Alternative modes of transportation tend to breed cool styles. Think about it: bikers have a unique and oft-copied look. So do skateboarders and surfers. It’s also true for sailors.
Whether you know port from starboard, nautical style is one of those hallmark looks that is worth incorporating into your summer wardrobe. You don’t need to go all Danny Noonan-in-Caddyshack and rock a captain’s hat and a pipe, but trying some of these new interpretations of classic styles will help put some wind in your sartorial sails.
But enough with the awkward seafaring references, and check out these pieces to nail nautical style. Because even if you don’t own a boat, at least you might get invited on one.
SAINT JAMES BRETON STRIPED SHIRT
The stripes on the Breton shirt, named after the Brittany region in France, were originally designed to make them easy to spot if a sailor went overboard. But the style has endured because it looks so good on land and at sea. Saint James has been making the style for more than 150 years, but has now added a short-sleeve version with a more modern, slimmer fit.
There’s something about clear frames on sunglasses that just captures the carefree vibe that summer is all about. Salt’s Bridwell shades capture that spirit perfectly. They are a little more squared off than your typical wayfarer, but still feel classic.
Visvim may be better known for its moccasin-style FBT shoes, but the Hockney is an underrated sleeper. The shoes are handmade with a vegetable-tanned suede that breaks in incredibly soft and a sturdy Vibram outsole that won’t slip on board a ship (or on land).
The cotton cardigan is part accessory, part practical. It’s great to throw on when the sun starts going down and a T-shirt isn’t cutting it anymore. But it also happens to look pretty damn cool when it’s tied around your waist or, if you’re preppier, thrown over your shoulders. The cotton on this cardigan keeps it from becoming too hot and it has a great pattern on it that lends a nice texture.
NEED SUPPLY UP CHINO
Finding the perfect summer chinos isn’t as easy as it sounds. You want them to be a little baggier than your standard work ones, but not so much that they look sloppy. Need Supply’s entry checks off all the boxes. They are cropped shorter so they fall great whether you’re wearing shoes (no socks!) or going barefoot, and they’re slim without being tight.
NORTH ST TABOR TOTE
Ever since there were boats, there were bags required to bring stuff onto the boats. Regardless of whether you’re setting sail anytime soon, a tote bag is still a great way to cart around your landlubber gear without looking too young, as you might with a backpack—or too stuffy, as you might with a more formal bag. North St.’s tote is made in the U.S. from super tough Cordura nylon and has a bright yellow liner that makes finding things inside really easy.
HELLY HANSEN CREW MIDLAYER JACKET
Helly Hansen crafts their sailing apparel to stand up to the most brutal conditions the ocean can deal out, so it ought to be able to stand up to the occasional summer shower. This midlayer jacket is fleece lined for those cooler nights, and it’s waterproof so you’ll be ready if your rich friend invites you to crew on his yacht.