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Cruise Clothing, the Sailor Look and Nautical Fashion Clothes

Updated on January 6, 2015
Cruise clothes and the Nautical Look - The sailor Suit - Welcome on Board!
Cruise clothes and the Nautical Look - The sailor Suit - Welcome on Board!

Hello Sailor - Cruise Wear and Nautical Wardrobes

All about what to wear on a cruise and how to capture that naughty, jaunty sailor look.

Picture the scene. You are getting ready for your very first cruise. So what do you wear? What clothes are fashionable on a cruise? How to select cruise clothing for life onboard ship?

In the past, your first thought, when selecting cruise clothes or dressing for a cruise, might be relatively formal, particularly for dinner and evening wear; evening gowns, cocktail dresses, lounge suits, tuxedos or dinner jackets.

Not any more. Today cruises are much more informal. Even the more traditional cruise lines such as Cunard have more informal dining where casual dress is the norm and limit formal dining to one or two special functions per week.

So the emphasis on cruises these days is firmly on casual wear. But, just as dress down Fridays in the work place prove, it is far more difficult to choose casual clothes to hit the right note. Yes, formal dressing is much easier than dressing down.

It may be a bit of a clique, but why not plan your cruise clothing around a nautical fashion look? Think saucy sailor or french matelot. Choose clothes in navy blue with white stripes for example.

Sexy and Sassy

The great thing about the nautical fashion look is it can be expressed in anything from a bikini, through shorts or sundress to a more formal dress or a warm greatcoat for chilly evenings on deck.

Accessories too from bags, shoes, broaches and other jewelry can all reflect that ocean-going feel.

Cruise clothing inspired by a uniforms are smart but can also be sexy and sassy. The sailor suit is a classic example of nautical fashion.

Putting Together Cruise Clothing for a Sea Going Wardrobe

Cruise clothes and the Nautical Look - sea going bikini
Cruise clothes and the Nautical Look - sea going bikini
Cruise Wear and the Nautical Look - short raincoat for a tropical storm
Cruise Wear and the Nautical Look - short raincoat for a tropical storm
Cruise Clothes and the Nautical Look - short cardigan for when  it gets nippy
Cruise Clothes and the Nautical Look - short cardigan for when it gets nippy

Why not start by thinking about cruise clothes and that magical moment when you wake up in your cabin after sleeping like a log after your first night on board?

A nautical mini dress together with a swift walk around the deck to get your lungs filled with sea air could be a great way to start your first full day afloat.

If its cold on deck then wear the dress with some slacks, trousers or leggins. A good choice would be navy bellbottomed pants to keep the nautical theme going.

After breakfast, if its warm enough, then replace the trousers with shorts or dispense with the trousers all together.

By the Pool

If you fancy sunning yourself by the pool or taking a dip then look out for a suitable bikini or swimsuit.

Show your true colours is a well worn Naval expression. Remember just because you are thinking sailor it doesn't need to be blue. Bold red strips can be equally salty!

Talking of swimwear, do remember that even if the sea breeze makes you feel cool, the sun will burn just as much on a ship as ashore.

Do limit your time exposed to the sun and use high factor sun lotion or sun blocker.

If its cloudy and the sun don't shine ..

If its cloudy or raining then you may want to cover up a bit. Think about a blazer or a stylish jacket. Or what about a short raincoat to wear over that stripy dress?

Bear in mind too that your wardrobe may be limited by the number of cases you are allowed. This is a particular limitation if you are starting off your vacation by air.

So try to chose a nautical fashion wardrobe that coordinates so you can mix and match everything according to the change of weather and time of day.

Be prepared to add or remove a layer as the temperature changes.

A lightweight jersey, sweater or cardigan in navy is a good way to cover up and keep the sea breeze chill factor at bay.

Why not choose a cover up garment that is figure-hugging and short in order to keep the stylish, uniform look? This cardigan could even be worn over a bikini top if you suddenly felt a little chilly on the sun lounger.


So come onboard and get writing, make friends on the voyage (and if you want) Make Some Serious Money!

