Sea-Faring Style & Flotsam Inspiration: Fashion Treasures from the Deep

When’s the last time you looked for style in a tide pool? GoodwillNyNj Style Icon David Morgan thinks you should update your calendar and pencil it in. Here David shares his newest Goodwill treasure hunt: making fashion out of flotsam inspiration.

My flotsam-inspired outfit

Have you ever heard of flotsam? Flotsam is essentially trash found in the water, like items from a ship wreckage or discarded sea shells. It can be a sweeping collection of things, from broken wood planks from a damaged nautical voyage to a lost fisherman’s net.

Fashion seeker, meet Flotsam.

For a few months now I have been researching images of flotsam, and each time I am inspired. I know it may be weird to be interested in sea-trash, but flotsam contains many specific characteristics that are really cool. The prolonged submersion in water usually give these items a sublime, ashen hue. Repeated beatings against grains of sand or oceanic rocks are often reflected through holes of varying sizes. Sedimentary layers often stiffen the items, giving them a coarseness in complimentary contrast with their weather-worn, hazy color.

More Flotsam Inspiration. I love the colors in this one!

I love the idea that flotsam is not the treasure found within a sunken ship, but the background materials that give a tell-tale sign of this ship’s journey and maturation over time.

Flotsam in action.

Many of my outfits, such as this one, are inspired by flotsam 🙂 I love this huge net of a scarf, handmade for me by a family friend. It’s my own little fisherman’s net. I’ve also taken to putting holes in a few of varying sizes in my old t-shirts, attempting to make them appear as if they have been flung against rocks (see this previous post for another look at hole-y tees). And I’ve been more and more attracted to earthy, slightly faded colors, like these old Diesel sweatpants and thrifted sweater (yes, it’s ok to mix high and low-end pieces!).

My own close-up flotsam!

I love the idea that flotsam contains no conscious purpose. It’s aesthetic is simply from natural processes, yet they offer no benefit to any life cycle. It simply exists, with no detachments, yet contains so many characteristics that are just cool.

So, that’s my latest inspiration. What’s yours? Please do share with us through Twitter or Facebook.

* Flotsam images from and

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