Less of a trend and more of a summertime essential, the nautical aesthetic has taken over the fashion world with its sheer simplicity. But that’s also why getting it right is no piece of cake. If you go too far, it might end up looking like a cringey fancy dress.
“Nautical influences in fashion bring with it a certain freshness that is reminiscent of a summer day out on a boat — crisp, salty air, open waters, a sunny day, and you at your relaxed best. Maritime fashion is playful and casual; while being appropriate for a dressed up day look and can be incorporated into your summer 2021 wardrobe in a multitude of ways, in silhouette, colour, print, fabric, and styling. In its current update, it is comfortable with light and conscious fabrics, and treatment and textures that are unique,” says HUEMN’s co-founder Shyma Shetty.
Explaining the nautical theme, celebrity stylist Divya Gursahani says, “Linen is one of my favourite fabrics. You can never go wrong with a simple white linen button-down shirt paired with summer shorts. Tan accessories and a pair of vintage sunglasses would really bring the look together for me. For workwear, a navy sweater layered over a white shirt with the collars peeking out, paired with beige chinos. For brunch, you could do a striped cotton/linen shirt with white shorts. Or a holiday set — a half sleeve linen button-down and linen shorts. For an evening outing, pick a navy blazer paired with an otherwise all-white look.” She further adds, “Elevated basics are key. If you were to buy a shirt, opt for one made from a breathable fabric with a small chikan motif, or an interesting stitch detail. Secondly, a sailor sweater is always a good idea.”
When asked about the difference in the nautical wardrobes of a man and a woman, designer Jenjum Gadi says, “There’s not much difference between the nautical prints. The difference lies in the fabric, prints, and the silhouette but, yes, men prefer to opt for typical colours such as blue and white. Even 2021 summer looks like we will stay indoors, so any comfortable, nautical pieces can make a great nightwear. To add an additional hint of accessory, a fedora hat or panama hat will complete the look.”
If this is your maiden voyage with nautical, remember that while the below pieces are all important in their own way, don’t go overboard by piling every single one on together. Anchor away.
Nothing is more authentically nautical than the Breton T-shirt. A short-sleeved style will allow your skin to breathe, but a long-sleeved one offers well to both casual and smart-casual getups, all around the year. While the Breton top’s traditional fabrication of wool and cotton was a good fit for fishermen, a cotton version will work well for your cruise or weekend getaway. As for the stripes, stick with the traditional navy and white palette.
Chinos are staple of men’s wardrobe. The key to keep in mind while styling them is how one wishes to wear them. Look for a moderately slim fit and not-so-skinny but not-too-baggy cut. Colour wise, stick to the traditional nautical palette of red, white, and blue, while bearing in mind other pieces you plan to wear them with.
Easy to button up over a Breton top or just as good thrown over a simple white T-shirt, a double-breasted white, off-white, or a navy blazer will lift your summer look from unremarkably casual to carefully put-together.
The boat shoe has grown to become a vastly admired option with men of all ages, emerging in recent years as the definitive summer shoe. A polo shirt and shorts combination make up the nautical look, which is in keeping with the boat shoe rules: casual, leisurely, and suitable for warm weather.
When it comes to staying cool in the summer, linen shirts top the list. Linen shirts in pastel shades make up for the summer theme that you’re opting for. It is an excellent all-rounder when it comes to summer dressing. Owing to its laidback appeal, a well-cut silhouette in sky blue can be worn under a suit to tone down a more formal look. Apart from shirts, linen suits are yet another option to explore. A shade of tan, a simple two-piece allows you to beat the heat and still look smart.