Hello Sailor

15 May 2014
POSTED BY Y Magazine

Stripes are back for Summer. Choose nautical patterns, or play with florals and tribal prints, says Penny Fray

For blokes who sensibly acknowledge that this season’s obsession with white is only right if you have a chauffeur, no kids and a serious dose of OCD – try the sailor trend instead.

Sassy stripes and maritime touches are currently all over the high street. But because the print never really goes away, it’s important to attempt a fresh take on a classic look. That’s why we particularly love Zara’s focus on leather panelling and funky slogans, while both Matalan and M&S continue on a preppier route with chino shorts, boating shoes and striped sweaters. 

Of course, investing in a staple Breton-style striped top makes sense. Not only is it timelessly stylish, it also travels well because it transcends both location and season, working in any city from Dubai to London. If you hate the full-on sailor look though, try subtle perforations and top-half stripes for a more modern feel.

Want to be more fashion forward? We hear you. The cooler way to wear stripes this summer is to go bold. The horizontal patterns at both Moschino and Miharayasuhiro were seriously wide – but it was the bigger block lines on suiting, as seen in Valentino, that really got us excited. They made a statement without looking too corporate or stuffy. 

An alternative take on the stripe is to mix it with florals, flames and other visuals. The vivid patterns used within the stripes at Moschino, for instance, included stars, flowers, waves crashing out at sea and desert dunes. 

Too much? Don’t worry. You can always infuse the print on ties, socks, scarves and knits. The ultimate accessory stripe though is on your espadrilles. 


Make a sartorial statement with this yellow blazer from the online retailer ASOS. It auto lifts the classic sailor look. RO42


Build crisp, clean, warm weather looks with Incotex slim-fit white shorts. Tailored from a comfortable stretch-cotton blend, they lend a classic feel to almost any outfit. Embrace a full-on vacation vibe and pair yours with a Breton top with a twist. From RO123


This slogan vest is totally on trend. From RO9 at Zara.


You can always rely on Zara for cool, classic basics with a quirky twist. Designed in a muted black-and-white stripe motif, this T-Shirt is finished with faux leather. Slot yours into your casual wardrobe – it’ll work with everything from relaxed suiting to chinos. From RO13


Heritage company Castañer is world-renowned for exceptionally crafted espadrilles and this pair is a dapper example. The bold matt stripes embolden the classic lightweight canvas design, which features jute and rubber soles for grip and comfort. RO45


Jacopo Etro, the creative director at the family-run label, spends a lot of time in Mexico and the influence shows through in the pattern of this lightweight scarf. Printed in incredibly deep, rich colours against a neutral cream background, this piece will lift a favourite blazer and T-Shirt combination to a stylish new level. The pure linen is incredibly soft – ideal for luxuriating in on warm evenings. RO117 from Net-A-Porter.

Stylish Stripes

Penny offers three rules to getting it right this season:

  1. Who says you have to be slim to wear horizontal stripes? The current craze for nautical stripes puts this unnecessary rule to bed. Paired with shorts and a blazer, this look is irresistible.
  2. Feel free to mix prints and patterns. Of course, plaid, stripes, polka and paisley may be a bit too much for most mortals existing outside fashion’s garish galaxy, but usually a strategic and subtle combination of prints will look uber cool.
  3. Don’t forget about vertical stripes – they create an illusion of length. 

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