Star Spangled Sailabration Outfits

So, my crazy work week is over! And, all my nautical sewing and clothing paid off.

The 39 ships and the the 3000+ sailors that came with them leave Baltimore on Tuesday. We had ships from the US, Canada, Denmark, Germany, Indonesia, Ecuador, Colombia, Mexico, Brazil, Norway, and Japan are leaving on Tuesday. Now, I may be an Army brat, but men in white are a beautiful sight.

I don’t do Me Made Months. But, I’m going to do a mini Sail-A-Brate Good Times clothing post. I planned to wear red, white and blue all week. Partly out of patriotism but also because it was fun to find ways to dress without looking like a flag. In addition, it was also fun to have people at the office kind of ‘waiting’ to see what you came up with next. There are a few outfits I didn’t get photos of, but here is some of what I wore.

While it may not seem like it, I was actually working, LOL. I was on a planning committee for the event overall and the reception invites came to the office. Someone had to go and I decided that someone was gonna be me 🙂

Day 1 was the the Welcome Ceremony and I wore my Jason Wu for Target dress. This dress had been burning a hole in my closet waiting to be worn. But, in truth, I almost had a wardrobe malfunction. I was on stage a bunch with this dress and it was windy. The combo of a full skirt and wind made me use the program to keep things appropriate.

That night I attended a on-board reception for Brazil in a black H&M dress. They served one of my favorite drinks, Caipirinhas.  The dress for this evening a black chiffon dress from H&M.  A dress that I paid $15 for because I cleaned the store out of the opening day ‘specials’ when they opened. I have this dress in three colors.

On board the Cisne Branco, Brazilian tall ship

I also went to a reception at On Top of the World Observation Tower, where you have a panoramic view of the City. There were nine tall ships in the Inner Harbor and grey hulls in Canton, Fells Point, Tide Point and Locust Point.

Here I am with other friends at On Top of the World. You can see the dress slightly better. Apprently I didn’t get the memo to wear summer whites, LOL.

Day 2: The next day in the office  I wore my funnel neck red, white and blue tee with my blue drape skirt. Sorry! No photos since we didn’t have events during the day. But, that night for the Japanese, Mexican, and Ecuadorian receptions I wore my denim trench dress.

The Japanese ship is docked outside of the Under Armour campus. They went out of their way and had ‘Welcome’ signs posted in English and Japanese.

The crew of the Kojima (Coast Guard Training vessel) LOVED my buttons and anchor earrings! On board they served fresh sushi and drinks of sake. Plus they did a tea ceremony.

I’m still trying to sort out why their uniforms are cream instead of white…..

From Japan, we went on to to the Cuauhtemoc , Mexico’s tall ship.


They had a tequila bar. Funny how I thought I didn’t like tequila. Turns out, I do.

This server walked around with tequila in his holster. Check out his pant leg!

Little anchors and wheels are embroidered! I didn’t get a shot, but the back of his jacket had an embroidered rendering of the ship. It was stunning.

And, check the back of this real sailors’ pants! They are lace up, just like my sailor pants.

After Mexico, we headed to Ecuador’s ship, the Guayas. There, I was asked several times if I speak Spanish. My response, ‘Enough’.

There, these sailors served rum and cokes from the lifeboats. I also danced a lot on the Guyas. So much traditional dance that my hips were hurting the next day.

Day 3: Saturday night was the Captain’s Ball. I finished my dress! But, that’s another post. I’m really trying to hold out for good photos from our staff photographer. But, as one friend put it it, that’s like waiting for the Tuesday after never.

Day 4: Sunday was the  Blue Angels airshow and I finally got to wear my HP sailor pants with a purchased H&M top.

I will rethink these pants the next time I go someplace where the bathrooms are port-a-potties. These are a lot of buttons in a port-a-potty. A. Lot. In fact, I came out of the john with only the corner buttons done. Liz (above) started to tell me, and I was like, ‘I can’t stand in a stinky, hot, enclosed space and do these up’. Stood right there in the fresh air and finished them up.

Oh, and Linus got in on the action too 🙂 Here he is in his little sailor shirt.

And, lest you think I let my Union Jack design fetish go, I didn’t. I wore this necklace as a bracelet much of the week. And, on Monday I wore my Union Jack rainboots to the 200 years of Peace ceremony. It was a rainy cool day for the outdoor event. So much so, that the UK Ambassador to the US thanked us ‘for the British weather’.  Oh, I also learned these are called ‘Wellies’.


My boss did ask me whose side I was on when she saw these boots. I just said, ‘The right one’.

