Attending A Boat Party? Here’s The Dos & Don’ts You Don’t Want To Miss

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If you have no idea what to wear to a boat or yacht party, check out this helpful guide for the best outfit ideas and tips on dress code.

If you tend to vacation around coastal towns, chances are that you will be invited to a boat party one weekend or another. Whether it’s a luxurious yacht soiree, a casual boat gathering, or a glamorous sailing affair, you’re in for a great time. But as you embark on this nautical adventure, one question looms large: What should you wear?

Dressing appropriately for such events requires a delicate balance between comfort, functionality, and, perhaps most importantly, style. With the shimmering sea as your backdrop, you want to look effortlessly chic without trying too hard. To help you navigate your boat or yacht party in style, we have curated this guide on what to wear to a boat or yacht party, ensuring you can make a grand entrance and set sail in style.

Key Factors To Consider

Before we embark on our recommendations about what to wear to a boat or yacht party, let’s discuss some practical key points you have to be aware of.

1. Weather

First and foremost, keep in mind the weather and location. If you’re heading out on a sunny day, opt for lightweight and breathable fabrics that will keep you cool and comfortable. Additionally, consider the possibility of wind – it’s wise to choose outfits that won’t easily get tangled in the breeze, and to take additional layers, like a light jacket, if you think you might get cold.

2. Your Itinerary

Next, take into account the specific activities you’ll be engaging in during the party. If there’s swimming involved, bring or wear appropriate swimwear underneath your outfit.

3. Time Of Day

If you are setting out in the heat of the day, it’s important to opt for breathable materials that will keep you cool in the summer sun. However, if you are setting out in the evening, you have more options.

What Should You Wear To a Boat or Yacht Party?

1. Linen, Cotton And Tencel Dresses

We highly recommend wearing lightweight clothes made from natural fibers like linen, tencel and cotton for your boat or yacht day trip. All of them are highly breathable, allowing air circulation and preventing you from feeling overheated in the sun or during energetic activities onboard.

In addition to this, they have great moisture-wicking properties, which means that any sweat or water on your clothes quickly evaporates, keeping you cool and dry.

While you can opt for any colors you want, light colors are especially popular in the heat of the sun, as well as nautical colors like light blue and navy, which echo the color scheme of open waters around you.

Jacquemus Linen Summer Dress for Boat Party Styling

Linen-Blend Halterneck Mini Dress

At The Outnet

Sky blue short linen dress

Kerrigan Linen Dress

At Reformation

White boat party outfit

Nico Dress

At Revolve

2. Comfortable Flat Shoes

As for footwear, opt for comfortable pair of slides, espadrilles, platform sandals or boat shoes. Flat shoes provide better balance and a more secure grip on the boat’s surface, reducing the risk of slips, especially if you’re setting out in windy conditions.

Moreover, they’re comfortable to wear for extended periods, making them ideal to wear on long boat parties with limited seating.

Gucci Pink Logo Angelina Platform Sandals

Angelina Platform Sandals

At Net-A-Porter

JLO x Revolve Gold Irving Platform Sandals

x REVOLVE Irving Sandals

At Revolve

Gucci Beige Jumbo GG Logo Platform Sandals

Jumbo GG Platform Sandals

At Gucci

3. Wide Leg Pants

Wide-leg pants are our favorite bottoms to wear during the summer, and boat parties are no different.

These elegant pants can be dressed up with elegant tops and a designer party bag for a chic look, or more casually with your favorite bikini top, a crop top or a linen tank top. For ultimate comfort, stick to light colors and breathable materials like tencel, linen and rayon.

Faithfull the Brand White Ottavio Linen Wide-leg Pants
Faithfull The Brand

Ottavio Linen Wide-leg Pants

At Net-A-Porter

SOVERE Lilac Revel Pants

Revel Pants

At Revolve

& Other Stories Natural Linen Wide-cut Trousers
& Other Stories

Linen Wide-Cut Trousers

At & Other Stories

4. Tailored Shorts

Tailored Dolce & Gabbana Printed Baroque Pink Shorts
Get this on Net-A-Porter

Shorts have a habit of seeming a bit casual but they are perfect for boat-party evenings.

