Why Do the 'Below Deck' Crew Change Uniforms? It's Not Because They Haven't Done Enough Laundry

I get all of my high-class, fancy pants knowledge about yachting from Bravo and the cast of Below Deck. The Below Deck crew changes clothes between almost every scene. There's the white shirts with epaulets, the formal dress, the casual polos, and their ratty tshirts… each change of clothes comes with a different set of circumstances. A few things always hold true. The crew (and the guests) don't wear shoes on board. It stops them from skidding on wet surfaces outside and prevents the wood from getting damaged inside and out. The female stews (and deckhands) generally wear their hair pulled back unless they're serving at a formal dinner. And taking your shirt off while working out on the deck? Unacceptable.

Each uniform goes along with a specific type of event, which is why you see the crew always dressed identically — they present a singe front to the guests, almost indistinguishable, as a good serviceperson is expected to do. Here's a breakdown of all the different wardrobe changes you can expect from the Below Deck crew, and what they mean.

Buttoned Up White Shirts

The button up white shirts and long black or white pants are usually worn only on days where guests are either arriving or leaving. This is not just a navy inspired costume — it's the real official uniform of the yachting industry. The bars on the epaulets signify each crew member's rank.

Formal Dinner Wear

When the guests want something a little fancy, they'll have a formal sit-down dinner. The stews wear formal black dresses and patterned neck scarves to put out the dinner dishes. The deckhands have black button-up shirts for dressier occasions.

Ben's Chef Whites

Ben somehow manages to glide through the dress code requirements without getting reprimanded, but his untucked shirts and long pants instead of khaki shorts are no problem so long as he puts on his chef's coat.

Khakis and Polo Shirts

This is the day-to-day normal uniform for the crew while there's guests chartering the boat. The polos they wear are tucked in to either a practical pair of long shorts or an impractically short skirt for the women.

Tshirts & Shorts

On cleanup days, when every last crew member is nursing a wicked hangover, they'll throw on tshirts with the boat's logo, a pair of shorts, and call it a day. Clearly, this outfit is basic and straightforward to avoid anything complicated like buttons or collars. I mean, it was designed for housework meets day-off lounging around.

Swimming Shirts

Don't be tempted to take that shirt off, fellas. Captain Lee will not be happy. Instead, put on this water resistant top to avoid wet tshirt contests. And it's useful, too: if you happen to spot an old enemy, you'll be able to make a quick, watery escape.

Image: Virginia Sherwood/Bravo (6); Giphy