The ships leave on Tuesday and my work life gets a back to normal. This has been a primary project for me the last 18 months and I’m a little sad it’s over! But, I am *beat*. Mama can’t hang like she used to 🙂


    • For real! It was sensory overload. BTW, I met a Marine and said something to him like, ‘The Marines are in the Department of the Navy, right?’ And, he replied, ‘Yes. The Men’s Department.’ I couldn’t stop laughing. I thought you might appreciate that (if you haven’t heard it already).

  1. I enjoyed your post. You really have some great events in your life to plan outfits for. What fun for all your nautical garments. I look forward to seeing your formal dress.

  2. Who is the guy in the beige suit? Looks like he is smoking something that needs a very long drag at the end…hmmmm. Love the venues and outfits…you sure get out to have some fun, girl!

  3. This looks like such a blast! Sailors, well yo ho ho ;). Love all your nautical style, I too have a soft spot for navy, stripes and anchors

  4. Wow – what a weekend!! And you looked great! For all the annoyance of buttons on the pants, thing of it this way – it could have been worse: You could have been wearing a jumpsuit with a zipper in the back. 🙂

  5. I just love a man in uniform…drool…….oh, and I love your outfits, too!! No really, you look spectacular in everything. And Linus is really adorable! I totally understand about buttons in a port a potty. At least you didn\’t drop your cell phone down one. Yep, that was me.

  6. What a great collection of outfits. I’d forgotten how much I like your denim trench dress. I think I’m going to need one of those come summer. When you made it, I traced the pattern and even picked out fabric, but then it got pushed to the back of the queue. The fabric I chose is a mint green, chocolate and white stripe that I bought a few years back after inspiration from a post of yours on green and brown, so it will be a totally Cidell inspired dress when I finally get around to making it!

  7. Looks like you had a busy but fun week. You look terrific in your clothes. The sailor pants are to die for – as are the sailors!

  8. That looks like it was a blast! And yes, good tequila is….well, GOOD. But when it’s not good, it’s BAD. I love the embroidery on the Mexican guy’s costume, gorgeous. I love how fearless they are about color and beautiful design. Your outfits are all stunning, and it looks like you enjoyed yourself immensely. And Linus looks so handsome in his little onesie! 🙂

  9. Great clothes! Great photos! Fun events! Cute dog!
    Oh, tequilla’s good!!! Uh huh!

  10. If this is what a crazy work week looks like I need more of them! Lovely selection of outfits (including Linus), they all look perfect for the occasions.

  11. Thanks for sharing your week with us! I loved the red, white and blue theme! Linus looked good too!

  12. I know these events were exhausting, but it must have been so much fun! You look very sharp in all your outfits, and I am impressed that you came up with so many that are so cute! Can’t wait to see you in your ball gown. Gratuitous Linus shot is precious. I love military humor, so thanks for the story. You rock!

  13. What a fun week! I love Fleet Week in NY – men in uniform *sigh*.

    How fun that you got to wear so many fun outfits! Can’t wait to see the gown!

  14. Hi- I’m a local reader (live in Canton) and wanted to wish you a huge congratulations on the success of Sailabration!!! Such a proud moment for the city. Thank you! (and for providing wonderful sewing inspiration as well!)

  15. Sailabration even got a mention here on the BBC:-)
    You really are the glamorous girl about town! You look great in all the photos and it looks like an awful lot of fun.
    I’m chaperoning a trip to the Cutty Sark this Thursday with 30 eight and nine year old kids. It won’t quite be the same tall ship experience I’m afraid, lol!

  16. Great post! I’ve enjoyed your Baltimore-themed posts.

    Regarding the sailor pants, I have the same problem with buttons on a pair from the army/navy surplus store. My idea, if I ever make my own pair, is to sew the front as normal but add an invisible side zip for quicker on/off action. My dad was in the navy and he said they would sometimes leave side and most of the top buttons undone for ease of use. It worked well for day-to-day work wear.

  17. Bravo on those wonderful outfits and for a fabulous event. We ended up downtown three days and enjoyed every moment. Great sartorial and civic success!

  18. Honey you are HOT!!! Love all your outfits and all those tall ships are amazing. I’m in Portland Oregon, and we only had three Navy ships come up the Willamette. And no tall ships. 😦

  19. What an amazing post! I love all the photos and your wry commentary. Love, love, love – particularly the detail of emerging from the toilets half buttoned!

  20. OK I’m so mad that I couldn’t make it down there for ANY of the Sailabration fun. I’ve been posting about it for work and didn’t get to do A THING! Didn’t even see ’em depart. Crud monkeys! Oh, BTW you looked fabulous…every outfit, fabulous. Love the Union Jacks.

  21. What a great week, I loved seeing all the photos on the ships – and who doesn’t love a sailor in uniform! Sounds like you had so much fun and you looked fantastic doing it. Also your ball gown is beautiful and I don’t see any of the issues – it looks fantastic on you and the pin adds some zing. amazing accomplishments!

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