With Chanel, Chloé, Marc Jacobs and Louis Vuitton showcasing classic nautical styles in their 2010 resort collections and a sea of spring runway looks from the likes of Tommy Hilfiger, Jean Paul Gaultier and DKNY featuring the trend, it's time to anchor your wardrobe with stripes, buttons and all things sailor chic.
But how do you wear these styles without looking like you're actually in the Navy?
"It's about choosing one item as the main statement for the look," celebrity stylist Britt Bardo (Jennifer Lopez, Cameron Diaz, Kate Hudson) tells StyleList. "You don't want to wear a top and bottom that scream nautical. It then becomes overkill and doesn't look effortless, and will look too much like a uniform."
"Work a few pieces into your wardrobe subtly in order to keep this look from becoming costumey," agrees Jeannie Mai, host of "How Do I Look?" on The Style Network. "No need to overdo it with colors, stripes, Dockers and anchor earrings."
Here are more tips on how to shape up the nautical look:
Beyond the striped shirt:
- Bardo suggests trying a jacket or blazer with gold metal buttons, blue and white striped shoes, a striped blazer paired with navy skirt or white shorts, a gold necklace with an anchor charm or striped belts as new ways to incorporate nautical pieces into your style routine.
- "The great thing about this fashion trend is its ability to be styled multiple ways," she says. "Pair classic navy and white stripes with red or yellow accessories for a twist."
- Karolyn Wangstad, vice president of trend direction for JCPenney, says to consider classics: walking shorts, jean jackets in white or indigo, oxford shirts, polo knits, wide-leg pants and even white cotton and eyelet. "Eyelet always goes with the seashore," she says.
- "Be mindful of where you place them," Bardo says. "If you have a small chest, wearing a striped shirt can give you the appearance of a larger bust; conversely stripes worn across larger hips will only make them appear wider."
- Mai says in fashion, everything can be done in moderation. "Balance a striped top with a solid cardigan or wrap, and make sure to still show off your natural figure by using a belt or shrug to show off your silhouette around those stripes," she says.
- Wangstad says the key for curvier women is to avoid stripes that pull across the chest or the hip. "Choose a stripe in a woven or knit that is fluid and softly skims the body," she says. "This season, many looks show the stripe layered under a navy blazer or a more casual jean jacket or shirt. By layering the stripe, the look is trend relevant with a hint of the stripe peaking out from beneath the blazer."
- "A brown leather belt with a striped dress gives it a bit of an earthy organic feel," Bardo says. "And I love big chunky gold jewelry with the nautical look."
- Mai says rope accents are a fun and unique way to cinch in a waist or belt an over-sized shirt. "Navy and white stripes (paired) with a solid color of anything but white conveys originality," she says. "And don't forget hats. Have you seen yourself in a cute bucket hat tilted back with a low, side pony?"
- Also, behold the button. "It's so inexpensive to add your own unique buttons to any pea coat, skirt or even along a crisp button-up shirt," Mai says. "You can find fun sailor-inspired buttons anywhere at a craft store, and can switch your favorite pieces up for the seasons."
Looking for more spring trend ideas? Here are tips on how to wear the denim on denim look.