Sailing Fashion

At the end of last summer Harlo bought a sailboat, but it was nearing Minnesota’s chilly Fall, so basically we just cleaned it up and bought supplies. This summer however has been all about boating, as we’ve taken group and private lessons, and have mastered wine and cheese entertaining while navigating the high seas of the small lake we keep it on. It’s been a real blast, as I love the water but have never sailed before, so I needed to buy appropriate clothes which has made me keenly aware of sailing fashions.

I’ve received compliments on my lavender life vest with butterfly illustrations and the women who are our guests seem to love the black and hot pink life vest I scored for them. The men aboard appreciate the military inspired life vest for them as well. Gone are the days of over-the-head-neon-orange-raft-type thing that people have worn in the past.

The first picture is shortly after the boat purchase and featured my Paul Frank fabulous sail bag. The second picture is more recent and you can get a glimpse of my awesome lavender life vest.

But, my emphasis on style has also been a flaw as the cute waterproof sandals I bought we not nearly well-fitting enough and quickly one of them fell off my foot and into the lake on and early excursion. So, I went ahead and picked up the KEEN‘s that everyone wears, which are a little like hiking flippers but are truly the absolute best for sailing. (Although I moderately regret getting the neon blue as it goes with absolutely nothing, but, they were on sale at Nordstrom Rack so it was another sail-fashion score).

My most recent sailing fashion purchase was an adorable little anchor silver charm necklace which I got at Mystic Seaport in CT. I’d love to say I’m constantly in fabulous 60’s inspired yachting attire, but generally, that stuff is mostly for not actually on the boat, and while sailing it’s generally tanks and variations on cargo capris. And lots and lots of sunscreen.

So below I thought I’d give you some images and links of sailing fashion items I’d noted lately as there are some fun and interesting things happening in that market.

A man in Port Huron, Michigan is taking old sails and making clothes, totebags and more. His company is called Vintage Sailcloth Solutions.

Martha Stewart and co. have even gotten on board when in her Blueprint magazine recommended giving flight bags as gifts that are made by Wm. J. Mills sailmakers, who’ve been in business since 1880. The bags are water resistant marine canvas. Sail Brooklyn discusses it on their website.

If you’re looking for some academic content, you can check out an article co-written by Elizabeth Bye, University of MInnesota (my school) who authored: Sailing Apparel for Women: A Design Development Case Study. Clothing and Textiles Research Journal, 2005.

Finally, Puma has gotten into sailing as well with their new racing boat and line of pretty cool looking sailing attire and accessories.

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