Yacht Club Casual Explained: 6 Essential Menswear Items

by Jacob J. Morris


Where in the men’s dress code does yacht club casual fall? By checking your club’s attire policy, such as that at the Grosse Pointe Yacht Club, you can clear matters with a little bit of homework.

Thankfully, terms like “casual attire” and “appropriate daytime or evening” attire can give you plenty of versatility. Following some of the best men’s summer style tips from Alex Woodhall – as well as some others – you can fit within the guidelines and standout with these wardrobe mainstays.

It’s All About the Shoes

Footwear is a gold mine where you can make a statement. Woodhall prefers loafers, sandals, and canvas as great summer choices. Indeed, you can take advantage of footwear that will allow you to breathe, even utilizing the “sockless” approach that Woodhall suggests.

The Perfect Suit

When it comes to an elite club, being a yachting member calls for some grown up swag. Suits are inevitable when attending a high profile dinner. Approaching weight is crucial here, as, in the words of Woodhall, “Wearing a complete wool or wool-blend suit in the heat isn’t going to be doing anyone any favors.”

For more pleasant weather, opt for a khaki suit or some other lighter material such as linen. Lighter colors, which are more appropriate for casual events at a yacht club, can help when you mix with the right other pieces together. Whether it’s the weight of a fabric or the color – these considerations must coordinate with each other.

Belt Choices

Accessorizing your get-up can get overlooked and then you find yourself scrambling to find the right belt. For fashion-savvy yacht-club goers, a “plain” belt simply won’t do.

Don’t be afraid to use lighter belts, as well as those with colors, in the summer. In more standard occasions, you can always look for fashionable twists on the standard black leather belt, such as a nice textured belt.

The Right Fabric

According to Woodhall, men must “be fabric smart.” In his guide to wardrobe selections in the summer, which is of course close to that of yacht club considerations, he looks at four key fabrics:

  • Seersucker
  • Linen
  • Cotton
  • Silk

These comfortable options all fit a certain need of staying cool in those balmy summer evenings – and they all certainly establish the appropriate look.

Great Shorts

Deemed the “cornerstone of your summer wardrobe,” a great pair of shorts can be the starting point to constructing an outfit for a daytime event. It can perfectly blend style, comfort, and offer plenty in the way of options for your other pieces.

Woodhall focuses on the lack of bulk in a good pair of shorts. In other words, think away from the conceptual basis of cargo shorts, looking at a pleasant silhouette. Woodhall also states that they should end just above the knee, and they should perfectly balance bagginess and tightness for something right in the middle.

Summer doesn’t have to be about shorts and graphic-t’s. Keeping it casual can also include some pretty spot-on nautical threads that are sure to make you look yacht club ready.

Where to Shop for Yacht Club Casual

Here are some of my favorite stores to shop for Yacht Club casual attire.

Vinyard Vines is probably the most nautically-inspired of the three. In fact, if a Yacht Club had a retail outlet, this would probably be the place.

Bonobos would be a close second as they have quite a few light-colored fashions in seersucker, linen, and cotton that are great for yachting, in addition they carry typical yacht club footwear like boating shoes and penny loafers.

Bluefly carries all sorts of discounted designer fashions and styles, but they have quite a few things that are great for the yacht club atmosphere (especially polos, shoes, and shorts).

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