The History of Nautical Fashion

Naval Collars

The first time a naval uniform was worn for fashion, was in 1846 when Queen Victoria commissioned a child's sailor uniform for her four-year-old son for a trip aboard the Royal Yacht. 


In the 1920s, a short-sleeved smock version known as the "middy" (short for midshipman) blouse became popular with American women. It featured the classic Naval collar.

1930s stars Ginger Rogers and Betty Grable were seafaring sirens in hit films like Follow The Fleet and Give Me A Sailor. These films inspired everyday women to incorporate nautical flair into their wardrobes, particularly their beachwear.

Midcentury designers paired nautical inspiration with classic 1950s silhouettes. The sailor blouse evolved into sailor dresses and even sailor playsuits. 

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Nautique Tie Crop Top

Nautical Stripes

The Breton top was first introduced in 1858 as the uniform for all French navy seaman in Northern France. The distinctive stripes made it easier to spot wayward sailors who had fallen overboard.

Coco Chanel owned a holiday villa on the French Riviera and was often spotted walking the beach. She made waves with her casual attire. Her trousers and simple tops were seen as scandalous until they became trends and everyone started wearing looks inspired by her (like "beach pajamas").

In 1917, Chanel made a splash with her take on the Breton top, and soon after it became a staple with figures like James Dean, Audrey Hepburn, and Brigitte Bardot sporting stripes. Stripes have been a wardrobe staple ever since.

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Loulou Striped Cardigan

Navy & Cream Striped Bikini

Navy Blue

There's a reason that this shade of dark blue has been given the name "navy".  It comes from the shade of blue that navy officers have been wearing since the 18th century.

You can easily add a nautical touch to your wardrobe by wearing navy blue. it's a classic shade that will never go out of style.

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Navy Blue Marin Mini Dress

Navy Blue Sailor Shorts

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