Amber Jane Butchart
Thames & Hudson, London, 2015
From the modernist elegance of Coco Chanel to Malcolm McLaren and Vivienne Westwoods punk-fuelled pirates, the appeal of nautical dress has cut a sartorial swathe for over two centuries. But how did garments such as the blue and white fishermans top and peacoat cross over from uniform and workwear into fashionable dress? In Nautical Chic, the first and only book to look at the history of high fashion on the high seas, fashion historian Amber Jane Butchart traces the relationship between maritime dress and the fashionable wardrobe, uncovering stories, tracking the trends, and tracing the evolution of the style back to its roots in our seafaring past.
Written in an accessible tone but grounded in years of research, Nautical Chic charts the nautical influence on fashion over five chapters, each of which considers a particular maritime profession: The Officer, The Sailor, The Fisherman, The Sportsman and The Pirate. Butchart weaves together politics, imperialism, war, leisure, trade, sport and seafaring adventure to tell the stories of garments – the duffle coat, the yellow fishermans macintosh, the yacht club blazer – loaded with historical and cultural significance.