Summer is approaching and it’s about time for us to throw on our favorite Breton striped shirts, slip on our boating shoes and espadrilles, grab our favorite nautical accessories and get ready for a great sailing season. From the practical to the haute couture, nautical fashion has remained a staple throughout the years. We’ve seen a major comeback of nautical themes on the runways this season enhanced with modern twists. So as you prepare for your next sailing holiday, we’d like to give you a little inspiration for your suitcase. Here’s a look at some of our favorite nautical clothing brands.
What started out as a tie company, turned into a major fashion house that has continued to define the classic American style for generations. The Polo/Ralph Lauren Corporation (RL) has played a major force in fashion,accessory and interior design and produces some of our favorite nautical looks. One of our favorite classic pieces is the RL Nautical Stripe, a successful interpretation of the French Navy’s standard uniform that has influenced and adorned fashion and pop culture icons including Coco Channel and Brigitte Bardot.
The RL Classic is both timeless and modern and continues to inspire season after season. Ralph Lauren’s 2016 Spring collection delighted the fashion world through their coastal-themed ensemble inspired by an elegant trip to French Riviera.
The founder of Sperry, an avid sailor, explorer and inventor brought to us the quintessential piece of any sea-lover’s wardrobe: the boat shoe. Sperry’s non-slip boat shoe has provided traction, comfort and style for many decades. The footwear’s design is classic and easily recognizable, whether you choose the brand’s rain boots, sandals or espadrilles. Sperry has also succeeded in translating their practical and stylish maritime style into various clothing pieces including boardshorts, swimsuits, sweaters and even socks.
Did you know that the distinct brightly colored fabrics and patterns that define the clothing brand, Lilly Pulitzer, were actually first conceived as uniforms to hide juice stains? Before catalyzing a new fashion genre known as American Resort Wear, founder, Lilly Pulitzer, previously owned a juice stand that used fruits from her husband’s orchards in Florida. What started as a sleeveless vibrant colored and patterned uniform with lace seam bindings that would cover up any stains that came from the fresh-pressed juices, became a coveted dress. Soon after, Lilly was selling more brightly colored dresses at her juice stand than juice itself. The clothing brand became a sensation after her old friend, Jackie Kennedy wore one of Lilly’s dresses during a photo shoot for Life Magazine. We love the way Lilly Pulitzer interprets basic nautical pieces like capris, shorts and polo shirts to create a vibrant and fun beach-y style.
Another American classic we love is Vineyard Vines. A classic “American Dream” story, Vineyard Vines was born after two New Yorkers quit their jobs, retired their suits and moved up to Martha’s Vineyard, a beautiful New England island. Like Ralph Lauren, Vineyard Vines also began from humble beginnings as a tie company. Now this distinctive clothing brand offers fantastic swimwear, nautical accessories, flip-flops and, of course, ties. Inspired by sailing and fishing communities, yachters and country clubs, Vineyard Vines’ preppy style has become a favorite among New Englanders and holiday goers in SoCal.
The Traditional and Athletic
The French clothing company, St. James is famous for its classic and high quality nautical-inspired silhouettes.The company, established in the small town of Saint-James in Normandy, was started by the Legallais family, who owned a spinning plant in the middle of the 19th century. The plant, Les Filatures de Saint-James, became famous for their skills in producing yarn for fishermen sweaters.
Today, St. James has maintained their reputation for high quality and great style. One of our favorite and their most popular piece is the Breton Fisherman Sweater, which has been keeping fisherman and fashionistas warm since the 1850s.
Gaastra clothing evolved from Gaastra sailing company, which was established at the end of the 19th century by Douwe Gaastra, who was just 22 years old when he reinvented Holland’s traditions of top-notch quality and craftsmanship. Almost 100 years after the sailing company’s establishment, Gaastra introduced two clothing lines onto the European market. The clothes are sporty, functional and fashion-forwards. We love the brand’s simple motifs that pay homage to the maritime lifestyle.
The original British sailing brand, Henri-Lloyd, specializes in sailing and yachting collections for men, women and kids. For over 50 years, Henri Lloyd has kept sailors warm and dry while providing high quality, classic designs to both seafarers and the fashion conscious. The company, which brought us some handsome and traditionally-styled sailing jackets, has also used innovative technology to help sailors both in and offshore. In the 1960s, the company utilized the wonder fabric Bri-Nylong, which later revolutionized sailing clothes around the world. We love their simple, yet classic, knitted sweaters and jackets – the perfect nautical clothing.
Fashion with a conscious. Amour Vert is a US-based company that has pledged to create wonderful and affordable clothing that is ethical, sustainable and contemporary. The clothes company uses non-toxic dyes as well as organic materials that are soft, breathable, recycled and carbon neutral.
We adore Amour Vert’s simple striped shirts and sea-inspired colors and you’ll be pleased to know that the company has planted over 100,000 trees in North America thanks to their t-shirt sales.
Show off some of your best nautical looks as you travel in style on your next boat holiday. We’d love to see your photos!