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Cruise Wear

What to wear on a cruise

What to wear for a cruise can often be a dilemma especially if the trip is to a part of the world you haven't been to before.

Generally you need outfits for excursions and shore visits during the day, something casual and comfortable for days at sea and then your outfits for dinner on either a casual, smart casual or formal night.

Fab Frocks has cruise wear collections to suit most cruises and to take you from day to night. The secret of any holiday is having a flexible and multi purpose wardrobe that can minimise the packing but maximise the number of outfits you can wear

Collections that are just perfect for cruise wear are Michaela Louisa, Tina Taylor, Allison along with the Frank Lyman collection from Canada. All these collections are so easy to dress up or dress down to suit any occasion which means you can wear them during the day with comfortable shoes for about town or at dinner in the evening with a pair of heels, some jewellery and maybe a wrap.

Of course for the more formal cruise nights when you are asked to dress formally for dinner you will need to wear an evening or cocktail dress. Fab Frocks has an extensive range of evening and cocktail dresses for cruises in lots of different colours and styles. Our collections also include styles with sleeves and plus sizes.

Cruise holidays have changed dramatically in the last decade. No longer is a cruise a choice primarily for the rich and retired. Many younger couples and families are being attracted to the idea of cruising with more action-packed itineraries offered to exciting destinations – and at an affordable price.

One of the things I enjoy most about cruising is you only have to unpack your suitcase once. However, if you are new to cruising, deciding what to pack in that suitcase can be a little bit daunting the first time.

Formals Cruise Nights

Every cruise line will have a specified dress code and when you book your holiday, you should be advised as to what it is. Some now operate “casual all the time” but most cruise lines will have informal and formal nights at some point.

This means ladies will be required to wear an evening or cocktail dress and men must wear a tuxedo or dark suit. Evening wear can be hard to come by on the high street (unless it is Christmas) so take a look at special occasion boutiques. These will have more choice and surprisingly have dresses that are a similar price point to high street ranges. Buying your evening dress from a boutique also reduces the risk of seeing someone else aboard in the same dress as you. Every woman’s nightmare – more so at sea where you can’t escape easily unless you fancy a swim!

Bear in mind that there are often a lot of steps on a ship and also it can get chilly in the evenings. A dress you can easily move about in is important and a shawl or evening bolero to keep you warm.

Fabulous evening-wear designers include: Mascara, Dynasty, Jora, Dynasty Curve (plus size collection), Gina Bacconi to name but a few.

Some formal nights on cruises are themed – often black and white is chosen as a colour theme or in the UK it might be red, white and blue. Again, check the itinerary.

For informal nights – this normally means jackets and trousers for men – no jeans - and a dress or smart trousers for ladies. The ideal answer to this conundrum is to find dresses that you can wear with heels for these evening events but will look equally great with your summer sandals or flip flops for the day later in the cruise.

Dressy day-wear designers such as Frank Lyman, Tina Taylor, Michaela Louisa and Allison are perfect for this – extremely wearable and easy to pack! Such dresses will also be perfect for the casual dress code nights so you can be sure to set sail in style!

Cruising from Southampton

If you are enjoying a cruise with departure in Southampton then we are based just near Bournemouth in a suburb called Westbourne.

Driving from Southampton couldn't be easier, with a journey time of just 45 minutes. Once you arrive in Westbourne there are three car parks just a short walking distance from our boutique all of which are conveniently near all the shops.

If you need any help in planning your trip please call us on 01202 765352.

Of course you could spend the night before your cruise leaves Southampton enjoying the shopping and leisure activities in one of the many hotels available that offers special packages for cruise passengers.

Pre/Post Cruise Hotel Packages

Mercure Hotel

34-35 High Street, Old Town, Southampton, SO14 2HN

Cruise & Stay

Just A Room

Holiday Inn

Herbert Walker Avenue, Southampton, SO15 1AG

Cruise & Stay

Just A Room

Grand Harbour Hotel

West Quay Road, Southampton, SO15 1AG

Cruise & Stay

Just A Room


Chilworth Manor - Park & Cruise
For a relaxed stay outside of the city before your cruise, includes up to 14 days parking