Stripes and more

Stripes and more

TIMELESS APPEAL Nautical fashion is essentially about wearing fun on your sleeve.

Stripes and more

Nautical fashion isn’t just for sailors anymore. It has made its way into high-street brands and seems to be the go-to style preference for many.

The wardrobe of Bollywood stars, especially Priyanka Chopra’s in Dil Dhadakne Do, seems to have grabbed quite a few eyeballs.

And it is not surprising really. Who wouldn’t want to be seen in polka dot shirts, flowy palazzo pants, striped skirts, sailor shorts and comfy shoes?

Be it the navy blue attire, sailor-inspired accessories or boat shoes, nautical fashion is for those who aspire for a stylish yet  effortless look. Do you remember Audrey Hepburn in the classic red and white striped T-shirt with white shorts? She was a sight, indeed.

According to Nautical Chic, a book by fashion historian Amber Jane Butchart, nautical fashion found its initial manifestations in the ship-styled headpieces worn by women. The style then got picked up by Coco Chanel, who brought in the daily attire worn by sailors and other sea workers and glammed it up in her own iconic style. Since then, nautical fashion has found itself on various yacht parties, runways, Sunday brunches, airports and the street.

What’s trending?
When one says ‘nautical’, one immediately visualises big stripes, anchors and boats. But the new-age nautical fashion is so much more.

Deconstructing the look, designer Nivedita Saboo elaborates, “A timeless classic, nautical fashion is exemplified by striped apparel, for both men and women. But adding smart
separates like culottes, high-waist shorts or a pair of well-fitted pants in neutral tones of whites and beiges can also work beautifully for an on-board cruise style. However, for variations of the simple apparel, add chevron stripes, polka dots and even sailing-reminiscent prints with anchors and ropes. It can give a young and carefree feel to your nautical attire.”

“The nautical look is one of those ageless trends that seem to come back into fashion every few years. It is a fun fashion trend to try and one in which vertical blue and white stripes, red accents and even anchor or boat patterns take centre stage,” says fashion designer Tahera Peeran.

“It also includes sailor pants and pea jackets. The nautical trend is about stripes, structure and significant colours,” she adds. 

One of the major plus points of this trend is its wide range of refreshing colours and drool-worthy fabrics. To appeal to the inner rainbow-lover in you, nautical attire comes in attractive shades of blue, white, red, black, mustard and grey.

“Inspired by sea and sailors, nautical fashion works best with colours like navy and white. Other hues that work really well are ivory, beige, powder blue, mustard and salmon pink, albeit in splashes,” says Nivedita.

Pairing it right
Patterns say a lot about one’s attire and what says ‘sailor’ better than little boats and sea anchors splashed on your shirts or dresses. For that perfect summer day-out, opt for a sleeveless dress with anchors on it or go in for a crisp white shirt with navy blue shorts that has tiny boats frolicking on it. For a bolder look, add a scarf that has some form of geography on it.

If you are in search of a retro appeal, nautical fashion is your best bet. Go in for a dress or a shirt with a sailor collar and enjoy the attention. “With patterns, try to create a balanced streamlined look. Opt for a fitted tank, tee or sweater in the vertical blue and white stripes, teamed with a breezy pair of navy slacks, dark denims or a navy skirt. The thin horizontal stripes are more slimming than the wider variety,” says Tahera.

Fabric is an extremely important factor to consider when it comes to any attire. Thankfully, nautical attire seems to score brownie points on this front too. Cotton will best suit the tropical weather of our country.

Easy on maintenance and low on cost, this fabric lets your body breathe, while radiating its own charm. But don’t fret, you can switch to rollneck sweaters and trench coats for those sudden spells of rain and chill.

Finally, accessories can make or break any look. So, let’s start with the nautical shoes, shall we? Striped flats, sandals, heels and wedges are the perfect companion for all your sailor-inspired clothes. Boat shoes in shades of blue, black, white and red can keep your feet happy and stylish all day long.

But if you want to up the ante,
invest in some striped heels and let your feet do all the talking. Cure your beach blues by carrying around all the essentials in a large beach bag, or for a more sophisticated look, get a handbag, obviously with stripes, in shades of blue, white or red. For fans of minimalist appeal, there are a variety of options too. You could go in for earrings and rings in the shape of anchors, knots, boats or even starfish.

Looking the part
In case you are confused by the infinite options on offer, here’s a quick guide to help you get started:

n Nivedita’s perfect sailor look: Go sophisticated with a sailor blouse in navy paired with high-waist shorts and flats or wedges with rope detailing, or go completely functional but stylish with a striped top in white and navy or red paired with denims. Men can opt for a deconstructed cruise jacket in linen or seersucker paired with denims, shorts or
chinos to look effortlessly stylish.

n Tahera’s perfect sailor look: This look can be very classic or flattering. It’s about adding flair to your style. Just remember that a little goes a long way, so pick one piece and go from there. You can define your shape with a belt cinched at the waist or a boyfriend blazer. Use a twist of red in the accessories to highlight your look. Flat sneakers and chunky gold jewellery or any jewellery with knots or ropes or anchor accents complete your chic seafaring look.

So, what are you waiting for? Start shopping and give your wardrobe a fresh makeover with the latest in nautical fashion.

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