Choosing crew uniform for a new-build superyacht

Offered By Sea Design

Do not underestimate the responsibility of buying crew uniform for your new-build superyacht. There are large amounts of money involved and getting it wrong can be a costly affair.

In this guide we look at the key points to consider before placing an order with a yacht uniform supplier, so that the next time you go through the process you leave nothing to chance.

Crew wearing top and skirt

Have you been given a budget or is it up to you to provide one? If it’s your responsibility, these are the key points to bear in mind to ensure the ordering process is a success:


  1. Look at garments that are comfortable and practical.
  2. Try and choose garments that are available for future reordering.
  3. Are you getting value for money?
  4. Are there any hidden costs to consider, i.e. shipping, taxes or import duties?
  5. Can the supplier deliver within your timescale?


Once your budget has been approved and you have been given the green light to place your order, there are many important factors to weigh up to get your uniform right.

The first consideration: Does the owner want to be involved?

If so, can you make it an easy process – both for yourself and the owner? Perhaps you can guide them into colours, fabrics and styles, and ask your supplier to produce look books and samples. Some owners will welcome the chance to meet with the uniform supplier and talk through their vision of how they would like to see the crew look. After several years of watching the build process, many owners see uniform as the key element to bring the yacht and crew together and want to be involved.

If the owner has chosen not to be involved, you will be responsible for choosing the colour combinations, fabrics and pricing.

Crew members in pink tops supplied by Sea Design

Once a selection has been made it’s then time to work out quantities to order. For this there are no exact formulas. However, there are few helpful factors to think about:


  • Price/budget
  • Storage space
  • For custom uniform - what delay is involved in reordering and what are the minimum quantities from the supplier?
  • Be wary about buying fashion brands; restocking may be impossible
  • Factor in crew changes: If you are on a big build project there is a good chance that you won't know the crew sizes, so ask your supplier to help you with a good size/quantity ratio

The final crew uniform choice for your new-build superyacht

It’s always a good idea to get samples of your final choice, just to make sure there are no unpleasant surprises when you receive the final order. This will allow you to ascertain that colours are correct and the fabric feels and looks right.

Try to choose styles that work for all body shapes and put personal preferences aside.

Adding finishing touches to the uniform can tie the whole look together and nowadays there are different stylistic mediums that can be considered to make your yacht-crew uniform stand out.

Here are eight ideas to consider to complete your uniform’s overall aesthetic:

  1. Embroidery. The classic, most popular way of adding a name or logo to a garment. The number of stitches in a design dictates the price of embroidery so it works well for chest or arm logos, but can be expensive for large back designs. If cost is not an issue then a big back embroidery looks really impressive.
  2. Screen Printing. Crew t-shirts are often printed by screen-printing a design. It’s a great way of creating a metallic effect. Pricing is calculated on each colour layer, so the more colour, the more expensive the print.
  3. DTG printing avoids this very issue, as the print is applied to the garment through a spray system that allows unlimited colours and shading.
  4. Vinyls work well for one-colour or two-colour logos and are ideal for applying logos on jackets, umbrellas, bags etc. They do not interfere with the waterproofing and produce a very sharp, strong image.
  5. Sublimation print is used in the printing of polyester-based garments and is heat applied. This technique is used to print whole garments, such as rash vests.
  6. Badges can add a modern look to any garment and are ideal if you want to apply a small, detailed design.
  7. Labels. Why advertise a clothing brand when you can produce your own label that can be sewn on to any of your garments?
  8. Heat transfers – a good method of applying a logo to many different surfaces. Ideal for a one-colour design.

Once you have decided on the correct method for your requirements, the positioning of the logo/name needs to be chosen for each garment. Ask your uniform supplier for visuals to help you.

Seek the input of colleagues and custom-uniform experts when choosing a design

One of the most important aspects of choosing uniform is to achieve a look of professionalism throughout the yacht. Consider the different departments and ask the engineers and chefs if they have any particular requests they would like to include. Bear in mind, however, that it’s very difficult to please everyone so don’t use this as a metric when evaluating if the project has been a success.

The responsibility of purchasing custom yacht uniform is a big task – not just for the comfort of your crew, but also for the look, feel and professionalism of your yacht. Enlist the help of others, listen to advice and it should prove to be plain sailing!

Find out more about Sea Design. Alternatively, you can read further articles on Uniform & Clothing.

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