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Tween Dilemma

Being a tween is great fun but choosing outfits for tweens, on the other hand, is challenging. Not only are tweens learning more about themselves every day but they are also developing a sense of independence: they are beginning to develop their own fashion sense and create a new aspect of individuality which can make styling choices difficult. During these years, tweens go shopping to choose clothing items that they love and feel best represent them. Back when they were younger, they may have had many favourite 'go to' stores, although, you may find that when re-entering these stores with a tween, they do not cater for their age group. This leave tweens and their parents in a frustrating position where they are given limited options: to dress in big bows and fluffy dresses or strappy, tight clothes - Although these fashionable and figure hugging clothes can look great on celebrities such as Kendall and Kylie, we aren't so sure these styles are designed for tweens.

Ideally, when walking into a store, tweens should have a designated section in which they can shop till their hearts content, filling their changing rooms with mounds of cool clothing (which will no doubt be featured in a super cool musical.ly clip). Unfortunately, when walking into most big brand stores tweens are greeted with either a teens or children section. I am not too sure that you would want your tween to be seen wearing the same clothes as an 18 year old on a night out. At the same time you don't want them to stay in a realm of childhood forever, dressing in tiaras, tutus and sparkles. 

As a teen who has recently emerged from being a tween, I know the constant dilemma of trying to find clothes that are fashion forward but also age appropriate. At the same time, I wouldn't want my younger tween sisters to be in the same clothes as me! So, when shopping for tween clothing items, I would personally recommend stores such as Seed, J. Crew, Surlaplage and Hollister as these stores have a cool range of popular tween items. 

Olivia Berti

Hula's graceful gestures

When we think of Hawaii one of the most enduring images is of the colourful hula dancers but the hula is more than just a dance.

The beginnings of the hula remain a mystery but there are many Hawaiian legends that tie the origins of the dance to the goddess Pele or Laka and the hula is therefore considered a sacred dance to Hawaiians.

Usually performed with song or chanting, the hula interprets the words of the song to give meaning in a visual form. The intricacies of hula dancing involve the movement of the hands, eyes, hips and legs but it is the hands that tell the story. Stories of legends were told through this art form and it provided a means of passing down ancient Hawaiian culture. From the 1960's the interpretive dance of the hula evolved into a form of non-traditional tourist entertainment but more recently it has also been considered a contemporary art. 

Requiring harmony, balance and control, every movement, expression and gesture has a specific meaning, from representing nature and the elements to listening, sailing, searching and more. The hula dancer watches their hand movements at all times and not the audience.

The spirit in which you dance is more important than perfection

The graceful hula dance moves can vary from simple to complex steps, including the Kaholo, Ka'o, Hela, 'Uwehe and Ami. The most basic moves include swaying the hips and sidestepping and the hula dancers can use their hands to communicate words or ideas, from ocean waves to palm tree sways. Gestures enhance awareness, spirituality and communication. These are our favourite gestures: 


Ocean Waves

Rising Sun






Here is a video demonstrating the beauty of hula hand gestures. There are some easy to follow videos available on YouTube with basic instructions in the hula dance. A great activity for your tweens!

hula dance


Rash Guard vs Rash Shirt vs Rashie vs Sun Shirt vs Swim Shirt

The protective shirt for swimming/surfing has many aliases. Originally the rash guard was designed to protect surfers chests from surfboard or boogie board rashes but with increasing awareness (of the importance of sun protection) the rash guard evolved into a staple part of one's swimwear wardrobe.

Referred to by a variety of names, depending on which part of the world you are from, there are a few distinguishing features but, most simply, the rash guard is tight fitting and a sun or swim shirt is looser fitting. At Surlaplage we have the 'rash shirt', which is designed to be slim fitting. To make life easier, the Aussies have simplified it and put all sun protective tops under one umbrella. They are affectionately referred to as 'rashies'. If you know of any other names please add them to the comment section below.

Rash Shirt Hamptons California Beach


Sun Protective Swimwear - What is UPF?

UPF (Ultraviolet Protection Factor) is a standard used to measure the effectiveness of sun protective fabrics. This rate indicates how much of the sun's UV radiation is absorbed by the fabric. So if the fabric has a UPF rating of 50, the fabric only allows 1/50th of the sun's UV radiation to pass through the fabric. This means that the fabric will reduce the skins exposure to radiation by 50 times, which is equivalent to approximately 98% UV block. The big advantage of UPF over SPF (which is a standard measure to indicate how much time a person can be exposed to the sun before getting burned) is that the UPF standard measures protection from both UVA and UVB rays. 

Exposure to the sun's harmful UV rays increases cancer risk and the Skin Cancer Foundation has noted that "suffering one or more blistering sunburns during childhood or adolescence more than doubles a persons chances of developing potentially deadly melanoma later in life". For more information please see this link.

It is important to remember that the fabric only provides protection for areas of the body that are covered. You should always remember to apply sunscreen to areas of the skin that remain exposed.

For the safety of your children's skin, Surlaplage swimwear fabrics are independently tested to ensure they provide UPF 50. 


Sun Protection