A boating atmosphere means there can be quite a lot of wind, and no one wants an embarrassing dress-caught-in-the-wind moment.

A pair of tailored shorts with a structured waistband can be paired with a blouse for a formal summer party or a fun embellished top for a sun-down soiree.

Tailored Dolce & Gabbana Printed Baroque Pink Shorts
Dolce & Gabbana

Printed Cotton-poplin Shorts

At Net-A-Porter

Zimmermann Raie Crochet TrimLinen Shorts with Attached Raffia Belt

Raie Crochet Trim Linen Shorts

At Nordstrom

& Other Stories High Waist White Chino Pleated Shorts
& Other Stories

High Waist Chino Shorts

At & Other Stories

5. Figure-Hugging Long Dresses

For ultimate elegance, go for a figure-embracing maxi dress. Not only are they more practical than sorter dresses that may get down by the wind, but they’re also more glamorous as you glide along the deck.

While a voluminous flowy dress will look amazing blowing in the wind, it can get annoying very quickly. For daytime affairs, opt for a casual rib-knit dress, and for fancier yacht parties or black tie events, a long cocktail dress with more striking designs.

Long dresses we love
Rat & Boa Flowy Antonella Dress for Boat Party
Rat & Boa

Antonella Dress

At Rat & Boa

Mint green Cult Gaia knit dress
Cult Gaia

Elsha Sheer Rib-Knit Dress

At Neiman Marcus

White floral linen dress with pink flowers

Selia Linen Dress

At Reformation

6. Button-Down Shirt

A classic button-down shirt is an unlikely option for a boat-party look but is the most versatile item of clothing you’ll have in your suitcase this summer.

Choose classic white or a pop of color and use your shirt as it was intended, as a swim cover-up, or to cover your shoulders in the breezy boat evenings.

Seafolly Breeze White Cotton Gauze Beach Shirt

Breeze Cotton Gauze Beach Shirt

At Neiman Marcus

& Other Stories Pink Loose-fit Linen Shirt
& Other Stories

Loose-Fit Linen Shirt

At & Other Stories

Citizens of Humanity Kayla Shrunken Baby Blue Shirt
Citizens of Humanity

Kayla Shrunken Shirt

At Revolve

7. Rompers

Beige Reformation Linen A-Line Romper for Yacht Party Styling
Get this on Reformation

Rompers are very chic and laid-back, making them one of the most perfect outfits to wear to a boat or yacht party. Plus, unlike with skirts and dresses, you don’t have to worry about the wind blowing up your hem.

Again, opt for breathable fabrics if you’re cruising in the sun, and for extra protection, consider rompers with long sleeves.

Farm Rio Belted Floral Linen-blend Romper
Farm Rio

Belted Linen-blend Playsuit 

At Net-A-Porter

Seafolly Green Shirt Linen Romper

Linen Playsuit

At Revolve

Ramy Brook White Gina Draped One Shoulder Romper
Ramy Brook

Gina Draped Satin Romper

At Neiman Marcus

8. Matching Sets

For days when you don’t know what to wear, a matching set will be your best friend.

Two-piece sets in natural materials like cotton and linen mean that even during the height of summer, you’ll be [and look] cool as ice.

Emilio Pucci Pink Marmo Classic Cotton Printed Skirt Set
Emilio Pucci

Marmo Print Cotton Set

At MyTheresa

White matching set boat party outfit
Free People

Danelle Set

At Revolve

Baby pink matching set with 3D rose

Adalynn Knit Two Piece

At Reformation

9. Crochet Dresses

Crochet dresses have been a trending summer staple for the past few years, and they make for the perfect boat party outfit. Wear your bikini underneath, and opt for light and bright colors to keep you cool in the sun.

