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Yacht chic dress code

May 23, 2022

Yachting may get a bad rep sometimes- we blame the oligarchs-but going sailing is truly a beautiful adventure. Life seems much better on a boat and a day or two away from the land tends to put things in perspective.

Dressing the part and looking your best is important- but first you need to know what activity is being planned for the day. Is it going to be a leisurely sail along the coast followed by long lunch and maybe a swim? Or perhaps a little bit sportier day with an excursion into the open sea?  Or maybe it's an invitation for a dnner and cocktails in the evening?

Worry not- we've got you covered for every eventuality.

When you're invited for a day on the water, ask your host what is being planned for the day, then think about how your hosts dresses. Is she chic and elegant or on the casual side? You don't want to turn up to an elegant dinner in t-shirt and denim cut-offs.

A leisurely day on the waves

You would usually sail along the coast and anchor at a lovely spot to swim and sunbathe. You may eat lunch on the boat or perhaps go ashore and grab a beachside table at a place your host knows.

You'll need a chic bathing suit and a caftan (choose linen or cotton) or even a skirt if your bathing suit is a one-piece. You'll want to wear a caftan or skirt at lunchtime. If you eat in a restaurant, a cover-up is a must.  

Don't forget to bring a hat- a chic Panama or a bucket hat, depending on what your style is. When you're on the water the sun beats down mercilessly and you'll want to protect your head and face.

Slides or flat sandals are great but make sure they have a non-slip, non-marking sole (you don't want to mark the deck with your shoes.)  If in doubt, you can always take them off and go barefoot.

Sporty sailing

If you host plans on an active day on the water, you must prepare for it. Sailing is exhilarating and exciting but it won't be fun if you're cold.

Wear a cotton or linen button-down shirt and a pair of navy shorts. If shirts are not your cup of tea, try a polo t-shirt. Keep the colour palette classic and timeless.

It may get chilly in the open sea so bring a windbreaker and a light jumper. Wear close toe shoes- make sure they are non-slip, non-marking (no black soles) variety.  Classic deck shoes always look elegant or you may want to go for saling trainers. Companies such as Dubarry of Ireland or Wuzzos make stylish performance shoes.

Don't forget a hair tie to keep the hair out of your face!

Dinner & cocktails on the yacht

If you're invited for a dinner on the yacht docked in the marina, your invitation will often specify a dress code.

If it doesn't, go for a dress and keep things simple. Whatever you do, do not wear heels.  Opt for a pair of dressy flats and don't over-accessorise. You want to keep things breezy and light.


  1. ​Wear plenty of SPF.  Sun is at its most powerful in the sea and if there's a breeze you won't feel your skin burning. But you will burn-in double time.
  2. Bring a hat to protect your head from sunstroke
  3. Wear a lifejacket if you're going to sail in an open sea. You can take it off when you anchor for lunch


  1. ​Wear scarves or anything floaty that could get caught in the winches
  2. Bring a suitcase if you're staying overnight. Unless it's a superyacht, there's no room for one in the cabins. Bring a soft overnight bag instead.
  3. Wear heels or other shoes that could mark wooden decks.

Most importantly- have fun and make wonderful memories!

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