Nautical but nice

Norwich fashion says 'ahoy there' to a new take on spring's nautical trend, says EMMA HARROWING.

Now that we are into spring I've given my wardrobe a bit of a spring clean. Items that no longer fit or I haven't worn in the last six months have been bagged up and sent off to the charity shop, while other items that haven't seen the light of day since autumn are now hanging proudly alongside some of the recent additions to my spring and summer wardrobe.

Among them is my trusty navy and whited stripe top, which flatters my figure with its scoop neck and is the one item in my wardrobe that will go with everything and instantly makes me look like I'm 'on-trend' for spring.

The nautical trend is always fashionable at this time of the year. The all-too-familiar navy and white striped top, with jeans or navy trousers, a pair of deck shoes or heels for the office and layered with a navy or white jacket is a look that can be worn by anyone at any age.

This year, however, it seems that my striped top will be getting a new look as fashion has shaken the traditional nautical fashion boat. Bold, brightly coloured striped tops and dresses and marine inspired anchor, rope and fish prints have given this trend a shake-up.

Try wearing bright coloured stripes to inject a bit of colour blocking into your new season look. The multi-coloured stripe shift dress from New Look can be worn over leggings or jeans or on its own. Team with tan or black shoes and bag if you want to tone down the look, or clash with a rope or anchor print bag.

If you like spring's neutral beiges look for beige and cream stripes and wear with a pair of plain white trousers or jeans. Again you can mix your prints, but this time look for beige or grey pastel prints that will give your look a soft edge. Dorothy Perkins has achieved this look with its fine knit beige and white jumper teamed with silver snake print jeans.

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For those who prefer the classics, update the traditional nautical look of a navy and white striped top with trousers or jeans and a blazer by rolling up your trousers to reveal the ankle or invest in a pair of blue Capri pants like the ones in the new Betty Barclay collection. Or you could wear a top with a rope or anchor print instead.

As for my faithful classic striped T-shirt – well I'm planning to mix it up by wearing it with a mono-chrome printed skirt or with a pair of this season's cropped trousers in Royal blue with a pair of heels.

Check out our top New Nautical fashion picks by clicking on the photo gallery at the top right of this page.