . Even though only one member of the group had ever been on a surfboard, they sang about the California surfing scene; waves, sunshine, cars and girls. This might have been simple subject matter, but layered instrumentation and soaring harmonies made these songs anything but simple. Under the unique artistic leadership of Brian Wilson, the Beach Boys defined surf music. And though their name changed, their uniform didn’t. The band wore this blue and charcoal plaid shirt on the covers of 45s and LPs throughout the early 1960s.

Cover of the SURFER GIRL album by the Beach Boys

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The Beach Boys’ Pendleton shirts were part an existing trend. When surfing came to California in the late 1950s, surfers improvised surf performance wear: swim trunks and plaid Pendleton shirts over a layer of Vaseline. Surfers wore the same shirts over light pants on the shore, and a fashion trend was born.

Eight Decades

In 2002, Pendleton celebrated eight decades of Pendleton shirts by bringing back iconic shirts from each decade. To celebrate the 1960s, we brought back the Board Shirt in the same plaid seen on all those record covers. We officially named it the Original Surf Plaid.

A folded Pendleton Board Shirt in the Original Surf Plaid as worn on the cover of the "Surfer Girl" album.

The shirt has stayed in the line ever since. We’ve used it in caps, hats, bags and jackets. It’s still made in the original 100% virgin Umatilla wool as it was back then. And this spring, we have your favorite surf plaid in a women’s style.

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See it here: Original Surf Plaid for women

Short sleeved wool shirts have been part of our line as far back as the 1950s. This year, we brought back the short sleeve Board Shirt in spring and summer colors.

A man stands by the ocean, wearing a short sleeved Pendleton Board Shirt.

Please note, our good friends at Greenspan’s have always offered custom sleeve tailoring to SoCal customers, so if you shop there, any Board Shirt can be short sleeved. You can check out the short sleeve Board Shirt colors, as well as everything else in the Surf Pendleton line for men and women here: SURF PENDLETON

Remember—summer is on the way.

Father’s Day and Pendleton: Generations of Love

Danijo Lopez and his father in Pendleton Board Shirts. Photo courtesy of Danijo Lopez.

Photo (with his dad) courtesy Danijo Lopez

What He Wants

For generations, a Pendleton wool shirt has been a gift of gratitude for dads young and old, near and far. When Dad opens a package and finds a Pendleton, he knows you’re paying attention to what he wants.

1963 photo of Matt Raven and his father in Pendleton shirts. Photo courtesy Matt Raven.

Photo (with his dad) courtesy Matt Raven

Your Dad

He’s always had your back. Maybe that’s why you want a Pendleton shirt for his. What’s your father’s favorite style?

It might be The Original Board Shirt™, the original surf shirt since the early 1960s. The loop square collar and square hem make it suitable as a lightweight jacket, and the flaps on those bias-cut patch pockets are recognizable a mile away.

Or maybe your father is a Sir Pendleton™ man. This lightweight worsted wool shirt has been around for over fifty years without gaining an ounce. We have a Black Watch tartan version right now—a traditional pattern for a traditional dad.

A man tosses his young child into the air with joy. Photo by Bri Heiligenthal

Bri Heiligenthal Photography

Your Husband

He’s your true love, your best friend and your partner in parenting. Celebrate your shared path with with the Trail Shirt, recognized by its soft sueded elbow patches. It also has a pencil slot on its chest pocket, since Dad is so often the official pen-carrier in the family.

Our most traditional shirt (according to our customers) is our Fireside Shirt. This is trad all the way, with one matched-pattern chest pocket and a button-down collar. The Lodge Shirt is cut just like the Fireside, but with a spread collar. Both are available in Black Watch—or as we like to call it, the stealth tartan.

A young father holds his child, who is wrapped in a Pendleton child's blanket. Photo by Grace Adams

Grace Adams Photography

Your Son, who is Now a Dad

It’s beautiful and touching to watch young dads navigate the new role of father. You’ll be there for him as he takes on this new role. Mark this rite of passage with a Pendleton shirt. You can’t go wrong with the Original Board Shirt™, of course, maybe in one of our Surf Pendleton plaids or stripes.

But for the younger man, that Western fit is a hit, so also consider the Canyon Shirt. This is a snap-front and cuff model with peaked snap flaps on its two bias-cut chest pockets. The front and back yokes are on the bias, as well.

Options and more options

We have fitted versions of many of our shirts, cut closer to the body and a little higher in the armholes for a contemporary look.

We also have a range of new shirt models like the Buckley, the Boro and the Maverick that you should check out. With Pendleton wool shirts, Father’s Day is better than ever.

BodyVox and Pendleton

Dance and innovation

BodyVox, the innovative Portland dance company, creates work that breaks boundaries in the most beautiful ways. From their website:

Breathtaking productions rich in imagery, athleticism and humor: Led by Emmy Award-winning choreographers Jamey Hampton and Ashley Roland, BodyVox is known for its visual virtuosity, distinctive wit and unique ability to combine dance, theater and film into breathtaking productions rich in imagery, athleticism and humor. Since its founding in 1997, BodyVox has toured to critical acclaim on stages around the world, developed 9 award winning films, 30 original shows and 3 operas, featuring more than 200 original dances.

The Calendar

We were delighted to open our BodyVox 2017 calendar and find some beautiful shots featuring Pendleton. March takes flight with this image.

A dancer from the BodyVox company leaps in the air with a Pendleton Water blanket.

Photo courtesy BodyVox, used with permission

Of course, you all recognize the Original Board Shirt made famous by the Beach Boys. The blanket is the Water Blanket from our series that benefits the American Indian College Fund.

The Water Blanket

The Water blanket.

Inspired by a blanket in an early 20th-century photograph by Edward S. Curtis, this blanket is inspired by the peerless weaving of the American Southwest. It incorporates classic Navajo elements in an eye-dazzling pattern. The central dragonfly, an emblem of water, symbolizes life.

See it here: Water Blanket

Shirts & beanies

Later in the calendar, we found this gravity-defying hackysack game.

Two BodyVox dancers leap in the air surrounded by hackysacks.

Photo courtesy BodyVox, used with permission

More Information:

You can check out our accessories here: Pendleton Accessories

You can see The Original Board Shirt here: Board Shirt (original Blue Surf Plaid)

And see the Water blanket here: The College Fund Water Blanket