What Does Casual Yachting Attire Mean?

Blue is an ideal color for a yachting dress.

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Fashion vocabulary words take on new meaning when you're out on the ocean, so understanding terms like "casual yachting attire" is crucial before you set sail. Whether you're sailing the seven seas or cruising around the harbor, dressing up for a yacht party -- even a casual one -- is different from dressing up for a casual party on dry land. When you understand the difference, you'll be styling and ready when the anchor gets raised and the party gets started.

Define "Casual"

When you hear "casual," you may think of something simple, such as jeans and a blouse. While that may fly on dry land, when you're out on the water, you may need to work a little harder. "Casual yachting attire" is slightly dressier -- think "business casual" or "outdoor wedding." If you want to wear pants, stick with slacks -- never jeans. Even better is a dress that gives you a flattering silhouette -- something that falls somewhere around the knees is long enough, and if it has embellishments such as sequins or ruffles, all the better.

Sea-Worthy Colors

Leave that little black dress at home -- it isn't fit for the sea. Instead, wear something in sportier, girlier colors, such as a printed sun dress or something bold and bright. If you want to look a little more classic, stick with nautical colors like navy blue and white -- you can accent them with gold and silver for an elegant, timeless and sporty style that looks right at home in a New England marina.

Deck-Ready Shoes

Unless this yacht is taking you for a ride down wild river rapids, you don't have to worry much about losing your balance, so go ahead and strap on some high heels -- strappy shoes have a summery vibe that's perfect for a boat trip. If you're still worried about losing your balance and hitting the deck when the engine kicks, though, opt for a pair with soft soles. Soft-soled shoes help you maintain your balance, even when you're stepping across the gangplank.


Yachting attire gives you the option to accessorize with a fun nautical twist -- for example, try fabrics or pins sporting nautical icons such as stars or anchors. Silver and gold accessories match the rest of your outfit best, even if you're wearing bright colors. Things can get a little chilly out on the open water, though, so if this event goes into the evening, take a wrap, coverup, jacket or sweater so that you can stay warm while you stand at the bow and perfect your impression of Kate Winslet in "Titanic."

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