Dwayne Booth (20) of Mountain Creek walking past the shops in his boardies. (L to R) Shay Maree (19) and Raine Daniels-Ramsey (20) check him out. Photo: Cade Mooney / Sunshine Coast Daily
Dwayne Booth (20) of Mountain Creek walking past the shops in his boardies. (L to R) Shay Maree (19) and Raine Daniels-Ramsey (20) check him out. Photo: Cade Mooney / Sunshine Coast Daily Cade Mooney

Should beach dress be allowed in our shops?

THE Sunshine Coast is renowned for its enviable beach lifestyle, but should beach dress be allowed in shopping centres?

This question was sparked after two men, one dressed in a "vest" and the other in no shirt at all, were seen walking around Kawana Shoppingworld on the weekend.

Dress codes are clearly stated at the entrance points to shopping centres like Kawana, but many people appear to be ignoring them.

Girls in bikini tops, blokes with no tops and an ever increasing number of people kitted in their gym gear can be seen.

By far the most common breach of shopping centres dress codes is bare feet.

Sunshine Coast Fashion Festival founder Jacinta Richmond said it was time people covered up.

"I went to the Plaza a few weeks ago. It was a cold Thursday night and there was this girl in a bikini top and short skirt,'' Ms Richmond said.

"What was she doing? I could see everything.

"Maybe I am showing my age, but it's about self-respect."

Ms Richmond said it was a different matter when people coming from the beach "run into a supermarket".

She said the shopping scene was "definitely more casual".

"If you are going shopping to try on clothes, you need something that can come on and off really quickly.

"But this really doesn't mean your swimmers."

Ms Richmond said there was a fine line when it came to gym gear.

A Kawana Shoppingworld spokeswoman said the centre had a clear policy posted at each entry point.

"Like most shopping centres, we have signs on our doors advising people they should be wearing shirt and shoes," she said.

"It is one of the rules of the centre, such as no smoking and no skateboarding.

"It is also a safety issue, particularly concerning shoes."

Is it okay to head straight from the beach to the shops without getting changed?
Is it okay to head straight from the beach to the shops without getting changed? Cade Mooney

However, the dress code was not strictly enforced.

"We try and take a commonsense approach. If someone has come off the beach and has just nipped in, it is different,'' the spokeswoman said.

"We do get a lot of people come in with no shoes. We are a block off the beach. For us this is about safety.

"We haven't had to tell girls to dress up. There is a societal change in this regard, not just in shopping centres.

"There is a trend at the moment for people to wear their gym gear and come in from the gym."


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