Ship shape…what to bring and wear on the water…
In Annapolis, we are all about the water. Most of us have been sailing, yachting, fishing and swimming since we were babes and any of you living around or visiting the water this summer will need to know what to wear, bring and do while cruising the bays, rivers, lakes and oceans this summer. As an avid female boat captain (a very rare breed) I have logged more than a few hours out at sea. Above are just a few of the must have essentials for a well packed bag on the water. 1. Bumble and Bumble Surf Spray for enviable beach waves (run fingers through damp hair, spray on and tie in a loose braid to air dry) 2. Coola Organic ‘Farm to Face’ Sunscreen infused with Antioxidants 3. Cute straw tote 4. Bandeau tops for layering in lieu of a bra 5. Haviannas flip flops 6. Portable nail system for mani pedi touch ups on the go.
Here are some must have wardrobe essentials from Naptown, home of the US Navy, future Sailing hall of Fame and the famous Blue Crab:
Skin cancer patients got the memo on this SPF clothing a while back so its high time we fashionistas get on board with this brilliant technology. Rockhopper Outfitters with a new outpost downtown Annapolis is known for developing sailing gear for Atlantis Racing and sells a cute line of sporty pieces from Hi-Ho Carribean to keep you looking fabulous all the while blocking out those harmful rays. Hi-Ho is a lifestyle brand based in Tortola BVI that completely embodies the laid back sailing style that is so much more than anchors, stripes and Sperry’s (not that we mind any of those). With a location right on the water downtown Annapolis, there is no reason not to grab some cute protective gear before hopping aboard the boat.
NEW TAKE ON NAUTICAL JEWELRY
While at Rockhopper Outfitters, you’ll also want to score some fun nautical pieces by Offset Jewelry, created by local artisan Megan McNelly. She fashions knots made from small diameter dinghy racing lines into stylish bracelets, earrings and statement necklaces. It gives off a kinda boho meets preppy boat girl vibe that I am totally digging.
To transform your day look to night, add a gold and silver charm bracelet to enhance your tan. Lilac Bijoux is a go to spot for locals to pick up what the owners have dubbed “Cheap and Chic” jewelry and they definitely have the best selection and prices in town. A few years back they expanded into affordable tops and dresses that you can grab while your snapping up your bangles and bling. Lines like Ya Los Angeles ,Glam and Olive & Oak are staples here and fly off the racks with the scarfs, handbags and other must have accessories. For a one of a kind piece, be sure to ask shop owner, Fern, to show you the exclusive line of custom jewelry created by her mom.
STRIPES ARE ALWAYS EN VOGUE
You can’t go wrong with the quintessential boating motif of all striped everything. If your style is less preppy, than opt for a striped drawstring kaftan style top instead of the traditional crew neck tee. They can be so many different things from Parisian chic clothing to bold wallpaper and yachting devotees will never loose their fondness for stripes.
EASY MAXI DRESSES
Take a trip up Main Street in Annapolis and find a hidden gem of eclectic finds at Way off the Beaten Path. The owner sources all of her goods from female run, globally conscious brands and her own in house label of kaftans, tunics, jersey dresses and scarves. Her jewelry collection appeals to both my inner bohemian and preppy sides and the shop owner is very knowledgeable and charming. I will be doing a separate blog feature on her shop in the near future so stay tuned for that but I just had to include her Naval Academy inspired dress and scarf combo below for a day turned night on the water when you need to be prepared for any port of call. Who knows, you may hit a Tiki bar on the West River or the rooftop lounge at the Four Seasons in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor and you need to throw a dress on and go!
If your style tends to be more surfer than sailor, a bikini and sundress topped with a Fedora is the perfect look on the water. Surf shop mecca South Moon Under (founded right here in Maryland) stocks all the best casual pieces from labels we love; Free People, Splendid, Ella Moss and many more. They are my go to stop for swim suits as they sell many of them as separates so you get the sizing just right. Be sure pick up a whimsical gift for your ‘on the water host’ and a pair of deck shoes for your man in case he didn’t get the no dark soled shoes memo. We avid boaters are sticklers for this rule!
A hidden gem at the top of Main Street is Brown Eyed Girl, a funky boutique. Around since 2006, Brown Eyed Girl has outfitted locals and tourists in affordable casual clothes and quality swimwear and has provided the swimsuit wardrobe for the Baltimore Ravens Cheerleaders for several of their official NFL calendar shoots, an impressive task for a small, locally owned shop. Owner Kathy understands that swimsuits by Splendid are well made and worth the expense, but cute tops, sundresses and maxi’s don’t need to break the bank.
Its all about layering for quick changes on the water. Since space and time for major wardrobe changes are limited, you will need to adopt your ‘wash and go girl’ persona for the day, even if this seems like total blasphemy. If you attempt to spread out and pull out the stops in order to get glam, you are likely to get tossed in the drink by your shipmates.
Now that you know what to bring and wear, what do you do? Raft outs have always been my favorite and some of the best rondezvous points around Annapolis are Dobins Island in the Magothy River and a few small islands in the Rhodes River. Multiple boats anchored out and tied together, everyone bringing different food and drink and their favorite water sport is something you have to experience at least once. Head up the Magothy and off a little side creek to a small marina to check out the best new crab and seafood joint, The Point. Or simply stock a cooler or the galley with sandwiches, chips and drinks and don’t get too fancy as the same rules that apply to dress apply to entertaining. Being on the water is all about going with the flow…pun intended.