Editor Introduction: The Archives Feature
A feature I have started to include in our FashionBeans newsletters (sign up on the right hand side of the site) is the revamping of an article from our past archives. This site has been going for a long time now due to our loyal readership, so if you are new to FashionBeans you might of missed out on some of our best work.
Today I bring to you a comprehensive guide to the Nautical Trend. I decided this would be the first article I reworked, because it is a timeless trend which comes around every single spring/summer. It is also right on time for the change of the weather (and summer holidays), so hopefully it will give you some inspiration into how to style your own outfits this year.
The products have all been updated to the latest collections (including summer sales that are on currently), so sit back and take time to read through this pretty lengthy piece I wrote over a year ago. I hope it either refreshes your memory – and you approach to your outfits – or you enjoy reading a completely new article.
Finally, please let me know if you would like this archive feature to become a regular fortnightly occurrence, or whether it is something that the newsletter sign-ups should have exclusively.
So here we go with another instalment in the look book series. Last time we touched on the Americana trend and also pointed out how it ties in beautifully with both the Nautical and French Riviera trends that are always popular within men’s fashion during the Spring/Summer months. What you will find when we progress through the series is that a lot of items you already own can be used to create multiple looks and outfits just by varying the pieces you match them with. I want you all to get the most possible use you can out of your wardrobe and to buy pieces that will be great investments.
That is why today, even though we are going to be focussing on true nautical inspired looks, I will not be forcing any true “trend” pieces onto you. You will see plenty of stripes and nautical colours, but no items that cannot be used within another context entirely should you wish. This means there will be no anchor print t-shirts, scarves or the like.
The Nautical Trend
The nautical trend has been covered by our very own Ashley Cover on site already but it is always nice to have a refresher course… Nautical fashion is around in some form every year in the Spring/Summer months. It is not a trend per se but more of a style. Obviously it is called nautical because the whole look emphasises navy/sailor colours and pieces of clothing. So for colours think of navy, white/cream and even a splash of red; these are typical nautical colours that the fashion world use to create a nautical inspired outfit.
When thinking of patterns or symbols the obvious ones are stripes and anchor print. To get the look though you do not need to cover yourself head to toe in these colours or prints – in fact I would thoroughly recommend you don’t because subtlety is the key to wearing any trend style. I just want you to be aware of what nautical is so that when we create outfits later on in the article, you know exactly why we have used each item.
Some individual items of clothing that are iconic within the nautical trend are:
- The Deck/Boat Shoe: Surprisingly a shoe that is named after sailing really emphasises the nautical trend. Last year we saw a rise in the amount of styles available and this year there is even more choice and every designer from runway to high street is getting involved.
- Chino Trousers and Tailored Shorts: The chino made a massive impact in men’s fashion last year and with every new collection released we see progression and a variety of new styles. No longer are the males of the planet confined to jeans within their casual outfits and this year the chino looks set to really take off. In pastel, navy and even white shades they really emphasise the whole navy uniform and yacht club vibe.
- Striped Tee: As I stated above, the stripe (or Breton as it is known) really is a nautical pattern but the typical stripe garment used within nautical outfits is the t-shirt. It doesn’t always have to be navy and white striped as we are seeing a lot more subtle greys used these days, as well as reds and even blacks.
- The Navy Blazer: The blazer is the formal choice for any nautical outfit as it has clean lines and can be matched with smart shorts or chino trousers. Navy and white blazers are increasingly popular within this trend but I think the navy blazer is a wardrobe essential and a much more timeless investment.
Some New Nautical Releases
So with that quick round-up out of the way here are a selection of new releases from around the internet which really emphasise the nautical trend:
Inspired by Lookbook.Nu
For those that don’t already know, Lookbook.nu is one of the best social fashion sites on the internet. It is basically a collection of look books that real individuals have created from countries all across the globe. People upload pictures of their latest outfits to share with others in the community and let them comment on them.
Personally I use the site for outfit inspiration and painstakingly go through pretty much every image upload so that I can save them for future reference. Luckily for you I tend to categorise all the best looks into trends and so here is a collection of what I think are some of the best nautical inspired looks published on there. I recommend you all take a look through some of the images on the site sometime because it will really increase your knowledge of what makes a great outfit and also will allow you to further develop your own personal style:
The Nautical Looks
Now onto the looks themselves. Today I have 4 different looks which are all right on trend. Some of the images have come from real life people on Lookbook.nu, and the other comes from our very own 4th best dressed male of 2009: Kanye West. Again I have picked real life examples so that you can get an idea of how and why the look works before you purchase the pieces you need in order to create the outfit. As normal, I will go through each outfit in detail so you can see the thought process behind them all.
