There is nothing that exhilarates me more than a cool ocean breeze, the sight of the big blue sea, toes in sand, boats sailing in the distance, and seagulls flying overhead. One of the perks of living in Southern California is being just a 20 minute drive from the West Coast shoreline. We also work our brains out, sit in bumper bumper traffic day in day out, and pay an abundant property tax for that salty sea air blowing through our hair. Most days, I say it’s worth it. However you don’t have to live right beside the ocean to enjoy one of my all time favorite fashions that is as fresh and current as it is timeless and classic.
Yes, I am talking about Nautical Style!
Stripes and Gingham in navy and crisp whites, khakis and chambray, punches of bright red, and even splashes of neon yellow. All of the colors that embody the sand, the sun, the sea and the sail boats that float upon its waters. While we are in the tail end of winter, we can feel spring and summer on the horizon and we can hardly wait! Nautical Fashion is making it’s way back onto the pages of fashion mags and onto the racks at all of our favorite retailers.
The beautiful thing about this trend is that there is nothing trendy about it. Buy a striped sweater and it will still be hip in 10 years. So when you’re shopping for Nautical Style, look at these items as investment pieces that can sail into the future for years to come.
Last week I pulled some of my own beloved nautical pieces out of the closet and began to mix and match with a few new items I recently purchased. That’s when I decided to take a drive down through the canyon and over the PCH to the Malibu Pier to photograph these looks right where they belong right beside the water.
Take a look at 10 of my favorite outfits for you to try as the weather begins to warm up soon! Let’s get Nautical!
Where gingham meets the Maxi… 1 of 10
I will start with perhaps my favorite look of the bunch. Try pairing a gingham top, in navy and white, with a long red maxi. To keep it casual and not too churchy, tie up your button-down in a knot. You will also need a wide brimmed floppy hat to protect your skin from the sun's rays. And it looks cute, right? Keep it simple and chic with a pair of metallic flip flops and you are ready for a stroll down the sand, or brunch on Saturday.
Blue on Blue 2 of 10
Skirts are such an easy way to amp up your day to day style, especially with this bold blue striped jersey tube skirt. Tuck in a worn light denim top. The blues from top to bottom aren't too matchy-matchy, just super complimentary.
When it comes to accessories wear a simple charm necklace, a small crossbody bag, a wrap watch, and white shades for a comfortable look that still shows you made an effort!
Red Sea 3 of 10
When it comes to pants there is nothing more flattering and chic then a pair of long, wide leg trousers. I own stacks of them, because I know they will always elongate my frame and they look ultra classy. It doesn't take much to put this ensemble together — pair some bright red trousers with a silky white or cream blouse that drapes with ease. Wear a simple gold chain around the neck and a beautiful pair of heels for a night out on the boardwalk.
Prep on the Beach 4 of 10
The preppy look has always lent itself to Nautical Fashion with its cable knit sweaters in bright blues, reds and yellows, as well as tucked in chambray shirts. Think Ralph Lauren. This look is crisp, clean, and perfect for a day of sailing, or even for a day of running errands in style.
To put together this look, I used a white denim Joe's jean skirt that I wore all last summer. Then I tucked in a pinstripe chambray button-down. And for those days with a slight breeze, it's good to be prepared with a light sweater in a bright shade of yellow.
Neutral Nautical 5 of 10
To go back to a timeless tip, I have owned both this tweed jacket and striped sweater for over 6 years, and I wear them ALL the time. As a matter of fact, I wore this exact outfit (trade the flops for heels) on date night two weeks ago. The look is laid back and very neutral when it comes to the color palette. It has a very sandy look to it paired with the classic stripe for some contrast. Wear with a pair of distressed skinny's for a modern and casual vibe. A chunky wooden necklace gives it major style points.
Sunny Side of the Street 6 of 10
Summer and I have been working on a collaboration with LulaRoe that's set to release soon. We definitely knew that our pieces had to incorporate stripes, because again, they will never go out of style. This dress is the perfect look for a Nautical Afternoon — grab a bright yellow belt and bring back that wide brim floppy hat to give your outfit some drama. This look is fresh and feminine all at once.
Anchored 7 of 10
Let's bring back the gingham, except instead of wearing it on the top let's wear it on the bottom. This pair of navy and white checkered pants have been a wardrobe staple since I bought them last summer at a crazy low clearance price from Banana Republic. They have amazing versatility and, of course, they look perfect with a red sweater. But to avoid looking like the 4th of July, go with a big graphic sweater that shouts, "Nautical Style!" There are several similar styles out there right now I found this oversized anchor last Spring. Wear a straw fedora, for added awesomeness.
Neon Nautical 8 of 10
This ensemble is a close second to the gingham and maxi combo. This striped blue and white button down, with a neon yellow pencil skirt, take Nautical to a new level. This look feels chic and unexpected, but it's all so right! The colors are popping, are they not?! Keep the sleeves rolled up, and the neck line unbuttoned for a casual, effortless look. Leave the skirt tailored for a more fitted silhouette. Throw on simple gold accents, with a bangle and subtle chain. Complete the look with the white shades, for a fashion must. I love this look so much that I plan on wearing it all spring and summer long!
Purchase skirt from J.Crew Factory
The Glad Hatter 9 of 10
Whenever I am looking through vintage shops, I know I will always find nautical-inspired tops, dresses, and skirts. This look is no exception — the bright blue blousy top, thrifted Joie high waisted a-line skirt, and cognac brown belt are all second hand items. As I have raved in previous posts (such as this one), thrifting and vintage shopping add originality to your look, and makes your style all your own. So make sure to scan the racks looking for the nautical color and print pallet — I guarantee that you will find something sea worthy and fabulous. Add a few modern pieces like the hat and polka dot flats to bring the look together.
Navy In Red 10 of 10
Is there anything easier than pulling a dress over your head and heading out the door? This dress isn't just easy, but it's truly flattering and moves with you through out all the tasks of the day. I can wear this outfit while chasing after my toddler, or running and leaping on the sand in Malibu. With its stripes on the bodice and bold navy on the skirt, it swooshes and swirls like the waves, and naturally falls around your form. Keep the accessories very minimal, no belt necessary. Be comfortable and free in this perfect Nautical Number.
Photos by Priscilla Chang
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