The Oahu Quick-Change

[trip style = sun + beach]

When Trip Styler Sis and I were in Oahu a few months ago, we went completely gaga over a tropical trend we spotted: Beach-goers changing from their bathing suit to everyday clothes in the sand or beside the road. Forget the changing room or beach bathroom, they had the après-beach change dialed to a stealthy, one-minute affair. We wanted in. I mean, who doesn't want to channel the aloha attitude of Oahu's quick-change artists?

To teach us the art, we met someone who lives this lifestyle every day; chef, artist, free diver, champion spear fisher AND Patagonia Ambassador Kimi Werner. Here's what she told us about the Oahu quick-change and life on the island's North Shore.

1/ What's the background story of the après-beach quick-change? When you're surrounded by water and a warm climate you develop an ocean lifestyle. I think we become less conservative and more laid-back. Since we spend so much time in bikinis or board shorts, we get used to not wearing as much clothing as people from other places, so changing by the roadside becomes less of a big deal. It's practical. Change quickly and go on to your next experience.

2/ Is there an art to changing by the road or at the beach?
String bikinis are the easiest, because you can just throw on clothes, pull the strings to untie the suit and whip them out of your shirt sleeves or shorts. Or you can use a towel. Just wrap yourself up, drop your bottoms, undo your top and replace with dry clothes. And voila!

3/ What are some essential ingredients for the quick-change?
Clothes and a towel.


4/ What do locals do about storing their wallet and keys while they're at the beach?
If you don't have to bring it, don't, though most people stash their essentials out of sight and hide their keys while they're in the water. Otherwise, attach a lockbox to the outside of your car and put your keys in there.

5/ What are your favorite beaches on Oahu?
Waimea Bay and Sunset Beach.

6/ Best place to catch the sunset on Oahu?
Sandy's Beach.

PS. Don't miss Kimi's breathtaking {literally} video about her island life, the ecosystem and encountering a great white shark on a research trip.

[photos in order of appearance: 1 - Jeff Johnson, courtesy of Patagonia / 2 + 3 - Jake Marote / 4 - Malia Yoshioka]

*A special thank you to my friend, foodie and all-around nice gal Malia for making this possible.