What To Wear On A Boat (Party) If You’re A Guy

You're on a boat, so dress like it.

What To Wear To A Boat Party

For those who enjoy a good event, a boat party is the pinnacle of summer festivities. As the chicest, most elite (and often most expensive) kind of shindig you can attend it usually calls for a specific set of style guidelines – and the attitude to match. But you needn’t be daunted; with a deft hand and a couple of key pointers, you’ll be sure to look like a natural seafarer, whether it be on the French Riviera or Sydney Harbour. It’s all about the breezy combo, baby.

What Shirt To Wear To A Boat Party

When at sea the key thing to focus your sartorial gaze on is fabric. Whether you’re opting for a French button-down linen shirt or a crisp white t-shirt, your choice of shirt should feel resort-inspired and like you’re on a holiday. Look at beach-y hues such as pale blue, ocean spray, beige or white. Venroy has an enviable collection of colours and fits that meet this brief perfectly.

In terms of styling, understated elegance is the goal. Experiment with details like a French tuck where the front of the shirt is tucked into the waistband with the back trailing out behind. Flicking back the cuffs of a shirt will also ensure that you err on the side of a relaxed sea goer versus a white-collar worker. If you’re willing to try something more avant-garde, look at detailing like a Mandarin collar or bolder print shirts with wide stripes or even a sheer finish. These paired with a neutral pair of linen trousers or shorts make for effortless, nautical elegance.

What Jacket To Wear To A Boat Party

If the occasion (or simply the weather) calls for it, you may need to add a jacket to the mix. However, it can’t just be any old blazer. Go too heavy or structured and it won’t look in keeping with the airy, nautical vibe. Instead, look for lightly tailored, unlined jackets in navy or sand with interesting details like pale-coloured buttons or peaked lapels.

For inspiration, turn to the likes of Australian sartorial wunderkind Patrick Johnson from P. Johnson Tailors who favours ‘classic nautical blues and whites. Off white trousers, navy polo shirt and a navy blazer, gold buttons (the whole bit)’. If you’re looking to make more of a statement, use a blazer as an opportunity to experiment with bolder patterns and textures. Seersucker is made for sailing and adds a point of interest to a more standard pair of tailored trousers and button-down shirt.

What Pants To Wear To A Boat Party

Being on a boat is relaxing and the structure of your trousers should reflect that. In place of starchy cotton twill chinos, use a boat party to try less structured linen trousers in navy or cream. These trousers are all about the details so seek out a pair that has tab sides or a rope-tie belt. This is a sure-fire way to give a nod to your on-water venue in a way that feels elegant rather than kitsch.

If linen isn’t your thing – and it’s perhaps a slightly more casual affair – a pair of white pants paired with a blue and white Breton stripe top will make for a nonchalant but classic look. Add a pair of classic sunglasses from the likes of Persol to the mix and you’ll be ready for whatever the day may throw at you.

What Shorts To Wear To A Boat Party

In the warmer months, a boat party is one of the only events where a gent has a license to get his legs out. However, there’s a specific way to approach shorts so take note. First and foremost, look for a style that hits just above the knee in a tailored cut. Any longer or baggier and you’ll start looking bottom-heavy and throw off the proportions of your ensemble.

Secondly, pair your shorts with a tailored shirt to ensure you look adequately dressed up. Opt for shorts in a neutral taupe or white and pair with a linen shirt in a vibrant pastel colour. Aqua, tangerine and canary yellow are all great options that can make the right kind of statement. Anchor these with a canvas or woven belt to finish off your outfit.

What Accessories To Wear To A Boat Party

Given the oftentimes casual nature of a boat event, the devil is in the details. Use accessories as an opportunity to mark you out from the masses and to elevate your look.

If you’re headed to a daytime event, adding a Panama hat and sharp sunglasses to your ensemble will signify that you’ve put some thought into it and haven’t just thrown on a shirt and shorts. For the sartorially bold, you could even look at adding a flamboyant statement with a silk neckerchief. These were the toast of Pitti this year and are a certain way to position you at the vanguard of the style stakes. Look for iterations in paisley prints and statement colours – this will contrast sensationally against a more neutral base ensemble.

Should it be an evening cocktail event, accessorise with a linen pocket square and a statement belt. Play with colour, looking at belts in turquoise, orange or brick red that have a statement buckle. The likes of Salvatore Ferragamo have an enviable selection as do Suit Supply who offer theirs at a more budget-friendly price point.