Yacht Rock Outfits 101
Whether you just discovered the art of smooth or been digging smooth soft rock for a while now, the subject of Yacht Rock Outfits is on your mind. Let me just say, for those about to dock, we salute you. There is an unmistakable moment when Yacht Rock is revealed to you. For me, it happened at a fancy industry party in LA. This fab girl came up and mic dropped it so smoothly to my then 80’s band, Neon Nation, saying “you guys play any yacht rock”? Holy crap, I pretty much spit out my drink and fell to the floor wondering what I was in for.
“You walked in to the party, like you were walking onto a yacht.”
The rest is history and I’m now well into almost 4 years of playing keyboards in a nationally successful yacht rock band, Yachty by Nature. No doubt, I’m living that dream and it goes without saying, I’m deep in the yacht myself. With weekly yacht party after monthly yacht wedding and more, I’m becoming a Yacht Attire expert in thought and practice and already guiding the band and others in this area of fashion.
Truly, if you get the clothing right, enough people with that common goal, just add yacht music and the fun ensues. Truth be told, I’ve watched as a room full of punk rockers that committed to the groovy, eclectic yacht rock dress code transformed like you wouldn’t believe. They turned a simple celebration with a yacht rock band into a full scale 1978 throwback LOVE FEST and the clothes were off the hook. The energy, the vibe, the clothes, the music became something so magical all its own. Build the yacht and they will sail to it.
So, next time you are having a yacht party or watching your favorite yacht rock band indulge yourself with an epic outfit that will make all it happen. It’s not just the music, the band, the vibe, the look, the energy. It’s the sum of its parts and those smooth outfits have the mighty power to transfix your situation.
The Captain’s Hat…
Yep, you guessed it, the fastest coronation to yacht rock royalty is the Captain’s Hat. Buy one, make one, bedazzle one or borrow one. In fact, the sky is the limit here so let your creativity reign if you are gonna go for it. But, just get one somehow, some way and you are on the yacht. In fact, Broner makes a very comfortable, quality, straightforward and good looking hat that fits well. Additionally, it avoids the cheap fit and look of those basic hats on Amazon. Do yourself a favor, get a hat or dig deep in the vault and find a classic, vintage, or authentic captain’s hat online. Additionally, we’ve seen some pretty cool and unique creations out there, but for simplicity, fit, and value, Broner is the answer. Lastly, remember what Hefner did for the captains hat!
Yacht Rock Stripes get it done…
No matter what color, stripes will be the 2nd easiest way to begin your yacht fashion transformation. Put on a red and white striped shirt (or blue or black mainly) and you’ll be sailing in no time. In fact, stripes are probably the #1 most sighted outfit at a yacht rock party. Just know that it’s only the start. When you accessorize over the stripes with a complementary pant color or scarf, ascot, belt, and obviously the captain’s hat or more, you’ve earned your captain’s bars quicker than you can say Ship Shape! Don’t forget to keep it simple, too much or conflicting stripes will sink that ship just as fast.
That 70’s look…
Due to the strong connection between the silly, the goofy, the fun and the yacht party, going retro will set a course for adventure. Call it the Ron Burgundy effect or just throwing back to the 1977 duds they wore on Midnight Special, this look is uber sexy and may attract the opposite sex faster than any other yacht look. In fact, you don’t have to look too far to find polyester or denim clad jean meat at many yacht rock concerts. Additionally, the fake mustache works wonders whether you go 70’s vintage or any different yachty outfit. More importantly, get bonus points on your yacht rock outfits if you can get the feathered hair going! Polyester, print shirts, and for the ladies, buy that disco dress and some fabulous glasses and you’re ready to yacht!
The Yacht Club, Tennis Club, Golf Club…
Think Caddyshack, Marina del Rey, golfing, the harbor, and tennis. Moreso, put a tennis sweater over that polo or even better go up the ladder and put on that navy blue blazer with an ascot and some yellow glasses. Actually, that’s the calling card for us in Yachty by Nature! Pretend that you’re christening the Flying Wasp or dropping anchor with Rodney Dangerfield in Caddyshack and you’ll be flying indeed. Or even better, watch Caddyshack to get in the mood for your party and let inspiration take hold…and even a few classic movie lines. In fact, if you look around the golf club or yacht club scenes, your creativity is sparked immediately. The outfits jump right off the screen and wreak of Yacht Club greatness. Speaking of movies, we’ve even seen a die hard Yachty arrive in the Goldie Hawn outfit from the movie Overboard. Keep your yacht rock outfits classy San Diaaaaaago!
