Boats are expensive and often have limited capacity. So if you’re lucky enough to get invited to a pleasure yacht or party barge, you need to look the part and milk it to the max! But how do you figure out the best boat party and sailing outfit ideas? Can you just wear a bikini or speedos and be done with it? Maybe with a hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen? Let’s find out!
Boat Party & Sailing Outfit Ideas
1. Girly Ocean Theme
The ideal outfit for a boat party is safe, stylish, and comfortable. And remember, water can cause glare and harsh sunburn because it reflects sunlight so effectively. In that way, sailing is a lot like riding a mirror! You want dark sunglasses with wide coverage – aviators will do.
Open-toed sandals and a waterproof tote bag are essential. You can carry swimming gear and a change of clothes in the bag. As for the dress, this cute t-shirt dress with a v-neck and a sailing theme is perfect. The pink-and-blue sail detail goes well with pink seashell earrings.
2. White and Clingy
You could choose a billowy outfit for your boat party. Something that will flow in the breeze and keep you looking cool and scintillating. But another option is to wear close-fitting clothes that will keep you warm when the weather turns chilly in those sudden wind gusts.
This party outfit is fairly simple. It incorporates lots of white to beat the ocean glare. Try a white fitted t-shirt with matching white pants – slacks or skinny jeans are fine. Throw a sweater across your shoulders then add a brown tote bag with a matching belt and sandals.
3. Party Clothes in White
Of course, you could simply raid your closet and grab your whitest club clothes. This video offers lots of ways to style your boating outfit. For the guys, try a white vest tucked into white shorts with a white unbuttoned blazer on top. Or wear a loose white shirt over white slacks.
For the ladies, try a bleached cocktail dress or lacy sundress. If you’re graceful enough, you could wear colorful heels or clogs and match them with your bag and jewelry. White jeans could work, but you may get sweaty and uncomfortable, so tights or fitted slacks work better.
4. Bright and Wedgie
Lots of people prefer white for boat parties, possibly in homage to navies around the world. But you could brighten up your outfit too. If you want a sailing outfit that’s casual and low-fuss, try this white top with black stripes. It’s loose and sleeveless to keep your body cool.
Pair the airy top with tightfitting white pants. You can continue the black-and-white theme by wearing dark sunglasses with white frames. For a pop of color, a bright yellow wicker tote bag is perfect. Match the back with strappy wedge sandals whose sole is tan and woody.
5. Nice and Nautical
We’ve mentioned that white is the traditional sailing color. But that’s just for your clothes. The sailcloth itself as well as gunny sacks and storage fabrics were often cream, tan, calico, or khaki. Your sailing outfit could echo this palette. Get khaki cargo shorts at the thrift store.
You could also opt for drawstring shorts with a few pockets. For a top, wear a loose-knit striped sweater in neutral tones. The patterns resemble knots and quilts. Finish with rope sandals and a handbag that has reed, rope, or bamboo trim to retain the tropical ocean feel.
6. Fancy and Fashionable
Just because you’re a dude at a sailing party doesn’t necessarily mean you want to look buff and rugged. It’s one thing if you’re in charge of steering the boat and you have to wear practical work clothes. But if you’re a guest that’s there to be pampered, here are some ideas.
This video offers some options you can try. The base of the outfit is a pair of tailored shorts with a good belt, a blazer, and a t-shirt or collared shirt. You can mix and match these with a pop of color for the perfect party badge. A scarf is optional if you don’t have a warm jacket.
7. Fun and Flirty
If this is a casual sailing trip (as opposed to an instagrammable glam party), you can go for a playful, girly look without being overly feminine or waify. The secret is to wear something that goes from elegant to practical in minutes but still stays sexy. And the kimono is the key.
A floral kimono is weather friendly and fashionable, and you can toss it on and tie it shut for a dressier finish. Inside the kimono, wear a v-neck t-shirt and cut-off jeans. A straw hat and a wicker bag complete your sailing outfit. For footwear, try boating shoes, wedges, or sneakers.
8. Five-Way Fashion
As an avid boater, you probably need multiple outfits that you can mix and match. And this set will have sailors and boat guests whistling in delight! You need a navy blue blazer with pretty brass buttons. For tops, a sheer white t-shirt, a striped vest, and nautical sweatshirts.
You need at least three tote bags – white, navy blue, and striped. For bottoms, a flowing skirt, denim cut-offs, and khaki shorts. Check out the photos for ideas on how to combine these pieces to form the perfect sailing outfit. And don’t forget your boat-themed jewelry!
9. Rugged But Stylish
Even if you’re a guest on the boat, you might want that Kodak Moment behind the steering wheel or in among the rigging. So while you want to look pretty, you also want to look like you can handle your sails. Try this animal-print short with only the middle button closed.
That lets you show off your pecs, a few hairy wisps, and your guy cleavage too. Try tailored shorts in a bright color with a folded hem that suggests reversible print and draw attention to your sexy legs. A braided belt works well with this getup, and don’t forget the sunscreen!
