fashion never really dies. Every year there is always a variation
on this fashion trend. The nautical scheme uses mainly navy
teamed with pure snow white. At other times nautical stripes use navy, but with soft cream, ivory, or red. Natural tan is frequently the leather colour of choice for accessories such as
scarves and belts. However, red, yellow, emerald and orange can also be used in accessories to pick up
the look from strict to saucy.
Because this very dark navy is so
similar to that of service uniforms, it has an authoritarian look which
instantly marks the wearer out as groomed. This is
understated chic that always looks good.
To achieve more formality with the nautical
fashion look, a blazer is the obvious choice, especially when
teamed with well cut trousers or a well made skirt. As you
can see from these photos, the look is so easy to dress up
or soften down.
three pictures all show how a navy blazer or striped jacket
can add pizzazz to long shorts, cropped pants or classic pants.
The light striped jacket right and cropped pants appear even
more informal than the white tailored shorts and dark navy
blazer. The darker the navy item, and the less added bright
contrast, the more gravitas to the nautical
outfit. The winter version of the nautical jacket style is the
double-breasted reefer coat and cropped Napoleonic jacket.
Above Left - River Island Clothing Co. Ltd
Spring Summer 2008 Women's Looks - Blazer - £39.99/€67, Shorts
- £29.99/€50.50, Shoes - £24.99/€42.
Above Centre - Wallis Summer 2008 - Navy and white pinstripe fitted
blazer £65/€99, White wide leg trousers £40/€65, White strap
sandals £35/€60, Black waisted elasticated wide belt £15/€23.
Above Far Right - Matalan Yarn dye stripe blazer
£22, nautical denim cropped jeans £12.
tone of navy blue so often used in the United Kingdom is almost the same colour as the black blue of the Royal Navy or Police services uniforms. The navy even looks
black under some lights. When you are in a dark shop, sometimes the only way one
can tell the colour really is navy is to look at
the wording on the label.
So in Britain, blue black is mostly used, but the nautical style
also embraces the much lighter French navy, Italian navy and denim
blue too. This navy blue is further confused by retailers
also stocking the same style, but in a black and white version. The Principles jacket design, left, is actually black, but the theme is
clearly intended to be perceived as ship-shape nautical smart.
Keep the jewellery to a minimum, but add a simple
gold necklace to upgrade your nautical style from casual
to chic. This classic look will take you into superior
venues when crumpled cargo pants will leave you
refused entry outside
that gated 5 star hotel.
Above left - Principles Spring Summer 2008 Collection - Black
and white two stripe blazer £85/€135, Printed spotty scarf
Above Right - BHS Womenswear Spring/Summer 2008 T-shirt £14,
Wide Leg Trousers £25, Pumps £15, Bag £22. Looks like an
ideal holiday buy.
Like many of the main high street retailers
Principles are also stocking some very similar white sailor trousers
(not shown) and with a high deep waistband, which feature
three nautical contrast buttons.
Stockist telephone number 0870 122 8802.
Nautical trousers may have contrast saddle
stitching, or sailor flap front button decoration. The trousers
can be cropped at any point on the leg and the variety of
nautical is so great, that it is not difficult to select the leg style length that
flatters your body shape.
For a fast fashion cropped option, like these denim culotte
pants above right, look no further than Matalan - Denim Culottes £12.
Again I think these look like a great item for weekends as well
as a relaxing seaside holiday.
A skirt such as this one shown right, can work just as well as
trousers or shorts. Some women feel happiest in a skirt
and others prefer trousers. Isn't it wonderful we
have so many options compared to women of 100 years ago. This skirt is from Penneys
(Ireland) Spring 2008 Collection.
Striped hem skirt with tie
is such a timeless look that whenever I go on holiday at least
one of my outfits is based around it.
A nautical outfit is a safe
option for sightseeing when you are unsure how smartly you need
to be dressed and haven't quite grasped what the locals wear.
Super smart nautical still has that holiday feel. Yet this
little white cropped jacket left is fun and flirtatious. Team it
with navy or white linen pants and a vest for a chirpy combo.
Left - Nautical Collection Matilda Cropped Jacket - £15 Summer
2008 at Boohoo.com.
For cool as a cucumber understated glamour, opt
instead for this sharply cutaway shirt with a tan leather belt,
and add a Riviera touch with super sized sunglasses.
Above Right - Wallis Summer 2008 - White sleeveless
cotton blouse £25, €40
Whilst tan and natural brown leather belts look
expensive, belts, sandals or bags in French navy and red can
also add a nautical fillip to an existing plain garment.
Above Left - Anchor buckle elasticated belt €3.00 - Penneys
Spring 2008 Collection and from Penneys (Ireland).
