Nautical Season – How to Dress for the Occasion | Swole Panda

Nautical Season – How to Dress for the Occasion

It’s that time of year when the sailing calendar casts off in the UK. Whether you’re at the Great Britain Sail Grand Prix at Plymouth, Cowes Week, or simply meeting up with friends in the city, the rugged yet high fashion look that is nautical style will continue to dominate catwalks and stores. With this in mind, we want to share our top 5 nautical fashion essentials that’ll help you to emulate music stars, fashion designers and even royalty. 

A brief history of ‘the nautical look’ 

The popularity of nautical fashion in this country was initiated by Queen Victoria. In 1846, the trend swept across high society when her son Albert Edward the Prince of Wales sported a mini version of a sailor’s suit aboard the Royal Yacht. However, its connotations of bravery and national pride caused it to soar around the time of World War I and II. 

Breton shirts  

We’d be doing fashion a disservice if we didn’t also highlight this garment, made iconic by Coco Chanel. Her designs have been described as “female emancipation” given their ease of wear. Once the preserve of French fishermen and sailors, today a striped Breton top, vest or jumper is de rigueur for men and women wearing smart casual chic. 

Seeking something a bit more subtle whilst relaxing by the sea this Summer? Then our striped 75% Moso bamboo socks (available in various colour combinations) will doff your sailor’s cap to this nautical staple. 

Chino trousers or shorts 

Unisex and synonymous with the nautical set, chino trousers or shorts (in linen or cotton summerweight fabrics) are best worn in neutral shades such as navy, blue, light grey, cream or white. Pair your choice with a crisp poplin shirt for a suave or effortlessly chic look. Try contrasting the solid colour of these separates with one of our sustainable woven Repreve belts for ultra eco-cool confidence. 

Boat shoes 

Also known as deck shoes, this style of rubber-soled footwear is both practical and stylish whilst sailing or socialising. Designs often combine white, tan and navy sections. They’re another nautical piece that women and men can both wear with ease. Unsure whether to wear these shoes with socks or not? We say ‘why rock the boat?’. Instead, you can try our breathable no-show socks for men and women. 

Similarly, loafers are another style of shoe suited to the nautical trend. The older, more sophisticated brother to the boat shoe, they’ll also take you to a restaurant at sundown. 

A crisp scarf 

A strong sea breeze can detract from your enjoyment and the spectator experience. Thankfully, our incredibly soft Moso bamboo scarves will help you to keep warm. Fashionable and practical, a draped or loosely wrapped scarf can do wonders for your outfit too. Newcomers to sailing or those based more inland can pair their new Swole Panda sustainable scarf with a sharp double-breasted blazer to emulate this style. Just be sure to follow Farfetch’s wise advice that “nautical stripes are more than fine, but matching with chinos, boat shoes, a flat cap and anything with anchors will leave you looking like you’re in costume”. Indeed, our ultimate style tip is to adopt just one or 2 of these items to avoid looking cliché. Rather, we’d reference Harry Styles in his ‘Adore You’ music video and the Duchess of Cambridge as quintessential modern-day nautical style icons. Mix and match your trends carefully but always aim for an effortlessly cool look. 

We hope that this style guide has inspired you to dress for the nautical season. Whether it's a belt, scarf or socks you're looking for, we're confident our collection of sustainable accessories will elevate your style. Which items will you take aboard? 

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