Friday, 29 July 2011

Summer 2011: Why Nautical is Here to Stay

YSL Resort 2012, Image from

Ahoy there, my hearties!
Hope your Friday is smooth-sailing.

A good friend recently asked if I still sell nautical-themed items. She said she remembered the sailor shift dresses and red anchor cushions in my Leeds and Harrogate shops.  It triggered happy memories for they were my best-selling stock in 2008- 2009. This reminiscence prompted her to ask why the nautical/sailor theme is still going.

Research yielded the following reasons:

❤ Support for the Royal Navy
The Victorians and Edwardians were heartily supportive of the Royal Navy, which would travel to new undiscovered nations to extend the Empire.
In 1846, 5-year-old Prince Albert (who would later become Edward VII) wore a custom-made sailor suit for use aboard the Royal yacht. He looked adorable and so started an unprecedented trend for the children of the middle and upper classes. The Edwardian era — also called 'The Age of Opulence' — was emblematised by the leisurely pastimes of affluent people. These included yachting, bathing and promenading. Railway, tram and bus services developed, many of which aimed at transporting the masses to seaside resorts. There was even a charitable organisation in London which organised trips to the beach for the poor. The sailor look never left the fashion scene.

Image from Wkipedia of Prince Albert
 ❤ Coco Chanel
In 1917, Coco Chanel took inspiration from Breton fishermen wearing stripy shirts. She was visiting Brittany at the time. Her relationship with the Duke of Westminster from the 1920s to 1930 brought her into frequent contact with the yachting fraternity. Since then, the loose trousers and stripy shirt  has become Chanel's trademark look.

Kenzo 2006 Nautical Collection

❤ YSL, Kenzo, Vivienne Westwood & Adam Ant
Yves Saint Laurent introduced a naval collar and reefer jacket in his catwalk show of 1962.
Later, Paris-based Kenzo adapted the reefer jacket in the late 1970s and in 2006, Kenzo's catwalk under Antonio Marra made a sensational comeback. In 1980s England, Vivienne Westwood created the pirate look and English musician Adam Ant wore naval-inspired costumes.

Adam Ant via

❤ That breezy, care-free feeling
The nautical look never came from high fashion. Its roots were adapted by fashion houses simply because of the assured calm and lightness that it evokes. And from a business of point of view, translating it to daily wear for ordinary folks like us has never been easier because there's not much to modify. People simply love the nautical look because it projects the ambience of relaxing seaside holidays. And who doesn't want to be on the beach?

Summer 2011 Photoshop by yours truly. View my Spring 2011 here.

How about you? Are you feeling sea-sick that nautical is still on trend?
Love it? Loathe it? I'd like to hear your thoughts.
Thanks for reading!

Vintage Dress (sold), Ms Zinski on Etsy
Red aviators,





  1. ha ha love the sailor inspired looks!!!!!!!!!!!
    Chari T (deep fried stilettos)xx

  2. Hi Chari! Me too!
    Joy xx

  3. As long as people equate sailing with affluence, it will be reflected in trends.

  4. Sailing's still an affluent activity. I believe. :)
    Thanks for visiting. Have a great weekend.
    Joy x

  5. lovley Blog :))
    and nice pictures.


  6. Hi Jenni,
    Thanks so much.
    Have a great Sunday!
    Joy xx

  7. I always liked the sailor, nautical theme and the ones that you presented here are exquisite, the white dress from the last photo is so beautiful, I want it! Your blog is lovely and I'm a new follower! Hope you'll like my blog and follow back!

    Pop Culture&Fashion Magic

  8. Hi Sara,
    Thanks so much! Glad you like.
    Checking out your blog now...
    Joy xx

  9. Love your photoshops including the Spring one. This post is making me want to go sailing!

  10. Hey Denise.
    Thanks. I hope to get better at it. Cutting figures is really challenging. Seem to improve on my profane vocab! :)
    You may have to take us sailing with you one day!
    Joy xx

  11. I love nautical-styled clothing!
    It's always a summer winner!

  12. Isn't it just? Interesting when it'll die down. Hopefully not for a very long time...:)
    Joy xx

  13. I love the nautical look, it comes in so many different styles!! And I love stripes, so it works that way too! Great post :) I enjoy your blog, am following along, hope we can follow each other! xx

  14. Hi Kizzy Doll!
    Thanks for following and for your kind words!
    I see that you love The Printed Word, too. Your blog is wonderful! Will defo keep in touch!
    Joy xx

  15. Love, love love all things nautical. I agree, it's so calming! And, it's a fashion on its own.

  16. Hi Emily,
    So happy that you like the post! And thanks so much for following. This week's been great as now I seem to have visitors-turned-followers who understand and support my blog.
    Following back your fab blog, too.
    Joy xx

  17. I just bought a blue and white striped blazer with three quarter sleeves. I love the nautical look in moderation not to over the top.

    Lisa x


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