Look 1 – Casual Everyday Nautical
This first look is the top row, far left picture in the montage above. I must point out that I picked all of these looks due to their versatility. You can definitely find other outfits that look totally nautical (bordering on sailor) but the look book series I have in mind will show you how to create outfits using items that hit multiple trends by being reworked. For this casual everyday look we are giving subtle nods to the nautical trend whilst still creating an outfit that will work on hot summer days as well as those cooler spring nights. The versatility here comes from the layering used.
As you can see, the male in the picture has picked one stand out nautical piece in order to create the outfit. He has used the traditional white and navy blue striped tee as the focal point and layered over it using a lightweight white cotton shirt. As we know white and navy are true nautical colours so both of these items are right on trend. But what I love is that he can leave the shirt wide open and roll up the sleeves during those warmer days (exposing the nautical tee underneath fully) to create a really relaxed casual look which still has a smarter edge. He can also lose the shirt completely should the sun really start to shine, and still create a simple stripped down look (like look 4 below) which still hits the trend.
For the cooler nights we can button up the shirt whilst leaving 2 or 3 top buttons open in order to show a glimpse of the striped tee underneath. He has also added what looks like a charcoal jacket as another layer, which will contrast beautifully against the navy and white in the top half, as well as the lighter grey shade in the bottom half.
For the bottom half he has gone for what looks like either a light acid wash or grey tone slim jean. This is one of my favourite colour combinations for this spring as grey shades contrast amazingly well against navy. It is also a break away from the endless stream of indigo jeans you will see along your high street. Being fashion forward does not mean you have to wear crazy colours and styles, just subtle differences to the other 90% of the population will get you noticed and make you stand out. Grey instead of indigo, tan shoes instead of black, pastel blue shorts instead of navy, subtle differences will make your outfit.
Unfortunately this image did not show off this guys footwear, but I am going to suggest you add another nautical statement piece in the form of navy deck shoes. These will contrast against the grey jeans whilst also coordinating with the main colour in the t-shirt. It also means that if you had this outfit fully layered up then you would still be giving nods to the nautical trend through the t-shirt and footwear. On hot days feel free to go without socks and roll up the jeans hem a couple of times in order to really show off the shoes.
Overall this is a great casual look which most of you will probably own a lot of the key pieces. Like I said, nautical does not have to be all out sailor, and this is one shows that you can still be on trend whilst maintaining a lot of your own individuality.
Look 2 – Relaxed Formal Nautical
This I have to admit is my favourite look of them all. The pieces you need are all so versatile and can be used in everyday situations. It is such a smart and refined look which is made nautical so subtly by the shoes and rolled hems of the trousers. So let’s take a look at the items you need:
- Navy Blazer: This is such a versatile piece and can be used in multiple outfits. Matt Allison even put it in his “6 Items Every Guy Should Own” which proves you will get more use out of it than you can imagine; not just a passing trend that will go out of style. Remember that I want you to build a timeless wardrobe that can move from season to season and still hit passing trends as they come and go.
- Sky Blue Shirt: Again this is an item many of you probably already own, and it just contrasts perfectly with a darker navy blazer. Personally when contrasting items (whether it be garments, shirts & ties etc.) I normally pick colours with the same base tones and vary the shade. This is a simple but effective way to coordinate your outfits. In this case, we will leave a couple of buttons undone and the shirt untucked to give off a relaxed formal vibe that is perfect for the day or night.
- Navy Trousers: As mentioned above, chinos or tailored trousers really do emphasise the whole yacht club/preppy vibe that nautical is all about. These slim trousers are perfect for giving off that clean slim line silhouette, and notice the colour does not have to match the jacket perfectly. We are not looking to wear a suit as it makes the outfit become a bit “stuffy”; the colour tones varying provides contrast between top and bottom, whilst still coordinating. Here is where we really ram the whole nautical look home though… a few folds or rolls of the trouser hem will transform this outfit from relaxed formal to nautical.
- Navy Deck Shoes: These navy and white contrast deck shoes were an inspired addition to this look. Again it really does transform it and if you were to use a tan loafer instead the whole vibe of the outfit would be completely different. The subtle changes can make or break an outfit guys.
- Geek Specs: We used the geek specs in our Americana Look book to really hit the preppy trend and they are perfect for this outfit for providing the same vibe. Again it just goes to show that items can be reworked in different outfits to hit different trends.
