What I Wear While Cruising


Last Updated on September 13, 2023 by Amy

Shockingly, cruising isn’t all bikini-wearing.

We recently purged our boat after reading the Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. I got rid of so many clothes, but it got me thinking, what DO I wear while cruising?

A Word on Materials

As a general rule, we stick to quick-dry synthetic materials on the boat. These clothes use less water to wash during a shorter cycle in our washing machine. They also take much less time to line dry.


Sports Bras

Most often around the boat, I wear a sports bra. Inside Starry Horizons, I am rarely in the sun, so it’s all about comfort and beating the heat.

T-shirt Bras

Most of my bras were old and more of a push-up style, suitable for wearing to the office or out with friends. One of them ripped so I shopped for more, and I’m glad I did!  Living in the boat is casual 24/7, and I typically find a sports bra top more comfortable than a wired bra. While I can’t say that’s changed, getting a full-coverage, plain t-shirt bra was definitely a smart idea!  


I like having support in my top, and camis with a built-in wireless shelf bra work very well. The camis are nice enough that you can wear it off the boat, even dressing it up for a happy hour.

I particularly like this organic cotton cami.

Soft, Long T-shirts

Although living on the boat IS casual 24/7, there is a difference between wearing-logoed-t-shirt casual and casual.  I bought two soft and long solid colored t-shirts. These are much more comfortable and perfect for when I want to clean up to go over to a friend’s boat.

Tunic Tops

Along the same vein, I bought two linen tunic tops, one in gray and one in teal. They both different patterns, the gray one has a high collar and the real is v-necked. Both have buttons and tabs to roll to 3/4 sleeve. Both fall past my hips.

Wearing a tunic top with leggings for my birthday.


Hiking Pants

I really love this new pair of prAna hiking pants I got last Christmas. The pockets are great, I can roll and snap the legs up to a wader, and, most importantly, I like how it fits around the waist and hips. I’ve tried many other pants, but they fit too snug on the hips, too loose at the waist, and show my underwear too much!

Maxi skirt

I bought a soft, cotton, elastic-waist maxi skirt. It’s not a floor-length fit on me but can sit just at my ankles. When visiting small villages in Fiji, it was recommended that women shouldn’t “dress like men”.  A long skirt will make it much easier to be comfortable and modest while visiting conservative countries like Indonesia, Sri Lanka, and Fiji.

Yoga Pants

Most often, I’m wearing yoga pants onboard. They are light and comfortable, plus cover my legs, usually down to mid-calf, to protect me from the sun.

One-Piece Outfits


I have a few simple dresses with built-in shelf bras in quick-dry fabric. I bought my first one at the Miami Boat Show and loved it! Having a supportive dress to slip on for sundowners is an easy, simple, and cute outfit. I particularly love my Lululemon Inner Glow dress.

In my Lululemon dress.


Sarongs are easy to wear and versatile. I can wear one as a skirt and pair it with a cami to be comfortable at happy hour, or wear it as a top and pair it with leggings.



Almost all of my bathing suits were string bikinis that tie around the back of my neck.  After a few days (or one sunburn) I’m tired of them.  So I picked out new bathing suits – mix and match pieces – to give me a bit of a break while (hopefully) still looking cute.


A one-piece bathing suit is definitely a good idea onboard. I prefer wearing my one-piece under my wetsuit and it’s a bit more conservative.

Rash Guards

When you snorkel as much as we do, the name of the game is sun protection. I usually wear a rash guard when I got snorkeling so I don’t have to slather on tons of sunscreen.

Skin Products

Tinted Sunscreens

Over the years I’ve tried a slew of face sunscreens to keep my skin happy and sunburn free. Finally, I settled on tinted mineral-based sun lotion. There have been some studies published regarding the effects of chemical sunscreens on coral reefs.  These mineral-based sunscreens are reef-safe. Unlike most zinc-oxide sunscreens, the tinted ones won’t leave you looking paler than before you put it on. I particularly like the finish of the TIZO.


Shoes! I have never owned a lot of shoes but for some reason, I thought it would be smart to buy additional shoes for cruising. I bought two pairs of Sperrys boat shoes and Teva sandals but never got comfortable with any of them. And, frankly, buying shoes for cruising is ridiculous.  90% of the time I’m barefoot – on my boat, other people’s boats, the beach, etc.  5% of the time I’m in flip flops, 3% in sneakers, 1% in my ballet flats, and 1% in the Sperry racing sneakers.  Therefore, the new shoes I never wear got tossed in the “to sell” pile.  With the heels I mentioned earlier, that’s 5 pairs of shoes I cleared out!

Happy shopping!


  1. I’ve noticed that you wear yoga pants a lot. What’s the reason for this? I’m wondering if you are trying to minimize the sunscreen you have to wear, reduce bug bites or it’s just what you like. I think I’d be warm all the time in them, so just wondering…. Thanks!

    1. I love yoga pants! They do provide great sun protection and they are synthetic materials, so they dry quickly (good for laundry, sweat, and rain) and I think that keeps me plenty cool.

  2. Quite a different post Amy. Fun to read even if I’m a guy. An obvious, for me, take on your blog was the simple, casual and practical lifestyle cruisers enjoy.

  3. Sounds like you did some really smart shopping – I can see why clothing was not a large (or even existent) line item in your budget blog. 🙂

  4. Interesting to hear what you decided to keep and toss and what you decided you needed to add. Interesting to know about the long skirt for some of the islands.
    I am surprised i didn’t buy swim suits while in the states…. I actually did not do any clothes shopping except for a funeral (sad) and some warm yoga style pants. Which, of course, now need to be stored!
    I still need to give away some things.
    Miss you guys!

    1. Glad you found it interesting. If we had to head back for a funeral we’d have to do some shopping too. All our warm clothes came out this year in NZ!

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