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.

The gold lace on naval officers’ uniforms has traditionally be used to indicate rank. But what are its origins?

Queen Elizabeth I was very conscious of her appearance, and her image was engineered to convey wealth, authority and power. 

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.

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.

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.