Additions or modifications you could make would be to lose the trousers and substitute in tailored shorts for the hot days. This would hit the short suit look that is going to be big this Spring/Summer whilst also remaining true to nautical. I would go for a more definite contrast this time using a beige/stone pair which will look great against the navy blazer.
You can also sub in the striped t-shirt instead of the shirt and really bring the outfit down a notch or two for more casual events. An addition to the outfit we have created above would be some bold contrasting socks which can be shown off with the trouser hems rolled. I would go for a bright blue (keeping all the tones in the same base colour) and really make it a stand out piece when contrasted against the navy shoes and trousers.
Look 3 – Kanye West Nautical
I saw this image of Kanye at a Lavin launch party and thought that I had to save it for this nautical look book. Again we are just using classic items that a lot of males should own, but mixing them together in a way that just nods towards the trend. The key pieces in this outfit are all in the bottom half. For starters we have the beautiful blue pastel shade shorts which definitely give off that French Riviera vibe that I am sure Kanye himself was going for (playboy and all that), then we mix them with a great light brown/tan belt which looks amazing and provides a focal point in contrast to the shorts. I mentioned earlier that those who stand out in fashion are subtly different. This is a classic example; using a bold tan colour is going to be different to all those other males playing it safe with a standard black or brown belt. Here I would also recommend using a white belt to stand out (and hit nautical) if the shirt was not white as well.
The shoes are slightly more casual, but he has still gone for what looks like a canvas shoe but in a deck/boat shoe cut. For this example though I am going to go for a classic leather white pair of boat shoes to give the same effect. It just smartens up the outfit slightly and I think with such great tailoring in the shorts and shirt, it would be a waste to throw it away with your footwear. Notice again that no socks are necessary.
The top half is kept clean and simple, but very smart and tailored. The plain white shirt buttoned fully to the top looks great tucked in and gives off the yacht club/preppy vibe that we are going for. You can use a short sleeve shirt here and it means that during the warm days you are not going to get too hot or feel too smothered. The next two pieces are what can be used to layer once the sun goes down and you are having drinks at night. The short mac or blazer (keep them cropped so you don’t cover your shorts) in a grey colour keeps the whole outfit clean and sharp, whilst the lightweight scarf is an accessory that adds some flair and gives a nice alternative to a tie.
I wouldn’t recommend ever wearing sunglasses inside unless you are a complete douche, but the Ray-Ban wayfarer sunglasses would look amazing during the day.
Look 4 – Casual Summer Nautical
This last look features all the images from the bottom row. This is a pretty standard casual nautical look which you can have in your arsenal for any hot day this spring/summer. The key pieces are the striped navy and white mix t-shirt, slim fit navy or bold blue chinos and either deck shoes or loafers. We always try to over analyse fashion and make it all about layers etc. However in the summer sun it is not possible to go overboard with your outfits as it is not practical. You don’t want to be in the soaring heat with 3 different layers on, believe me. So we have to create plain and simple outfits that still have flair and individuality. These 3 outfits all have it.
The way we can stand out using just a simple trousers and tee combination is through accessories and colouring. The trousers I would go for a really bold blue which still has a navy base tone. Just something a little extra and you notice straight away they aren’t just typical jeans. The white striped t-shirt is a pretty standard piece to use in the nautical trend, so it is up to you to pick your favourite cut, style and neck line.
There are plenty of accessories that can be used to make this outfit your own. I would use the chain below from All Saints as it has a subtle anchor pendant; a clever way of hitting the trend, whilst still being versatile enough to layer with additional chains in other outfits. For your eyewear, you can go for the geek specs to add some preppy chic to your outfit, or use sunglasses for the French Riveira look. I love the straw trilby in this example as well because it gives off a true summer vibe and you can imagine yourself lounging on the deck of your boat. It helps that this will also be a great item to wear throughout the summer and in the festival season (for the indie look).
Footwear this time comes down to personal preference. You could go for a tan, white or navy boat shoe quite easily and it would be bang on trend. However, due to the fact that the rest of the outfit already hits nautical without needing extra, you can easily sub in some brown loafers (my favourite out of the 3) OR go really casual like the guy on the right and use the low cut light blue converse trainers.
Hopefully by now you would of realised that all these looks use items you may already have in your wardrobe or should have in your wardrobe. There was no all over anchor print, or items that are passing trend pieces; you get the look by the colours you use, the accessories you add, and the WAY you wear the garments.
So guys, see which style you like the look of and which match your current look/wardrobe best. For me it would be looks 2 and 4 – now I know I have 2 outfits for different occasions that will be bang on trend right through the spring and summer. It also means I can use the same timeless items later in the year to hit a variety of new trends that will come to fruition.
Thanks for reading,