Cruise Wear and the Nautical Look - Accessories
Cruise Wear and the Nautical Look - Accessories

Nautical Accessories

For your cruise clothing, consider a least one pair of shoes with a matching stripes and colours. Fake coral bracelets and necklaces in red or blue work well.

Then if you really want to go to town with your cruise dressing, what about a jaunty sailor hat, beret or cap? That should really make people sit up and take notice!

Cruise Clothes and the Nautical Look - Accessories and Bell Bottom Pants
Cruise Clothes and the Nautical Look - Accessories and Bell Bottom Pants

Ship Shape and Ready to Set Sail

Now you have some great ideas for cruise clothing for your sea-going wardrobe and what to wear on a cruise. So why not check online to see what styles and patterns of cruise clothes and nautical wear are available right now?

Also, if you haven't done so yet, find out on the Internet what cruises are available in your price range and book that cruise and trip of a lifetime immediately! Remember, cruise booking online is easy and quick.

In the meantime, Imagine yourself stretched out on a sun lounger with a cool drink at your elbow, the sun overhead and blue sea all around you. With nothing to worry about except what outfit to wear for dinner and whether that certain someone is just around the corner. Happy Cruising. You deserve it!

Great Tips for Wearing the Spring Nautical Look

Cunard Queen Mary II
Cunard Queen Mary II


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    • jessymitchell profile image

      Jill Maine 

      7 years ago

      Very interesting article....

    • Rik Ravado profile imageAUTHOR

      Rik Ravado 

      10 years ago from England

      NPC - thanks for your comments - I will allow your promotional link!

    • profile image

      Norwegian Pearl Cruises 

      10 years ago

      Very appropriate dress for a cruise I do think, you are quite correct on choosing less formal clothing and of course bringing along something for those times when the weather turns a little cold.

    • Rik Ravado profile imageAUTHOR

      Rik Ravado 

      10 years ago from England

      Dame Scribe - Glad you enjoyed. This reminds me I should revisit the cruise forum thread - I think everyone went ashore and never came back!

    • Dame Scribe profile image

      Dame Scribe 

      10 years ago from Canada

      Wow, awesome style there RR :) I love the nautical look too and it's basic colors. Great info!

    • Rik Ravado profile imageAUTHOR

      Rik Ravado 

      10 years ago from England

      2patricias - This hub is way out of my area of expertise but much easier to write than say comparing different types of cruises! I enjoy writing about a wide range of topics and seeing what keywords bring in traffic/clicks!

      You are right. When a hetrosexual man writes about women's clothes he thinks about what he would like to see women wearing rather than what he would wear himself!

    • 2patricias profile image


      10 years ago from Sussex by the Sea

      Hi Rik, We suspect that you have chosen the illustrations on the basis of how you would like your fellow passengers to look if your were on a ship. Only kidding.

      The selection of clothing is actually very good - stylish, but not likely to go out of fashion quickly.

      We probably wouldn't wear short skirts or shorts - might not be fair on the other passengers, but generally would like to own this wardrobe.

    • Rik Ravado profile imageAUTHOR

      Rik Ravado 

      10 years ago from England

      anjalichugh - No it was doing the cruise thread that made me think about cruises as a Hub subject - I've never been on a proper cruise but I admit I am very tempted! Thanks for stopping by!

    • anjalichugh profile image


      10 years ago from New York

      Hi Rik! Now I understand the reason you started that 'cruise' thread in the forum. You love everything about cruise. I loved the pictures you uploaded. That nautical mini was perfect. The next time you take people from HP on a cruise, offer them complimentary cruise wear. How about that!

    • Rik Ravado profile imageAUTHOR

      Rik Ravado 

      10 years ago from England

      Vivenda - Yes I'm certainly a man of many parts. By the way, I don't think a squirrel would be welcome at sea and you might find the supply of nuts a bit limited

    • Vivenda profile image


      10 years ago from UK (South Coast)

      Travel - fashion - glamour - business - is there no end to your versatility? I think you were wise to advise some warmer clothes, though - as we all know, the sea is a cruel mistress! PS So if we're not going on Eurostar, when are we going on a cruise?


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