Above Right -
True Blue SS08 Belt £19.99 at River Island Clothing Co. Ltd.
makes any nautical outfit look 'of the moment' is that current fashion twist such as an up-to-date accessory or belt. This year you would be hard to better gladiator sandals like these.
The French navy gladiator sandals left are a
prettied up version of some the brown gladiator sandals shown on
the main gladiator
Right - Navy Gladiator flat sandals £34.99 from River Island
Clothing Co. Ltd, Summer 2008 Collection.
The whole point of nautical stripes is that it is
classic clothing, but with a nod to this year's fabrics and shapes.
The more youth oriented the store you buy from, the more funky
the nautical twist.
You may buy a nautical inspired sleeved T-shirt almost any year
yet every year there will be a subtle upgrade to the fashion
designing. Look out for the 'sleeve of the moment'. It might
be cap, three quarter or full
length dependant on fashions in general. The same T-shirt may
have a boat neck, V, scoop neck, roll, or a full square flat
sailor collar complete with tie.
striped Breton top usually has
long dropped sleeves and is based on simple T cut tubes as shown
lower down this page. But updated versions might look like this
vest and cuffed
top with their horizontal nautical stripes, see right.
Right- Stripy Polo Neck T-shirt - Nautical Collection -
Cassie - £10.
Left - River Island Clothing Co. Ltd - Womenswear Tops SS08
The styling elements of nautical fashions are always the
same - stripes, anchors, capstan wheels, boat necklines, wide
flat sailor collars, buttons, piping, striped diagonal piping, or blazer looks. On
occasion gold, red or white braiding and cord is used. Sometimes large eyelets/grommets,
metal studs and golden trigger hooks add a ship-ahoy touch.
Flirtatious cropped denim jackets, dark navy or
striped nautical waistcoats also add a military air when teamed
with any bottoms. River Island Clothing Co. Ltd has a large
selection of navy based waistcoats and has done the nautical
look very well this season. I adore this little jackets
right, its just perfect
for lovers of nautical looks. Choose from shorts, Bermuda
shorts, Capri pants, palazzo pants to skirts for the bottom
half, but avoid velour and jogging bottoms and opt for
drawstring linen or high waist pants instead.
Left - Short Sleeve Denim Blazer, £39.99, River
Island Clothing Co. Ltd.
Right - Plain navy waistcoat, £29.99, River Island River Island
Clothing Co. Ltd.
Most girls and women own a white top, plus a pair of good denim blue jeans
or casual summer linen pants. So with minimal expense this
nautical look can
easily be yours.
Finding a great white all purpose holiday
shirt is always a challenge. This shirt is perfect for holidays
and for shielding you from the fierce heat of the sun. If
you catch the sun too quickly on shoulders, arms and back neck the longer
sleeves mean it can be used as an
instant, but light upper body cover up.
Right - River Island Clothing Co. Ltd Womenswear Top SS08
- White shirt - £21.99/€37.
A little jacket, waistcoat,
striped cardigan or top like these high street fashion styles can bring the sailor out in your outfit
rapidly. If you wish to give the nautical outfit a lift - simply add red.
The addition of red to navy and white, or to black and white,
adds a real shock of colour.
Functional knits designed for strong
sea breezes, may be heavy with Guernsey style cables,
complex Norwegian or Fair Isle patterns. Made in thick oiled wools or
cashmere they can easily do battle with blustering coastal winds.
Or, they may be feather weight tops perfect for layering and made
from gossamer fine silks or viscose and cotton mixes. Of course,
nautical knits can be striped, just like this cardigan and top
left and right. Boat, square and V-necklines are all traditional
The fabrics you select all play their part in
the end look. Choose from cotton jersey, silk jersey,
denim, heavy linen, crushed linen, satin cotton, seersucker,
pique, twill cotton, drill or modern manmade fabrics such as
viscose/poly mix and tencel. Any of these materials with a very
small percentage of Lycra (2-5%) added, will perform even better in wear.
Above Left - BHS Cardigan £25, Cotton Shorts £20, Bag £12, from
the BHS Womenswear Spring/Summer 2008 ranges.
Above Right - Topshop - Red and white stripe
t-shirt, denim skirt, military stripe belt, sleeve-less
t-shirt - £18, skirt - £22, elastic belt - £15 all from Topshop Summer
2008 Campaign. Topshop item extra details - T-Shirt-04G21SRED, Skirt-
26C01SBLE, Belt-19L20SBLK. This picture above is courtesy of Topshop/Arcadia
and remains their property.
For true luxury this lovely cashmere cream and
petrol blue Breton style sweater right, with its boat neck, is ideal
for wearing on a walk along a coastal path whether it be in Britain or Rhode Island.
This 100% cashmere knit is a true nautical classic
and the lightly shaped body and fashioned sleeves, would always
sit well under any jacket without creating too much bulk.
