Nautical fashion: classic brands every yacht owner should know

Published 02 October 2023

What to wear, or rather what not to wear, when yachting can be as tricky to navigate as the oceans themselves. When in doubt, finding a few wardrobe staples from iconic yachting brands that cater for avid sailors as much as yachtie sunbathers will have you casting off into fair winds and following seas faster than you can give your landlubber suitcase the old heave-ho! 

Helly Hansen

The 140-year-old Norwegian Helly Hansen brand is renowned among the sailing elite for its yacht-friendly clothing, and for good reason. The functional and utilitarian gear is designed for sailors, by sailors, and even categorises its clothing by sailing type – offshore, coastal, inshore and dinghy.  

Helly Hansen's oilskin sailing jacket is resistant to the weather and allows you to move freely when at sea

Its cachet comes from being an authentic and practical workwear brandlargely thanks to its founder, captain Helly Juell Hansen, who began to produce his own oilskin jackets, trousers and sou’wester hats to keep warm and dry on the Norwegian Sea. A stint in the 90s saw the brand temporarily gain popularity as streetwear, but today, the HH logo is largely observed at sea (or on the slopes) and gives sailing professionals and amateurs alike the chance to battle the harshest and most unpredictable of elements in comfort and style. 


Sometimes, it takes experience at the helm to know what works best. Musto’s founder, Keith Musto, was a seasoned professional sailor who took part in the 1964 Tokyo Olympics as part of the British sailing squad before he went on to give his name to one of the best sailing clothes brands in the industry. 

Keep dry and warm come rain or wind with a Musto Gore-Tex jacket

His frustration with the GB team’s apparel (Guernsey sweaters and flannel trousersdrove him to design a range of fashionable, practical and comfortable clothing for all sailors, and Musto was born. Together with W. L. Gore, he later developed a technical fabric that was both breathable and waterproof, which they named Gore-Tex, and which remains the gold standard for waterproof clothing technologies to this day. 


If ever there was an informal yachting uniform, the ubiquitous boat shoe spotted on any self-respecting dock would be top of the list. For more than 80 years, Sperry’s hand-crafted footwear has transcended gender and age to deliver both comfort and durability in a casual setting.  

Sperry boat shoes standout of the crowd due to the patterned Wave-Siping technology soles

The popular footwear was invented in 1935 by American sailor Paul Sperry, who noticed his dog's ability to run easily over ice without slipping. He cut siping (thin slits) into the rubber soles of his shoes to improve traction in wet or icy conditions, and a product perfect for boating was born. When he was inundated by requests from fellow sailors, including every single member of the Cruising Club of America, he founded his eponymous companySperry Top-Sider. 

Henri Lloyd

Celebrating 60 years in 2023, Henri Lloyd yacht clothes are the ultimate representation of foul weather gear turned global icon. Henri Strzelecki, who was universally known as “Mr Henri”, teamed up with financier Angus Lloyd to revolutionise waterproof clothing. Henri’s idea was to take “Bri-nylon”, a new lightweight fabric of the 1960’sto create durable, flexible clothing for sailors and mountaineers 

 Eco-friendly and 100 percent waterproof Henri Lloyd jacket to date, made with recycled DRI-PRO Pro face fabric

It was the first range of clothing to be fitted with a durable tape to create waterproof seams and remains a replicated benchmark to this day. Henri-Lloyd also pioneered the use of Velcro on clothing, the first non-corrosive zip, and integrated harnesses and buoyancy within jackets. Global ambassadors, from Sir Robin Knox-Johnston and Dennis Connor to Sir Ben Ainslie have worn the brand like a badge of honour, not to mention every self-respecting fashionista. 


From high-performance sailing boots, trainers and deck shoes with amazing grip to sailing jackets, fleeces, polos and shorts full of technical features and style, Dubarry is a stalwart of sailing attire. Rooted in Irish craftsmanship and Galway’s great sailing heritage yet named after a beautiful French courtesan and mistress of Louis XV, Madame du Barry, to give the brand continental appeal, Dubarry first found favour in the manufacture of its leather moccasin deck shoe 

Dubarry boots are luxuriously comfortable and resolutely functional, providing you with excellent traction on slick decks and complete freedom of movement

In the 1990s, the performance footwear brand obtained a Gore-Tex licence and launched the world’s first ever waterproof and breathable leather sailing boot called Shamrock. Now revered as a universal country clothing brand, it remains a strong staple on the sailing scene. 


Nautica’s ocean sailing clothing may be more activewear than foul weather, but for 40 years the global brand has produced elegant knitwear and shorts that perfectly reflect the nautical chic aesthetic. Founded by American designer David Chu in 1983, it cemented its reputation among the yachting elite a decade later when it became the official brand of the US Sailing Team in the 1993 Olympic Games 

Nautica's Sustainably Crafted collection sees the brand utilising responsibly-sourced fabrics derived from wood pulp and other organic materials 

Today, the brand’s vision focuses on spotlighting change makers, and in 2020 it launched its Sustainably Crafted, collection of environmentally conscious styles designed with a bluer world in mind. 

Discover more owner’s delights onboard a superyacht charter with Burgess. Enquire now.

To find out more about Burgess’ yachts for sale and yachts for charter, please contact a Burgess broker. Alternatively, get in touch with one of our offices directly: London, Monaco, New York, Miami, Singapore or all other locations.

- Yachts, prices and availability are correct at the time of publication.

Sign up to our newsletter

Stay in the loop

Subscribe to our newsletter to keep updated with all things Burgess.

What would you like emails about?

In order to understand how we use and protect your personal information, please read our privacy policy.

Language: en fr

Filter your results