How to Dress Nautically for This Summer’s Boating Season

Summer is right around the corner, and with it comes long days on the water, basking in the sunshine. Seclusion on the open water makes for one the best ways to unwind from life’s stresses, completely devoid of human contact. Drifting off into the sunset without another human in sight, a perfect life…if not for the fact that scenario only occurs in a fantasy world. Barring private islands and small ponds, there’s no way to escape the gaze of other boats, while enjoying your own, clearly superior, vessel. So as any self-respecting luxury “yachter” would do, dress to impress.




Stay away from the well-known brands this year. That means no Ralph Lauren, no Vineyard Vines, and no Brooks Brothers. That’s not to say these brands don’t produce quality clothing, but they don’t stand out from the crowd. Instead take a look at British based Quba & Co. Known for using reclaimed sails to create jackets; the company also has a small selection of men and women’s clothing. Men can find a selection of oxfords to make their own, while women can buy stylish, lightweight clothes, designed with a boat deck in mind.



Sticking with obscurity, take a page out of the 16th century and pick up a Guernsey jumper. Originating on the isle of Guernsey, a small island in the English Channel, the jumper was originally designed by the Le Tricoteur Company for local seafarers. Handmade from closely packed wool fibers and tightly knitted, the result is smart jumper with a natural waterproofing. The garment gained notoriety in the 19th century when the British Navy adopted it, and has since persisted, with the navy last commissioning a Guernsey order in 2006. If it’s good enough for a navy, it should handle New England ocean spray with easy. Order direct from the Le Tricoteur Company.



Pants may be the most underrated piece of clothing out there. A quality pair of trousers can last for years, bringing lasting style, while becoming all the more comfortable as the years roll by. Don’t skimp this year; invest in a high quality pair of pants. Brunello Cucinelli makes a top of the line pair of cotton trousers, and the price is worth every penny. Be sure to check out the designer’s official webpage, they stock a variety of women’s clothes as well.



Shorts are a subjective piece of clothing. Certain brands look great on some but terrible on others. Other brands subscribe to the cookie cutter side of fashion, churning out shorts near identical to their competitors. So stick with the outliers. Kokatat, actually a brand specializing in kayaking, makes a khaki paddling short that’s nearly one size fits all. The light material makes for breathability in the water, while still maintaining the garments waterproofing. While not listed as unisex, a small pair stands a chance of suiting women as well.



Although the theme has been standing out with obscure clothing brands, sometimes the mainstream just gets it right. Sperry Top-Sider boat shoes have been around since 1935.

The shoe offers a non-slip rubber sole, and is constructed of a canvas upper to aid in waterproofing. Sperry’s don’t sacrifice style for functionality; the original shoe design still serves as a staple in truly nautically themed wardrobes. A word to the wise, these boat shoes are notoriously difficult to break in. A nice dip in the ocean can speed up the break in process, preventing what boat shoe aficionados lovingly refer to as “Sperry Blisters.”