Yacht Outfits: How to Look Great at Any Boat Party

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So you've been invited to a yacht party.

Or maybe you're interested in buying a boat of your very own. Either way, if you anticipate spending a lot of time on a luxury water craft, you'll need some skills. We're not talking about learning the difference between port and starboard. You've got to look the part, and yacht outfits are a big part of that. We don't mean pretending to fit in to impress people. But there are some style rules that are still socially enforced aboard many private yachts.

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Credit: Flickr, King Mann


What You Will Need to Follow This Tutorial

Even if you were born with an innate sense of style, you might need some help with yacht outfits. We've come up with a few things you've got to keep in mind if you're going to do it right.

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  • An idea of the dos and don'ts. Like any dress code, you'll need a firm grasp of what's expected -- and what's off limits. Don't worry, we'll help with this below with our own tips.
  • A second (or third) opinion. If yacht outfits are new to you, we don't recommend going alone. Before your first boat party, why not show off your new clothes to some friends?
  • An invitation examination. If you're not the one planning the party, make sure you know what type of event it is. There are a few distinct types of boat gatherings, each with their own standards.

How to Pick Out the Right Yacht Outfits for Any Occasion

If you need a hand putting together the right yacht outfits, you're not alone. But after a few simple steps, you should be confident enough for any boat outing. We've taken a look at the current state of fashion trends to offer our advice. Once you learn the basics you will probably be anticipating your next boat party invite! 

1. Clean out the closet

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More important than deciding what to wear is ruling stuff out. You might be able to figure some out on your own and we'll get into details a little later. But go ahead and toss aside anything that doesn't make you look neat and tidy. We don't want you to dress to the nines necessarily. But you've got to show up in something that wouldn't be more at home in a fitness club. 

There are a few basic rules to keep in mind that will suit you well in almost any yacht party. Stay away from denim and shorts no matter the fabric. Basically, anything that shows off too much skin (unless its a swimsuit party) is a no-no. Similarly, T-shirts or tank tops are probably off limits, as are flip flop sandals. And you're probably not likely to find many sneakers, so leave those at home.

On the other end of the spectrum, we caution against going for the look of typical yacht outfits. By this, we mean the overly styled sweater or even a hat mimicking the ship's captain. These are quaint throwbacks to the fashion, but we think they're better off kept off of actual boats. You might end up looking more like you don't belong than a natural.

2. Determine what works for your style

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We always encourage folks to take a big step outside of their fashion comfort zones. But we also recognize that almost everybody has a few favorite styles. So with that in mind, take a quick inventory of your favorite clothes. After you check them out, see if there are any favorite qualities.

Is it the fabric, the cut, the coverage? Whatever it is that makes you feel the most comfortable, keep it in mind. Then, when you're choosing your yacht outfits, you'll have the best information. As long as it fits within the pretty broad dress code, feel free to express yourself!

Men and women have mastered the style for generations. And the funny thing is the standards have remained fairly consistent. Especially where men are concerned, today's expectations are basically the same as in decades past. Of course, things are a bit more relaxed these days. But the basic tenets of style, comfort and a crisp, clean presentation are the primary requirements.

3. Figure out what type of event it is

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Yacht outfits actually fall into a variety of subcategories. Some folks define them as "day" and "night" dress codes. Others separate them into "country club" and "cocktail" attire. However you slice it, you should probably know the difference. Because there are some significant differences between the two. We'll break it down to the basics. But always feel free to inject your own personality and style into the mix.

For a daytime affair, the rules can be a bit more relaxed. In fact, don't be surprised if swimwear is on the table for some events. But keep in mind that there are still some standards. For instance, you might be tempted to throw on a pair of flip flops. Even during a daytime yacht party, this is probably not appropriate. Instead, opt for more traditional boating shoes.

Keep it fairly casual at night, too. But feel free to wear something a bit more snazzy. Still, stop short of formal wear. Your invitation would specify if that were the preferred dress code. If you stick with cocktail wear for men or something more casual, you should be safe.


Learning to select the right yacht outfits can be a tricky task.

If you're planning to attend an event on a yacht, we hope this guide took away some of the pressure. You don't have to get everything right. We just suggest making sure you don't a few key things wrong. As long as you have that covered, just pick yacht outfits that fit your personal style. Make it your own, and share this article with other luxury travelers in your life. While you're at it, leave us a message with any thoughts or questions you have about our guide.

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