Defend the TrendDefend the Trend: NauticalCrystal Gibson

While studying in New York, I made many friends who whisked me away for weekends in Montauk (this is how I fell in love with the quaint county – subsequently naming my blog after it). The crashing waves of the Atlantic Ocean, the pop-up shops on Main Street and the Montauk Point lighthouse contribute to making this place magical. It’s customary for me to play dress-up when visiting a new place; thus sporting the nautical trend when hanging by the coast.

Montauk Point

Wait, you don’t live near the water? Me neither. I live and work in the city and sometimes hesitate to take my coastal mentality and translate it into an outfit – but what is a wardrobe if not to express yourself?

Here are the staple pieces you need to achieve a nautical look:

1. Blue, Red and White


These colours are most associated with boating because they are distinct colours and are used to signal from ship to shore. In addition to their communications use, nautical flags are used to dress up ships for special occasions. Naturally, these colours have been adapted to dress.

2. Stripes


The stripe trend is derived from French sailors in the nineteenth century. The French Navy’s standard made it so that all sailors wore stripes at sea because it was easier to spot those who fell overboard. The look has evolved and become a staple because of its simple design – one that can be complimented with bold pieces.

3. Silk Scarves/Hats


Sailing is like riding in the backseat of a convertible; if your hair is left to blow – you will have many knots (nautical pun) when you return to shore. Audrey Hepburn and Bridget Bardot were ladies who loved hats and scarves as hair accessories. Hats and scarves serve as a stylish addition to your outfit but have a meaningful purpose as well.

4. Boat Shoes


With rubber soles and canvas or leather uppers, these shoes are susceptible to water while looking stylish. Boat shoes are incredibly comfortable and practical. Modern boat shoes were invented in 1935 by Paul Sperry after he discovered his dog’s ability to run easily over water without slipping.

5. Anchors & Ropes


Anchors and ropes are the quintessence of sailing, which is why they have been tailored to clothing aesthetic. Once summertime arrives, so does the omnipresence of anchors. Tee-shirts, bracelets, necklaces, socks and belts are all adorned with the mainstay. Rope knotted bracelets and belts inspired by sailors have also become a fashion staple for those hanging by the coast.

There are so many ways to interpret this look but all manage to look classy. Like I said, I sometimes have a hard time leaving the house in the morning in boat shoes and a rope belt; I’ve had people continuously ask me where my yacht was parked. In fashion, however, you have to appreciate the art of dressing up and I think I am learning to feel comfortable in whatever it is that I choose to wear.

Are you into this style? Have I missed any key pieces to this look? Let me know!

P.S. I have a Pinterest board with Montauk inspiration, check it out here.

  • Ayesha King

    I love the nautical look! I have so many striped pieces of clothing that I may actually look like a criminal.

  • Erin Vaden

    A bit of friendly critique: I don’t think succeptible is a word, and from the context, I’m not sure “susceptible” is the word you were looking for in the boat shoes section!

    (Also, I really love the nautical look!)

    • Kristie Riley

      I had that same exact thought regarding the use of susceptible…especially since it’s also misspelled. :(

  • Jennifer Herd

    I used to wear stripey scarves in my hair and got made fun of by everyone. And I’m gonna bring em back into my wardrobe because f*ck it, if Crystal approves, then it’s gonna happen.

    Keep writing these wicked articles! You have amazing style! xox

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