Sailing in the Bay in a Dinghy can be challenging, to put it mildly. You're exposed to brutal wind, waves, and cold weather. Summer is often colder than spring and fall! And you look like a fashion disaster.
I often get asked about what to wear. Now a wetsuit is key, as we all know. I prefer to wear foul weather gear over my wetsuit to keep the wind chill off and keep the wetsuit from snagging on sticky-out bits on the dinghy.
But where is the style, you say? The panache? What if you're trying to dress to impress? Unfortunately, Armani doesn't make wetsuits. Which these guys took to heart: http://youtu.be/0e_rDFy6VhI . They don't let the fact that they're sailing a 49er get between them and looking good. Brown shoes with a black suit, though? Ouch.
But what if you're not into suits? I've done a bit of field research, and here are my suggestions for your summer dinghy dress style. I did all of my testing in one of our more challenging dinghies, the RS 500. And much of the field research was conducted solo. For maximum science and stuff.
Thank you Jennifer Kroon for putting together the fashion catalogue:
First, let me say that sailing the 500 single-handedis challenging. You need a dress that allows plenty of maneuverability. For single-handed RS 500 sailing, I recommend a shoulder-less dress, with an empire waist, A-frame skirt, and lots of taffeta. Retired bridesmaids dresses are usually the best bang for your buck.
If you are sailing with others, I strongly suggest you coordinate before you go sailing to avoid that embarrassing oh-my-gosh-we-wore-the-same-dress moment, or even worse, clashing. If Antony Davirro had read my in-depth research notes before joining me for our sail, he would have known to choose a cooler color, preferably a deep red, to go with both my dress and the sail pattern. Don't be like Antony, have some style.
But to be fair, that dress does look good on him. Which is really the most important point to consider when selecting a suitable outfit. We'll be doing another Dinghy Dress Field Test Day later this season to expand our research and outfit catalogue, so please stay tuned if you want to...um...help conduct said field research.
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High fashion for the high sees. You are now in the same league as those 49er sailors and Alex Thomson (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B2PQfJ2SAg4, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y4loB_UGxw8)