Go Hawaiian on your Yacht Rock outfits…
One of the easier ways to get Yachty quickly, hawaiian shirts and vibe will dial in your yacht costume. Furthermore, this look just breathes sailing and fun into your personal vibe. Most importantly, try to avoid too much Tommy Bahama or Jimmy Buffett. That look gets a bit too Trop Rock and Parrot Head which is a different party all together. Thus, choose that hawaiian shirt very carefully and make sure it is fun first and old fogie last. As such, a Costco shirt just ain’t gonna work. To keep the yacht party cruising, it’s got to be fun, eclectic, and coordinate with your entire ensemble. For this look, the thrift store is a near must but the world is getting more yachty and you might even find a treasure at the mall. Lastly, make it fun not frumpy. In fact, this is where we intersect with the Tiki world quite nicely. When we’ve played at Tiki Caliente, they are bringing their A game to the Yacht and Tiki Party combined! Make sure your Hawaiian shirt game is strong!
Get Nauti !
Lastly, this category is a catch all for everything nautical, yachty, and seaworthy. Use your imagination or stick to the basics. You can don the captain’s outfit with shoulder bars easily for the Love Boat vibe. Or, you can just look like Charlie’s Angels coming off a yacht in 1978. Literally any type of ocean, beach, seaside, or otherwise yachty type of clothing will do. The scarf around the neck, the boat shorts and the Nantucket red pants and plaid shirt all qualify as supremely yachty fashion. When in doubt, check yourself by asking, “would I wear this outfit in the summer in Nantucket or Martha’s Vineyard?” Most importantly, if the answer is yes, you are yacht rock camera ready. In fact, let’s not forget the boat shoes, deck shoes, or Sperry Top Siders all together.
Never forget that there’s really no authority on this subject so you can always just go for it. Sometimes, the more uniform, standard, and strict we get on the yacht, the more mundane we become. Therefore, don’t be afraid to dive into the vanity t-shirt, go stripes and ascot, and generally mix it up. There are no hard and fast rules behind the Yacht Rock outfit, just your creativity and passion for the music. From experience, we’ll go captain’s outfit one day and crazy boat shirt the next. Ultimately, we’ve seen it all from the stage and relish the moments when people go wild with it. In fact, there’s probably even a yacht rock adjacent area for the Pirate Party as well. Captain Crunch sightings aside, those parties can really bring together the nauti, yachty, knotty by nature and then some. In the end, go for it and see what happens. It’s all fun and games until someone loses an eyepatch. Honestly, it’s all about the fun so get Kraken!!!
As always, let the vibe be your guide. Thus, for your next yacht rock themed party, concert, or just a Yachty night on the town, get your ensemble going. Whether you are new to the yacht or an old deck hand, that outfit will crank up the experience. So, commit to making that statement with your yacht clothing or up your game and improve on the garb you already have. As we well know, you can never have enough options to mix it up for a fun night with Yachty by Nature or some other occasion.
Happy to be your guide here. Feel free to comment and add some great ideas on this post or on social media. #yachtrock #yachtrockoutfits #yachtybynature #yachtattire #yachtrockfashion
Thanks for giving props to Tiki Caliente! I would like to point out that the most proper Hawaiian shirt to wear to a Yacht Rock concert is one that would have been for sale between 1978 and 1983! Think to yourself, would Magnum PI or Pablo Cruise wear this? And if so, bring it on! Most Magnum PI kind of Hawaiian shirts go great with a white jacket and white shorts. Vintage late ‘70s and early ‘80’s Hawaiian shirts can be found Online in Etsy yacht rock shops, and on eBay. Not expensive, and so ”vintage smooth”. Look like a pro, and be “era appropriate”. Girls can find vintage 70’s nautical dresses on Etsy, too!
THIS is everything!!! I love it Carl!!!
Ahoy Jenny! THanks so much for the kind compliment 🙂 As you know, we’re super inspired and love switching up the outfits, attire, clothing, and costumes. Yacht Rock rules!
Awesome show this past weekend at Circa Caliente glad the rain stopped so the show could go on.