Summer is the best time of year to dress with an ode to the water. Whether you live near the ocean, lakes, or are just a fan, it’s a fun style to incorporate into these hotter months. I have always enjoyed adding a little extra nautical flair to my summer wardrobe, but I have learned a lot through trial and error. Looking back there have many times I’ve gone way overboard (no pun intended) with the style, and now I like to add it in a little more subtly. As always, sometimes I throw out all the rules and go all out because life is too short. 🙂 See my tips below:
Color Palette: Adding a bit of nautical style to your everyday look has a lot to do with the color palette you use. You’ll see mainly primary colors (red, blue, yellow), white, and navy, but you’ll rarely see pink, purple, etc. This is a very classic approach to the style and can be done so pretty easily. I think a fool proof outfit without being too much is to start with navy and white with just a pop of one other color. The outfit above I kept to navy, white, and some brown leather detail, but I also have some red on the silk scarf. The striped shirt, gold buttons on the blazer, and boat shoes are all a nod to nautical style without screaming it.
Dress around one main piece: For this look, I wanted to showcase the striped dress (c/o L.L. Bean and on SALE right now) and accessorized around it. I still kept some nautical details, like the rope belt, but if I weren’t on a boat I would have swapped out boat shoes for leather wedges. I try to keep accessories simple because you can easily find a LOT of nautical style accessories and be tempted to wear them all at once. Stripes are always a great way to add in the nautical element but can be worn all year round.
Go old school: I have an affinity towards old school style nautical items, like the print on this dress, or 80’s/90’s Ralph Lauren nautical items that are loud and fun. (I’ve always wanted this Ralph Lauren dress and found it last summer on Poshmark for only $25!) I try to keep the rest of the outfit more subtle, like the rope bracelet and belt, but overall the print makes it a bolder choice and perfect for summer by the water.
Pattern mixing is a great way to maximize what you already have in your closet by putting things together you haven’t combined before. You’ll also look like a pro and that you know what you’re doing since pattern mixing is daunting for some! Now that we are mid-summer, I like to throw in some stripes with other patterns to mix things up and wear what I have in new ways. Below are my tips on how to do so seamlessly.
- Stripes are your friend. I think a easy way to start with pattern mixing is to use some striped pieces. I am not bold enough to wear stripes with stripes since it can often be too busy, but pairing it with another item that has a larger or more spaced out pattern works great. For this outfit, I would avoid doing a smaller, tiny pattern since the stripes on this skirt are already close together.
2. Mix texture with pattern. I think an interesting way to switch up your wardrobe is taking a patterned item, like this skirt, and pairing it with a coordinating item that has the same color palette but a different texture. This tank has a very subtle eyelet pattern that looks great when worn with the striped skirt. Find some clothing in your closet that has a textured pattern to it and try it with a bolder pattern for a eye-catching look.
3. Have some fun. It’s easy to take a patterned piece, like these seersucker shorts, and go the easy route of wearing a solid color with it. It’s not wrong to do so, and is a refreshing look, but pairing it with this lobster motif makes the outfit pop a little more. Sometimes items like these shorts keep me stuck in repeating the same pieces with it, but with pattern mixing I can open up to more outfit choices. Something busy like the shorts looks great with something a little less busy to balance it out.
Keep in mind that style means something different to everyone and these are only my opinions. My main focus when creating an outfit is to look put-together, so I gravitate towards more conservative approach to pattern mixing that relies on subtlety rather than loud/bold.
Want more pattern mixing inspiration? Check out @respecttheshoes on Instagram – she is my favorite girl for pattern mixing. She keeps it fun and everything always looks well thought out.
dress – c/o blithe nyc / handbag – dooney & bourke / sandals – jack rogers
I’m so excited for 4th of July weekend! It’s one of my favorite holidays and a great excuse to wear more red, white, and blue. I wear so much of our nation’s colors that our dryer lint is purple… This weekend Joe and I plan to go to Traverse City, Michigan with friends. Traverse City is at the very top of the lower peninsula and has gorgeous clear blue water. I’m looking forward to relaxing, boating, visiting lighthouses, and spending time with friends.
I might have found one of my favorite summer dresses! It checks all the boxes for me – great fit, blue, and gingham. It’s not your typical gingham though, it’s more of a hand painted pattern that is so lovely in this shade of blue. I love the collar and tie belt – these little details are what really make this a favorite for years to come.
The cutest part of this dress is they make a smaller version for a little girl. If you have a daughter or a “little friend” it would be darling to get the little version.
Check out the rest of Blithe’s Southern Living Collection. They have another great dress with hydrangeas on it that has a really pretty neckline on it.
Do you have any plans for the 4th of July?
Joe and I recently found a great organic food stand and stopped to get some strawberries. I just received a watch from Welly Merck and was excited to wear it. I’ve always wanted a fabric strap watch and I couldn’t resist the fun stripes for summer.
I thought the red and white stripe would be hard to wear but I find myself reaching for it almost everyday. I keep the rest of my outfit colorful but solid, and tone down any patterns. I love that you can interchange the straps depending on the season or the outfit. I love the gold detail and appreciate the fine craftsmanship of this product.
Welly Merck watches has a really cute story about how it got started that has to do with a couple bringing their expertise together to form the product. I would check out their website and see what they have to offer. If you see something you like, code “ROBIN20” will get you 20%. I highly recommend them!
Do you have a favorite watch brand? I love watches and would love to hear about your go-to watch.
Buckley Dress c/o Duffield Lane / Shoes – Jack Rogers / Bracelet c/o KJP / Purse – Dooney & Bourke
Duffield Lane recently sent me this beautiful white dress for summer and I adore it. White is so fresh for the new season and can be worn to many events over the summer, with the exception of a wedding. 😉
I have worn this brand many times over the years and am always impressed with the style and fit of the item. As I get older, the fit of my clothes becomes more important to me. A poorly fitted item can make even a great outfit look bad if the proportions aren’t right. Duffield Lane always nails the fit and I feel like the item was made for me.
The eyelet detail is darling and I love the neckline of the dress especially. White dresses are very versatile, but I also love the navy/white version as well.
I just got these shoes and was excited to wear them! I have wanted them for a few years but don’t love dropping that much on sandals too often, so when I do get a pair of Jacks I usually don’t buy any other sandals that year. I figure I’d rather have one pair of Jack Rogers than 3-4 cheaper sandals. My first pair is around 3 years old and still look great.
Do you have a go-to white dress? And how do you feel about Jack Rogers? I’d love to hear in the comments!