Boat and yachting parties can vary from super casual (where bikinis and shorts are acceptable) to prestigious, dressy affairs. When in doubt, always check your invitation or ask the host. You don’t want to show up over or under-dressed for your nautical affair! Weather is also a factor, as well as time of day. Evening trips can be very chilly as the sun goes down, while hot temperatures can affect even the dressiest fete during the day. If in doubt of attire, you can never go wrong with something simple, clean and classic – even for the most casual of boating events! Yachting trips almost always call for nicer attire, even if fun in the sun is planned.
Ladies, you may want to avoid heels as they can be difficult on a boat. Plus, some boat owners may make you take them off, put on slippers they provide, or make you go barefoot once on deck. An above-the-knee, lightweight, and flowy dress in silk, chiffon, cotton, or linen with a nice pair of sandals or flats is a good outfit for this type of event. Linen, seersucker, or cotton pants or shorts are also fitting. Keep jewelry to a minimum. You can’t go wrong with nautical prints and colors such as red, white, navy blue, or yellow. Don’t "go overboard" with the theme! Overall, boating events are relatively classy, even if casual, so avoid anything overly sexy. If the occasion calls for swimwear, simply top your suit with a pretty tunic or sun dress and flat sandals.
Men, for a casual party, colored shorts with a polo shirt or solid, basic tee, belt ,and a pair of boat shoes or canvas slip on is generally acceptable. Some evening parties may require slightly dressier fare. A blazer with a button up or polo shirt should do the trick. You may be required to remove your shoes, so consider your sock color, or just go without. If weather allows, a nice, thin, knit cashmere or cardigan sweater can be a perfect alternative to a blazer.
Hats are generally acceptable, but again, the style depends on venue and time of day. A straw hat can be a great topper for a dress and sandals for ladies, or with a polo and slacks for men. It tends to cool off at night by the sea, so be prepared with a light cover up. Designers make many of these items with ¾ sleeves, so you can chase chill without being too warm. Stripes are a must wear when on a boat! Don’t forget SPF if you’ll be at a day party. The sun tends to be very hot and reflective on the water.