Fashion is all about making a statement and expressing who you are. From the designers influenced by all things nautical, to the clothing and accessories of high-born royals and lowly sailors, we take a look at how fashion has evolved through the ages.


As the Queen of England and the nation’s most powerful woman, Elizabeth's taste set the 'look' of the 1500s. 


When Captain Cook returned from his first voyage he brought with him the term ‘tattoo’ if not the practice itself.

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Tattoos have adorned the highest born royals and the lowliest sailor in Europe for at least 5,000 years.


In the late-18th and early-19th centuries collecting tattooed Maori heads became so popular in Europe that many Maoris were murdered to supply the trade.


From brass buttons to bell-bottoms, garments traditionally worn at sea have long been adopted and adapted to create new fashions and statements.

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Designers from Vivienne Westwood to Galliano and Chanel have all created collections inspired by naval wear and maritime culture. 


The enduring influence of nautical styles in fashion have been long celebrated in British culture. Find out more about its origins and the role of Queen Victoria.

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We go behind the scenes of the Samuel Pepys installation. Alongside beautiful paintings and amazing objects there’s some stunning 17th century clothing that's just gone on display. 

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Maritime history has always influenced fashion - and no object more so than the Breton Top. Following her talk at our LGBT History Month event we catch up with author and historian, Amber Butchart, to trace the history of the famous stripes. 

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Our uniform collection holds over 7000 items, including items owned by Admiral Nelson, Edward VII and Admiral John Arbuthnot Fisher.