How to Style a Nautical Look

Have you ever wanted to sport a nautical look but ended up looking like a crew member from the ‘70’s show The Love Boat? Fear not, we have all the style tips you’ll need for this spring’s new fashion statement. From the basic colours to patterns and how to wear separates, we show you how to pull this style off.

Nautical Colours

TOP, Topshop Unique. TROUSERS,  J JS Lee, from Dover Street Market.

The look has three basic colours; red, blue and white. Think authentic Breton fashion, Brigitte Bardot hanging off a French luxury yacht, and cruising holidays around the South of France.

Nautical Patterns

DRESS, Preen by Thornton Bregazzi, from Selfridges.

The stand out pattern for a this look is stripes. These can be thin or wide but are most commonly associated with tops with a medium stripe in blue or red. Other patterns to look out for are images such as anchors, stars and birds.

Key pieces

© Rex Alexa Chung

Your main key piece is the Breton top, a striped tee-shirt that can be worn with most other separates. For a casual look team this with dungarees, jeans and espadrilles.  For a cleaner cut style add smart woollen trousers, a blazer type jacket or a high-waisted skirt. Other pieces are wide-legged trousers, casual jumpers slung over the shouders, cute sailor dresses.

How to style the look

© Rex Brigitte Bardot

Always stay true to the theme by adding pieces associated with the sea. So think about wide legged trousers in stripes, chunky fisherman’s jumpers in a cream cable knit, pea coats and the odd piece of anchor jewellery.

Look for pieces that are colour blocked in the basic colours. So for instance, a jumper in white with blue sleeves, a dress with a skirt in one colour and the top in another. Or choose pieces with a nod to a sailor’s uniform, such as a wide collar on a dress or an item with a sea-themed print.


DRESS and POLONECK TOP from Michael Kors Collection. BAG, Mulberry.

Adding little extras doesn’t mean big fancy gold buttons on bags or going overboard. Think a chic headscarf in navy blue, or a pair of white boat trainers. Or add a bag in the basic colours, a pearl bracelet, some little touches here and there for a pared back look works well.

Mixing it up

TOP Topshop Unique. TROUSERS, J JS Lee, from Dover Street Market. TRAINERS Senso, from Atterley.

You don’t have to stick to the basic colours of red, blue and white. So long as the style is right you can use different colours. It is best to go for primary ones such as bright green or yellows and pick out colour block co-ordinates. For example, pair a striped skirt with a pure green blouse for a subtle effect.

Final points

© Rex Sienna Miller

Remember, to avoid looking like a fancy-dressed sailor, take away items rather than add more. So if you are wearing a striped top, do not add anything else in that theme apart from sticking to the colour scheme.

Fashion pictures courtesy: You.co.uk

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