A Brief History of Pendleton and The Beach Boys

In the 1960s, The Pendletones broke onto the music scene. Their name paid homage to the surf uniform of the 60s, a Pendleton board shirt over a t-shirt with khakis. The Pendletones later changed their name to The Beach Boys and so began their career singing about surfing, girls, cars and the laid-back Californian lifestyle.

The layered instrumentals and harmonies defined The Beach Boys' unique sound; despite ditching The Pendletones as a group name, their uniform remained the same. You can spot the iconic blue and charcoal plaid board shirt on the covers of their LPs and 45s throughout the early sixties.

Whilst The Beach Boys donned the Pendleton board shirt as their uniform, the outfit was not their original idea. Throughout the late fifties, surfers in California donned swimming trunks under an open plaid Pendleton shirt. Once on the shore, trunks were swapped for light trousers, and thus the iconic 50s surfer aesthetic was born. This is what The Beach Boys crafted their uniform after.

In 2002, Pendleton celebrated its 80th year in business. They brought back iconic shirts from each decade of business to mark the occasion. To no one's surprise, to honour the 1960s, the board shirt worn by The Beach Boys on their album covers was re-released and has remained part of the Pendleton board shirt collection since.

It is up for debate what the most famous era is for Pendleton, whether it is the cowboys and ranchers of the early 1900s who adopted the lightweight flannel to keep warm on the cool desert nights or Californian surfers in the 60s. Either way, Pendleton is still, to this day, an iconic American brand with unmatched quality and craftsmanship.

Keen to grab your own? Shop our wide range of Vintage Pendleton Shirts here.