Fashion first fell in love with the sea in 1846, when Queen Victoria dressed her four-year-old son, the Prince of Wales, Albert Edward, in a sailor suit to wear aboard the Royal Yacht in Franz Xaver Winterhalter’s1847 oil painting.
The look became de rigueur for children and no well-dressed swimmer would have stepped into the waves without a smart, navy and white-striped, neck-to-knee costume. Not to be out done by the kids, men’s fashion picked up on the trend and in the 1930′s stripes became the inspirations of designer. The French stripes, also known as Breton stripes, were combined with a modernized style to create something classic yet contemporary. Women’s fashion however, wasn’t introduced to the stripes until French Fashion pioneer, Coco Chanel.
Chanel, was motivated by the stripes “graphic sensibility” and their minimal take. It was a famous photo of Chanel at a French resort wearing a striped sailor top and khakis that started the Nautical fashion craze. Ever since, the nautical look has been as regular as the tides. Different decades have embraced various aspects of the maritime trend. In the 1970s Vivienne Westwood rose to fame with a pirate-influenced collection, and in the 1980s John Galliano made his most significant mark on fashion by making the Marine striped shirt a preppy staple.
No matter what direction you chose to take the nautical trend, it is a worthy investment. The maritime style has stood the test of time as a classic, and fashionable look.
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