Here’s How You Can Attend a Boat Party in Style

people at a boat party
What to Wear to a Boat Party - PHOTO CREDIT: Ibiza-Spotlight

With Spring just round the corner, the season for boat parties is almost here. Whether you’re going on a sunny break or cruising down the Thames, the question remains the same – What should you be wearing to a boat party?

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Boat parties used to be only for the rich and famous. But now they’re getting more popular. From party holidays in Ibiza to private celebrations, even if you’re stuck in England for the summer you can go on a Disco Cruise on the Thames. You can rent out your own boat for a party – like your own exclusive festival on a boat.

Nautical fashion always makes a comeback a soon as the sun starts shining. But there are so many more things to think about when dressing for a boat party – smart, casual, sunshine, rain, cruiser, yacht. Once you’re out on that boat there’s no chance of an outfit change.


Stripes are the first thing that comes to mind when thinking of nautical fashion. But they can be easy to get wrong. To keep it simple it’s best to choose one striped piece of clothing for your outfit. Basically, if your shorts are striped you shouldn’t be wearing a striped shirt as well. You don’t want to overdo it.

Navy blue and white are on trend and a good choice for a smart look. Although vertical stripes are supposed to be more slimming, a long-sleeved t-shirt can make horizontal stripes look smart and stylish. Worn with navy trousers, you could get away with wearing these striped shoes as well because there’s a block of colour in between.

striped clothing to wear to a boat party
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Suited Up

If you’re the guy who can usually be seen wearing a suit at all events it’s easy to alter your look for a boat party. First of all you may want to lose the tie and possibly the blazer too. They’re the last thing you want to be wearing on a hot summer’s day. If you want to wear a shirt, choose a light material like linen or cotton. Undo the top couple of buttons for a more casual look and get those sleeves rolled up.

You don’t have to wear trousers but if you do prefer them, try a pair of navy chinos, rolled up slightly to give yourself that sailor look. Alternatively, a pair of well-tailored shorts can still look just as smart. Then finish it off with a classic navy blue and gold watch.

smart casual boat party outfit
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Going Casual

If you’d prefer to go more casual for your boat party, wear a t-shirt and a pair of chino shorts. Avoid bright, garish patterns like the dreaded Hawaiian shirt and instead go for a more tasteful look like this deck print. Pair it with a plain t-shirt and a leather cuff to complete the look.

casual boat party outfit grid
SHOP: The Idle Man – T-Shirts | Chinos | Leather Cuff

If you really do love those Hawaiian shirts, try one in a more subtle colour. This shirt’s darker background and faded pattern makes it more wearable. A light pair of jeans or chinos fit well with this casual look. Just don’t add any more patterns to this outfit. Or you will end up looking like one of those embarrassing dads at the beach.

levis hawaiian print short sleeve shirt
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Nautical Knits

If your boat party is more of a trip down the Thames than a sunny Caribbean cruise you need to think about keeping warm as well as looking good. With the unpredictable British weather it could get a bit chilly out on the water.

This jumper from The Idle Man can be worn over your casual or smart look. The simple waffle pattern means it will go with pretty much any outfit you’ve chosen. Go for greys, cream or navy to stick with the nautical theme. Then add a dark grey scarf to keep you snug if the wind picks up.

the idle man waffle knit jumper
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Boat Shoes

Whether you decide to go smart or casual, you can’t go wrong with a boat shoe. What else would you wear on a boat? These classic shoes not only look good with anything – smart trousers or jeans – they’re also practical. The rubber bottoms mean you won’t have any embarrassing slips. A dark coloured shoe will complement most outfits. For more ideas check out how to wear boat shoes.

timberland boat shoes grid
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The sockless look works great at boat party. It also means you don’t have to worry about socks that don’t match the rest of your outfit. If you want to avoid the uncomfortable feeling that comes with wearing no socks you may want to invest in some invisible socks. Women have been using this secret for years. So you can have the great sock-less look without worrying about sweaty feet or your shoes rubbing.


Your boat party outfit won’t be complete without a good pair of sunglasses. The classic Wayfarer shape is always a good choice for most as it will work for a smart or casual look. Aviators are also a popular choice. Not everyone can pull these off though so it is best to try them on first.

ray ban sunglasses grid
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There are some more unusual shapes to choose from if you want to stand out. But a bad pair of sunglasses can ruin your whole look, so choose wisely. Try different shapes, sizes and colours to find which suits you best. Also, if you’re using your sunglasses as a stand out accessory you will probably want to mute down the rest of your outfit or you may end up standing out for all the wrong reasons.

These sunglasses would complement the jumper shown earlier with a navy pair of shorts or chinos.

jeepers peepers green sunglasses
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