Crochet Dresses WE LOVE

Fate Mini Dress

At Revolve

Royal blue cut-out crochet dress
Lovers & Friends

Tabea Maxi Dress

At Revolve

Cream long sleeve crochet dress with corset detail

Cutout Stretch-Jersey and Crochet-Knit Maxi Dress

At Net-A-Porter

10. Breezy Jumpsuits
White linen jumpsuit
Get this on Cult Gaia

Like rompers, jumpsuits are a good choice to wear on a boat or a yacht, as they won’t get caught in the wind. Opt for loose and flowy designs that allow the wind to blow through your jumpsuit, cooling you down in the sweltering sun.

Pair them with sandals and a wide-brim hat for a casual sailing outfit, or dress them up with statement jewelry and wedges for a dinner party or evening soiree.

Alice & Olivia Bennet Plisse Floral-print Jumpsuit
Alice & Olivia

Bennet Floral-print Jumpsuit

At Net-A-Porter

Bright green jumpsuit
Michael Stars

Riya Cotton Gauze Strapless Jumpsuit

At Neiman Marcus

MISA Los Angeles Lorenzo Printed Cut-outJumpsuit
MISA Los Angeles

Lorenzo Jumpsuit

At Revolve

Other Essentials To Bring To A Boat Party

1. Your swimsuit

Firstly, it’s not a boat party without swimming! Don’t forget to bring your favorite bathing suit with you.

2. Suncream

It also pays to protect your skin from the sun, so pack your sunblock in your bag. A good sunblock should be at least SPF 30, since SPF 30 can block about 97% of the sun’s harmful UV rays. Make sure to reapply your suncream every 2 hours you spend in the sun for optimal protection.

3. Protective Accessories

It goes without saying, but don’t attend a boat party without a good pair of sunglasses. The sun is especially strong in the open sea as it reflects off of water, and you don’t want to spend your day squinting.

In addition to sunglasses, also consider bringing a stylish hat that protects your face and scalp. Whether you opt for a wide-brimmed hat, a floppy sun hat, a straw hat or a sporty cap, it serves as a barrier against the sun, reducing the risk of sunburn and discomfort.

4. Beach Towel

Some yachts and bigger boats will be equipped with beach towels for guests, but this is not a given. If you think you’ll be going in for a dip, pack a beach towel in your beach tote before you set off.

Now that we’ve gone over some of the best things to wear for yacht and boat parties, let’s also take a look at clothing to avoid.

What Not To Wear To A Boat Party

How you dress for a boat party is very different to what you wear on land. What looks good in a rooftop bar might not be appropriate for a yacht, so keep these things in mind when putting together your outfit:

1. High heels 

Stilettos with a sharp heel are a bit of a hazard on a moving boat; not only are you less stable when wearing them, the heel itself can also get stuck in gaps or grates on the deck, which can damage your shoes.

To be on the safe side, opt for comfortable flat sandals, boat shoes, or espadrilles, or take your shoes off entirely!

If you’re attending a dressy occasion in the evening, consider wearing platform wedges that look polished but are easy to walk in.

2. Fabrics That Make You Sweat

Avoid fibers and materials like acrylic, polyester, denim, and spandex that will make you sweat, and silk, which has moisture-wicking properties, but will not hide sweat stains.

Instead, opt for breathable fibers like cotton, linen, rayon, viscose, jersey, chambray and tencel, especially if you’re attending a boat party during the daytime.

3. Skin Tight clothing (If you’re swimming)

If you know that you’ll be swimming, avoid wearing tight clothing, as there’s nothing more uncomfortable than having to put your tight clothes back on when you have wet skin. Also, what looks good dry might not look as great when it’s all soaked in water and sticking to your skin.

Opt for clothes that are loose enough that they won’t cling to you and that allow the wind’s breeze to flow through them. Alternatively, you can always bring a change of clothes if you have a tight outfit that you definitely want to wear on your boat ride.

We hope you found a few boat and yacht party outfit ideas that are perfect for your next boat trip, whether that’s on a luxury yacht or a more casual boat cruise. For more articles like this, make sure to check out the posts below.

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