Right - 100% cashmere kraz knit sweater - price £345 from
The traditional striped shirts below also have a
proper name, and technically are all variations of the Breton top.
Apart from a real flat sailor collar found on a
as you can see, the nautical T-Shirt has a simple neckline that is unfussy.
style is good because it is unlikely rub a neck that might be touched raw by too
much sun. If the traditional striped shirt is your view of
nautical, then look no further than the value for money tops
shown below and from Land's End.
Left - Lands' End Spring/Summer 2008 - Stripe Boatneck T-shirt
£25, Slim-leg Chino Crops £35.
Above Centre - Lands' End Spring/Summer 2008 - Cotton/Linen
Ribbed Boatneck Dress £49.
Above Right - Striped Three-quarter sleeve Turtleneck £25,
Slim-leg Chino Crops £35.
Ahhhh the women above wearing these easy tops look
so comfortable and relaxed.
Make a diary note now - must
get a new nautical top soon.... put that on the
There has hardly ever been a year when I did not purchase a classic navy and white striped top in this simple style. Sometimes it has been a stripe knit sweater, other
times a long or short sleeved striped T-shirt. Last year my nautical top was a navy blue with softer denim blue stripe, and this year it already seems I'll be spoilt for choice.
Often I have selected a plain
navy or white top, but with a contrast highlight such as a fine bow
trim, or piped trim edge.
This photo shows me 5 years ago in 2003
wearing a classic nautical striped short sleeve knit sweater.
Besides the photo is another River Island top available this
summer 2008. It looks very similar, but only costs just
£26.99 making it a good buy. This fashion clearly stands the test of time and remains a very classic look.
This summer it's even easier to add swimwear with
a nautical theme. These bikinis and swimsuit should get you in
the mood for your holiday.
The narrow halter striped bikini below left, is
from New Look and the gorgeous coral red swimsuit is from online
lingerie store - Figleaves.
Far right - Figleaves Spring/Summer 2008
Swimwear La Blanca plunge swimsuit £73 - buy it online at
Centre - ASOS say their twisted front bandeau set in nautical
stripes is the perfect choice for Riviera relaxation.
Left - New Look Spring Summer 2008 Collections Swimwear
Bikini Top £14, and Bottoms £6. This makes this bikini a great
purchase for someone with different sized top proportionately to their
For pure glamour you could go a long way to match this red
swimming costume. Maybe posing by pool bar
would be the glamour alternative to swimming in it, but catching
appreciative glances may be just as much fun as catching a wave.
As always. fashion comes full circle,
repeats and reinvents itself everyday. The image left is a fashion plate of two women
wearing nautical influenced swimming costumes of 1905.
The women of the Edwardian
era who were in a suitable situation eagerly bought
subscriptions to fashion magazines just as we do. They too were
just as keen to be up-to-date on the latest fashion trends and
nautical fashion styling was a big hit with the Edwardians too.
Perhaps a 100 years from now in 2108, women
surfing the web will be reading about the latest nautical trends
too, and see them compared with the nautical fashions here
today. Fashion history is always in the making changing
and evolving everyday. Nautical looks are now as classic
as the LBD (Little Black Dress). Make sure your wardrobe has its share of this
trend now, whether it is called anchors away or sailor style, you won't regret
any nautical fashion purchase.
You are reading an original article on
nautical fashion trends by Pauline
Weston Thomas at www.fashion-era.com
See also the main page on
tips SS 2008 -
Colour Moodboards SS2008
Copyright use of images are courtesy Principles,
Matalan, River Island,
Dune, Boohoo.com, New Look, Matches Fashion, Land's End, Topshop, Wallis,
BHS, Penneys, ASOS and Figleaves.
Header Image is from Principles.
My thanks to these
Fashion-Era.com looks at women's costume and fashion history and analyses the mood of an era. Changes in technology, leisure, work, cultural and moral values. Homelife and politics also
contribute to lifestyle trends, which in turn influence the clothes we wear. These are the changes that make any era of society special in relation to the study of the costume of a period.
Fashion-Era.com can take no responsibility for any information on the site which may cause you error, loss or costs incurred from use of the information and links either directly or
indirectly. This site is owned, designed, written and developed by author: Pauline Thomas and Guy Thomas. This site is designed to be viewed in 1024 X 768 or higher.
Before you write to me for costume/fashion help or information please, please consult the extensive sitemap which lists all our pages. If you still cannot find the answer after searching the site, then before you email me, please consider if you are prepared to make a donation to the website.
Donations Reader's donations help this site flourish, in particular donations encourage me to write more articles on fashion history as well as current trends. PayPal
allows anyone with a credit card to donate easily and securely. You may donate any sum you feel appropriate.
If you have any comments, or if you see any broken links, then please email with details of the page url or problem.