C’mon little buddy it’s time to go on a boat trip. It is only a three hour cruise. I promise I won’t call you Gilligan. Bob Denver, the actor that played Gilligan on the classic comedy “Gilligan’s Island” wore the quintessential crew wear for going on a boat or sailing. White pants, dark shirt, hat, and low cut pull-on tennis shoes. After all these years, since that show first aired, sailing attire has not changed much.
Still the most popular colors for men are white pants, with a dark or black shirt. The white pants are still very much the uniform, but the dark shirt is being challenged by pastels, and striped polo shirts. The hat has given way to sun glasses. But the “sailor’s look” for casual mild weather sailing is still has the same general feeling. You want to look, well, nautical. You cannot go wrong with navy blue and white.
Those will always be appropriate on a sailboat. If you are also going to end up with the older crowd at the Yacht Club afterwards, you might consider also having a navy blue admiral’s jacket with bright brass buttons that you put on for dinner. Believe it or not, they still wear these jackets to the club after a long day on their sailing yacht. But that is about the only place you can still wear an admiral’s jacket, so make sure you are going to be a member of the Yacht Club or the significant other of a member before you make the investment.
If the weather is going to be especially windy (which is a good thing for sailing) or cold, you will also need a wind breaker jacket to wear while you are sailing. Nautica is a good source for this type of jacket and unlike the admiral’s jacket, this type of casual sailing wear can be worn other places and you still look very sharp in it. As their name implies they started out with active wear for sailing and the like, but now offer a full line of casual clothes.
As far as shoes go, the most famous ones are Sperry top-siders, named because they were supposed to be worn when you go top-side, which in sailing lingo is on deck. They are good because they have non-slip soles. If you are going to do any active crewing (which means helping with the sails and such), you want a good pair of shoes that will keep you from slipping around and possibly falling off the boat.
I f you are going to get really serious about sailing and join a world championship sailing team or sail in any type of rough sea competition you are also going to need some all weather gear. This is the type of clothing that goes over your regular clothes to prevent you from getting wet.
It is waterproof and is comprised of a set of pants that come up high on the waist and jacket with a hood. For this type of weather you will probably wear boots as well. For safety to help find you in the water in case you fall overboard these suits are usually in bright colors of red or orange. Just don’t get stranded on an island, OK Gilligan?
Pohl is a fashion writer and an online entrepreneur. His latest retailer is Mens-Ties.com/ – a site, as the name suggests, sells mens neckties and bow ties.
More Sailing Articles