Nautical-themed clothing has been all the rage in recent years. Sailing garb, or rather, the traditional motifs and colours associated with it, have graced catwalks and many shop windows. From blue and white striped tees to anchors splashed out on many shirts and skirts, it’s no wonder that many looked to the sea for their next sailing holiday. One question begs to be asked, however: do sailors really wear that sort of attire on board? Not really, no. Not in today’s age, at least. Fashion just pecked on the old archetypal idea of a sailor, the sort of stuff someone like Popeye would have worn, for example.
In this article we hope to mesh the practical on-board garb, with a bit of fashion on the side so that you’re well prepared, whether you’re hitting the high-street – or the high waves.
It’s important to remember that when you’re out at sea, your main aim is not to look good. Apart from enjoying the experience, your goal should be to stay dry, warm and safe. What could feel like a warm day on land could quickly turn to a crisp, stabbing breeze when you’re out at sea. Layer up as much as you think should do, and choose a waterproof, light rain jacket on top.
If you’re going dinghy sailing, or any other sailing that might involve capsizing, wear a wet-suit. It will make sure you’re kept warm and dry if you fall in. Anything else will just leave you wet, cold and be feeling miserable.
For sailors who are anticipating a lot of action on board, wear protective sailing gloves. The cold and water will leave your hands feeling extremely harsh. Tugging on ropes will consequently be painful unless you wear warm gloves (some have fleecy interiors), which keep your hands warm but also allow you to have a good grip. Same goes to your feet: unless you’re going sailing on a calm lake in Summer and you won’t be running around too much, sailing boots of thick neoprene will keep your feet warm even on the coldest day.
Buoyancy aids – they’re not pretty but they could save your life. Especially relevant if you’re bringing kids along with you, these inflatable aids will make sure your head stays where it should be – above sea level.
From our experience, it’s always advisable to keep jewelry at a strict minimum. No long earrings or necklaces that could get caught up. Keep your hair tied back and away from your face. Your hands should be free most of the time (you’re allowed a quick snap don’t worry) and if you’re taking a bag, take a small one you can tuck away out of everyone’s feet.
What about the high-street though? Well, as we’ve seen there’s no end to the creativity. From subtle hints of a marine-themed look with striped shirts and deck shoes, to full on party wear with hats and all. We particularly love the small anchor motif on accessories such as scarves or bags. It gives the entire look a perpetual summer-feel – and can anyone ever have enough of summer? We thought not.
source: Australian Sailing Team
Whether you’re decking out (got the pun?) your on-board garb for your very first sailing trip or you’re just looking up a marine-themed look for a party, common sense should always prevail. Do your research if you’re going out at sea: What is the weather like? What type of boat am I sailing on? What am I expected to do on-board? Answering these questions and wearing the appropriate clothing will make sure you have a good time. As for the party – well, we’ll leave it up to you to decide what’s adequate and what’s not.