The new nautical

2 min read
22 Jan 2018
2 min read
739 words
This fall, take the nausea out of the nautical and brave the chilliest of weathers and storms with a bright new approach to sea-faring fashion. Happy sailing, fellas!

Manning up

First things first.  When you first hear the word ‘nautical’, you need to let go: you need to say no to the much clichéd, shallow preppy boating style and its use of a splash of cruise line couture here, a hint of yacht culture there, and an endless slew of Breton stripes, gold-embroidered blazers and all the white pants and navy deck shoes in the world. Instead, take your dressing inspiration from the salt of the sea, those rugged seafaring folk manning the trawlers, tugboats and container ships of the water world; get your nautical inspiration in the form of colour and detail, but work those across a palette of manly textiles, like denim, flannel, leather and cable knitwear. Just remember that you’re going for a real-life modern sailor-like look, here, with a rockabilly twist, so linen blazers and gilded slippers get to walk the plank.

The fisherman’s friend

Avoid clichés, but then again don’t shy away from the formula. Nautical details will forever be a part of the vocabulary of menswear classics, so while we don’t want you to look like a cabin boy from backstage at a sailing deck, you can still draw on nautical details to create a rugged look that feels slightly more polished, but still possesses the irreverence of the bad side of the docks.

The locker lockdown

A great way to put the naughty into nautical is to drown the classics in a sense of irony. In place of the typical white, red, navy and gold that is often associated with the more elegant seafaring styles, go for electric yellows and blues, murky reds and one or two darker or chocolate browns. By blocking these colours, the look instantly becomes more fashion forward. Introducing streetwear staples, like sneakers and messenger bags, also takes the whole look to another level of punk-like sass.

The creatures of the sea

While that high-society yacht club look tends to veer towards the more structured or fitted look, overlong or voluminous shapes offer a look that is a bit edgier and far easier to pull off on a day-to-day basis. Baggy corduroys, denim shirts and massive parkas are practical and easily interchangeable. Again, play with colours and don’t be afraid of the louder end of the scale. A bright yellow parka also makes references to the classic yellow raincoat, which brings the look back into the realm of more sophisticated day wear.  

Red delight

Part raincoat, part trench, the hybrid outerwear of today borrows a little from both styles, but offers a cropped length inspired, in part, by the nautical blazer. It’s smart, functional, but also bang on trend, which is exactly where this urban-focused revision of the classical nautical look is headed. The use of red, as opposed to yellow (more rain wear) or navy (more maritime), is also fresh and speaks volumes about the hybridity that we are seeing wash over the world of design now.