Nautical style may be here for long haul


Unless you have been living under a seashell for the past few years, you have undoubtedly noticed the sea-worthy influence on designers’ resort lines – clothing for the fashion season between spring and winter. Nautical fashion is everywhere.

At first, I didn’t buy into the whole yachting trend, passing it off as just that – a trend. I didn’t want to waste my money on striped tanks and anchor chains just to store them in my closet after a year when the trend passed.

However, I was sorely mistaken. Nautical fashion is stronger and more popular than ever. It shows up from the runways of Milan all the way to the racks of Wal-Mart. Yachting influences are popping up everywhere with brassy buttons, red accents, pirate-influenced fashion jewelry, ocean-faded fabrics and stripes.

“Adventure, style, culture, freedom, bravery and rum” ex-L.L.Bean designer Alex Carleton has said of his vintage-style clothing line, Rogues Gallery. “How could we not be obsessed with the nautical world?”

To try your hand at the maritime craze, pick navy, white, red and gold color schemes. Also look for ’40s sailor-influences, including stacked and/or brassy buttons, striped shirts with scoop neck ties, high waists, crisp tunics, cinched belts made of thick leather or rope and naval patterns including chains, anchors, circles, etc.

Adding a feminine touch can help make these oh-so-retro looks new again with lace or eyelet trimmings and frills.

Layering necklaces with wheels, flags and/or gold charms also provide a modern accent to your seafaring look. Bright, multi-colored, paisley or abstract-patterned headbands and head-scarves are great accessories.

But it’s not just female fashion that has been hopping on board with the trend. Menswear also is diving into the nautical wave.

Leather boat-shoes (think sophisticated, lace-less loafers) are extremely popular and charming as well as brass-buttoned blazers and pea-coats.

For men, try pairing a blazer with relaxed-fit khaki, linen pants or jeans. Neutral-toned shirts and polos look best with this look. You might also want to consider a pair of anchor-patterned swim-trunks for your weekend excursions.

So, fair maiden or mate, unless you plan on walking the fashion plank this season, you’d better set sail for the mall and pick up a few sea-worthy items before it’s too late.

Elise Podhajsky is a sophomore in mass communications. Please send comments to