Outfit Ideas for on the Water  

It's hard to beat a day out on the water. But one decision that can have a big impact on your fun comes long before you head to the marina or boat launch: your outfit. The clothes you wear can make or break your time on the water—and a carefully dialed outfit can keep you cool, comfortable, and stress-free. 

So what do you need to know about what to wear on a boat? Read on as we dive into the basics of boating attire.

Why Do You Need "Boat Clothes"?

Investing in high-quality boating attire may seem unnecessary to your fellow boaters or guests, but in truth, it can be one of the best decisions you make for your comfort and safety.

Boat clothes designed with breathable long sleeves and UPF-rated fabrics will help protect your skin from unnecessary exposure to wind and sun, which can leave you feeling chilly or cause sunburn. Being out on the water increases the likelihood of getting wet, so clothing made from quick-drying materials is also ideal.

Aside from technical advantages, your boating attire should be comfortable and functional. After all, your boat outfits should feel as good as they look and perform, even after a long day of sun and breezy surf. So don't hesitate to invest in quality boat shirts. Your skin will thank you for it.

Man and woman driving a boat with sun protective clothing on

The Basics

Now let’s discuss the basics of sunglasses, sunscreen, hats, and proper footwear. 

Sunglasses are just as important as sunscreen in protecting your eyes from harmful UVA and UVB rays. Luckily, with endless styles available, finding quality sunglasses to match any outfit is a breeze. We’re particularly fond of Sunski polarized sunglasses.

It's also crucial to have a hat to protect yourself from the sun's rays. While wide-brimmed hats offer the most coverage, even a basic baseball cap can help shield your face and head from UV rays.

Man and Woman wearing sunglasses & hats while on a boat

In addition to sunglasses and a hat, you'll also need the proper footwear. Your shoes should be non-slip and either waterproof or quick-drying to avoid the discomfort of wet feet. Boat shoes or water shoes are the best options, mainly if you think you might get wet. While flip-flops and sandals are popular choices, be sure they provide enough grip on wet or slippery surfaces.

What to Wear on a Boat

So what are the must-haves for your boating wardrobe? It depends partially on what your day on the water looks like.


Fishing is a great way to spend a few hours with loved ones or catch up on some quiet time. There's nothing like baiting a hook and seeing what you can catch. But proper UV protection is essential if you plan to spend time in the sun.

You'll want an outfit that will keep you covered and protected but also cool and comfortable. Free Fly offers a variety of women’s and men's sun shirts and bottoms that can do precisely that. Here are some of our favorite men’s and women's sun shirts and bottoms for fishing:

For Women:

For Men:

If you work up a sweat or get splashed reeling in that big catch, the best boat outfits for fishing will also use moisture-wicking technology and odor-control properties to keep you dry and comfortable. Fishing clothes with plenty of pockets can also help keep anything you need close at hand.

Man and Woman fishing on a boat while wearing sun protective clothing


If you plan to hop in the water during your excursion, choose boating attire accommodating your swimming plans. In most cases, this can be as simple as a sun shirt and swimming trunks for men, and for the ladies, a bathing suit with a breathable viscose from bamboo dress or a women’s sun shirt

In addition to being strong and flexible, your swimwear should also be quick-drying so you don’t have to succumb to the discomfort of a wet bathing suit.

Swim essentials from Free Fly meet all of these needs. Women's bathing suits come in various styles, offering soft and seamless fabric for all-day comfort. Men's options—like the Men’s Andros Trunk— also include UPF protection to block harmful UV rays.

Women walking on the beach in Free Fly swimsuits and coverups


Sometimes, the best boat days are the ones with no plans—just you and some friends or family enjoying beautiful weather and water views. If that's what your next excursion has in store, you have plenty of choices for boat outfits, depending on your style and desires.

Comfort should always be a priority, and nothing beats the buttery softness of Free Fly's clothing made from bamboo. From our men's sun pants and women's sun pants, to our ultra-comfortable dresses and fishing shirts, you can wade and wander in undeniable comfort and UPF sun protection all summer long.

With our viscose from bamboo apparel, you’ll also benefit from naturally anti-bacterial and anti-fungal odor-fighting properties to keep you smelling fresh all day, even under the hot summer sun. Throw in a few cold beers, and a stunning sunset, and you’ll have all you need for a day well spent on the water.

Friends lounging on boats while wearing Free Fly UPF clothing

Try Free Fly For All Your Boating Adventures

Dressing for the occasion is essential no matter what your day on the water has in store. Whether you're fishing, swimming, or just hanging out, Free Fly has the high-quality, quick-drying UPF apparel for boating and beyond. Our stylish tops, bottoms, and swimwear for men, women, and kids offer everything they need to stay safe and comfortable out on the water. 

Explore our collection of breathable, buttery soft apparel for land and water adventuring today.