Friday, July 3, 2009

talk nautical to me baby

The effortless style of sailors is one that is emulated and interpreted often in fashion. Just yesterday, I was shopping in a store in my hometown and a salesgirl squealed, "ohmigosh, you look like a sailor! so cute, that is SO in right now." Of course I smiled politely, but inside I wasn't quite sure how to react... truth be told, the pristine blue-and-white striped dress I was wearing would never, ever see the deck of my sailboat. When I go sailing and I even bother to wear anything but a bathing suit, I usually don an old button down (9 time out of 10 stolen from my dad) a pair of old jean shorts, and a belt to keep them from falling down. Always accompanying the attire are my shitty old Sperry Topsiders, purchased circa freshman year of high school, Raybans because they don't fall off my head, and occasionally a baseball hat to keep my curls under wraps. The look isn't particularly glamourous, but it holds a certain comfort to me and is without a doubt the most practical option when you are rigging lines, tying knots, and trying to keep your boat sailing forwards. So the current obsession with "looking like a sailor" and looking "nautical," is interesting to me, because I see how the concept has been somewhat perverted. To me, the picture of Jackie O and JFK above hits 'nautical' on the head perfectly. Everything they wear is loose, they have on light colored shirts to stay cool, and are covered up. Most importantly, they have the genuine smiles that can only be from hitting the perfect beam reach with the wind in your hair and the water racing by your side, which no doubt cannot be purchased from the Urban Outfitter catalogue. Additionally, I would like to add most nautical people I know are 50 year old men who can recite alpha code off the top of their heads, and who wear old t-shirts from regattas back in their day. I feel it is also safe to say that most of these men would not be caught dead in a striped shirt (unless it was a polo bought by their wives for a very, very special occasion). And even then, I don't think they would go so far as to say they looked like sailors. I think they would probably grumble and complain about being on land and how their wives forced them to change into these new clothes, and how they would much, much rather be in their tee-shirts and shitty old button downs, setting forth to that horizon. To really look like a sailor, you need a daily dose of sea salt, a vocabulary that would make your mama blush, and an unquenchable thirst for adventure...


first time i flew a spinnaker in a scot circa 2005. notice the bruises, weird tan lines, sunburn, and pure joy... oh, the realities of being a sailor!


from summer camp, our "middies" were mandatory every sunday and when we went out in public...THOSE are sailing outfits right there haha

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