Nautical fashion stems from a sailor-inspired look. Seniors Tiffany Davis and Glennda Bivens both wear horizontal striped shirts, a common fashion staple found seaside. Navy blue, white and red are traditional colors for these striped nautical shirts and other nautical apparel.
Brass buttons, chunky stripes, navy and white clothing – all things you would associate with nautical fashion, and this spring the chic trend is sailing into stores.
Already spotted on the catwalks of Jean Paul Gaultier and Luella, the trend includes horizontal striped shirts, white capri-pants, brass accessories, canvas shoes and rope belts and bags.
One fan of the nautical style is sophomore public affairs major Michelle Ajemian.
“I love nautical,” she said. “It is very fresh and clean; very summery. It reminds me of sailing and the water. I love all the colors — the blues and white and red and gold.”
The nautical trend can be worn many ways this season.
Chunky navy and white striped shirts can be found at retailers like Nordstrom and Forever 21.
Nordstrom also stocks a variety of boat shoes – canvas flat-soled shoes in navy and white.
Ajemian, however, bought her boat shoes from Payless Shoe Source.
“I have lots of nautical clothes,” she said. “Striped shirts, an anchor necklace—lots of accessories. The nautical style is a twist on the preppy look, where you can express yourself a bit more.”
Hints of the nautical look can be mixed in with your regular clothes if you’re not keen on going all-out sailor.
“Nautical doesn’t necessarily mean looking like a sailor,” said Phanny Lun, senior international business and Japanese major. “Try capris or over-the-knee shorts with a striped, colored shirt. The shoes should be light color, no matter what style – loafer or tennis.”
Ajemian agreed: “It’s important to wear one nautical piece, like an
accessory, rather than wear lots of nautical clothing together, because that can look like a costume. Keep it simple.”
Fresh whites are always popular this time of year.
When spring merges with summer, people look to lighten up their wardrobe, and what better way to stay in style than by adding some nautical pieces to their collections?
Espadrilles and other types of wedge sandals with ribbons that tie at the ankle follow the nautical trend and can be found almost anywhere.
Nordstrom stocks a wide selection of this style of shoe, by brands such as Betsey Johnson, BCBG and Marc Jacobs.
If your wallet has difficulty parting with $300 for a new pair of summer shoes, Target sells its own versions at a tenth of the price.
Nautical fashion is one trend that isn’t exclusively for women either. Lun explains that when men wear nautical, it is a sign of class.
“Wearing nautical shows that you have money,” he said. “It is associated with the elite, yachts, fine dining, the whole Hamptons scene. It will never lose its fashion.”
Lun has many nautical items himself – from white capris and loafers to blue shirts and driver hats.
“I used to have a white hat,” he said. “I looked like I was getting off a yacht every time I wore it, or like I was about to go buy a boat.”
This isn’t the first time that the nautical trend has been popular.
It is commonly a spring and summer style, because of its association with sailing and the beach. Ajemian, however, wears it throughout the year.
“Trends come in and out, but it’ll stick around – I’ll keep it going,” she said. “I predicted nautical would be in last fall. It’ll stay for the summer then will come back in again. I’ll always be wearing it.”
However fashionable nautical apparel may be, it isn’t for everyone.
Senior photojournalism major Jenna Campbell doesn’t see the attraction.
“It’s a little extreme,” she said. “I do have a v-neck shirt with white and navy stripes, but everyone calls me ‘Pirate’ when I wear it.”
Campbell noticed a sailor-inspired shirt in American Eagle Outfitters in the Montclair Plaza but decided against it.
She admits that she isn’t a big follower of fashion.
“I’m extremely picky,” she said. “If I see something that’s cute and fits me nice, then I go for it. I’m not into trends.”
Stores that often carry nautical-inspired wear include Tommy Hilfiger and Ralph Lauren.
Both of these stores can be found at Ontario Mills.
Victoria’s Secret Online (www.victoriassecret.com) also has a nautical line as part of its spring/summer collection.
Whether you decide to do the nautical thing or not, one thing is for certain: Don’t go overboard.
Rhian Morgan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.