10. Easy Elegance
Sand-friendly clothes are a smart choice for a sailing outfit, but you don’t have to look like a spring break contender. With a few tweaks, you can glam up your outfit. Go for long sleeves instead of short, and wear a light, off-shoulder sweater instead of a bosom-baring blouse.
The ribbing detail at the neckline, hemline, and cuffs of your sweater create a classy effect that’s both casual and stylish. Tassel pearl earrings will elevate any outfit, so you can dress drown your bottom half with subtle sailing shorts, a tote bag, and strappy knotted sandals.
11. Loose and Slitty
When you’re going boating, it’s always a good idea to have a bathing suit. You might anchor at the ideal spot and feel the urge to take a graceful swan dive. Or the party barge might have a Jacuzzi or mini-pool on board. And it helps to wear your bathing suit under your clothing.
That way, you can do a slinky striptease for your boat crush. This outfit works on all counts. The off-shoulder blouse lets air circulate, keeping you cool and unruffled while hiding your teeny tiny bikini top. The flowing skirt has a slit all the way up and is just as cool and comfy.
12. Pretty and Preppy
Some girls (and boys) like that golden frat boy tan and ruffled hair. But if you prefer your men neat and put together, you will love these sailing outfit ideas for preppy-looking guys. He can dress up a polo shirt with a light jacket, fitted slacks, and casual brown boating shoes.
Or he can dress it down with patterned swim trunks that double as shorts. And if your boy wants to look extra dressy and debonair, try a white button-down shirt, a skinny tie, and a tailored blazer over tweed trunks. It’s all business up top and beach party at the bottom!
13. Daring Dresses
Wearing a fancy dress to a boat party doesn’t seem smart. But if it’s a luxury evening cruise or a proposal party, this could be just the thing. Focus on showing skin so that you don’t overheat, but slather sunscreen on every exposed area. And be sure you have full mobility.
After all, even if you can run in heels, you don’t want to fall off your shoes every time the boat bobs or rolls. Some options here include a yellow off-shoulder gown, a wraparound dress with a deep neck and a high slit, a striped t-shirt dress, a sheath halter gown, or 60s minis.
14. Pretty as a Painting
Your clothes need to match your personality, especially when you’re attending a themed party. It’ll help you stand out and do you. So if you’re known for being particularly playful in your fashion choices, this boating outfit is perfect for you. But it does need pre-planning.
The concept is simple – get a plain white t-shirt with a boat-themed logo and shorts that match the logo. In this case, the t-shirt has a sail with rainbow stripes and the shorts have the same pattern. You can even cut a piece of the short’s initial fabric and patch it on the t-shirt.
15. Effortless Sheikh
You may want to look classy without seeming like you’re trying too hard. And you still want some version of a nautical theme. Stripes are big because they guarantee visibility when someone falls overboard. But for variation, try seersuckers (thin vertical railroad stripes).
Wear this buttoned over a classic white t-shirt with fitting tailored shorts or matching swim trunks. For your feet, any sandals, tennis shoes, or boat shoes are fine. Wear the shirt untucked and close to the skin with the sleeves rolled up, or tucked in with a statement belt.
16. Fashion Forward
Would you prefer the minimalist look? This cute sundress does the trick. You look dainty and nymph-like, and you can slip off this little thing in seconds to reveal your flawless barely-there bikini. The wraparound dress has a v-neck, spaghetti straps, and vertical pastel stripes.
It has gathers at the waist and skims your mid-thigh. Accessorise the dress with a round braided bag, chunky jewelry, and strappy wedge shoes. Try playful pussycat buns that hold half your hair up so you can seductively shake your tresses loose as you unleash your bikini.
17. Striped Below
Another fun idea for men’s boat party outfits is to reverse the norm. Usually, we wear striped tops and plain bottoms, but you can go the other way around. This suave and stylish fella has striped pants folded up at the hem, and it makes him look effortlessly casual and carefree.
Up top, try a light navy blue jacket that fits close to the body and has a short, upturned collar. You can also wear a tight blazer with a mandarin collar. Inside the jacket, you could wear a t-shirt or a kiwi collar shirt in white so the focus stays on the pants. Boat shoes finish the look.
18. Lots and Lots of Options
Still feeling lost? This video has over 30 ideas you can experiment with as you put together your quintessential sailing outfit. As a primer, shorts aren’t your only option. Try a cute white mini skirt with decorative buttons and a colorful strappy top or a dark fancy blouse.
Rompers and wrap dresses are great if you want something above the knee. But if you prefer the maxi silhouette, long flowing garments in linen are a good choice too. A loose jumpsuit will have you feeling fabulous and feminine, and it’s easy to slip it on or off your bathing suit.
19. Roll it Up!
Here’s a closing suggestion for the guys. If you want a sailing outfit that’s not too stereotypical, play with the key elements. Carry a striped sweater and drape it over your shoulders or your arm in homage to sailors. A white Chinese shirt with brass buttons is good.
For your pants, if you don’t want white, you can get pale blue or distressed jeans in softened denim – the fabric does better in marine conditions. Both your pants and your shirt can have rolled up sleeves (or cuffs) for that loose and lovely look. Boating shoes complete the outfit.
Do you know any boat party & sailing outfit ideas we forgot? Tell us in the comments section!