After years of sharing cruise fashion photos on my Facebook profile, many of you have asked me to write more about cruise wear for over 50 women, over 60 and even over 70. This is the first of a series of articles about what to wear on a cruise, especially luxury cruises, which is what I know best.
I encourage you to think of my ideas as a template for using what you already own to dress well on a luxury cruise. While I usually purchase a couple of new pieces, most of what I wear has been hanging in my closet for a few years.
Also, the photos on this article are not current. So don’t look at them for the latest styles. Instead, use the photos as a guide to mixing and matching. The goal is to create your own cruise wear for women style guide that works well for new or old pieces.
My cruise wear tips for boomer women
One of the reasons that I enjoy luxury cruising is that I get to dress up. For most of my days in Montana, I wear exercise pants and a sweatshirt (or t-shirt in the summer). When it’s time to go out to dinner, I change into blue jeans, nice shirt and boots. Boring!
A cruise changes that dynamic. It’s my time to dress up and be girly. Alan appreciates it.
And I like that dressing up for a cruise is the push that I need to stay healthy and fit. Feeling good about myself is the end result. And that’s an important component to boomer health.
What’s my secret? Picking a clothing line like Chico’s (shop here) or J.Jill (take a look) where the items easily mix and match to create many variations of an outfit. I don’t claim to pack light, but I do plan an efficient cruise wardrobe.
My rule of thumb: wear an item at least twice during the cruise or put it back in the closet.
How do I accomplish this? On a 21-day cruise, I’ll pack about 3 to 4 pair of pants for evenings, with a color scheme that allows me to mix and match the tops to create different looks.
Who wants to wear the same thing each night? Not me! I might as well be back at home in Montana dressed in sweatshirt and warmup pants.
To start this cruise fashion series off, I’m sharing some of the looks that I wore on a 42-day cruise from Hong Kong to Vancouver. There were 6 formal nights and 36 elegant casual evenings.
In this article, I’m showing ways that I combine pieces of clothing to dress for a cruise. Look for more articles on formal nights, tropical cruise gear, cold weather cruise wear, adventure cruise dressing, and packing strategies soon.
For now, let’s take a look at some of the clothes that I’ll be wearing. And sorry about the lighting. I’m not a big fan of taking photos of myself (I’m shy) and usually seek out a private area to photograph the outfits rather than a well-lit public area of the ship.
For me, cruise wear for women over 50 starts at Chico’s
After moving to Tucson many years ago, I discovered Chico’s. The clothes fit me, they’re easy to mix and match—especially with the knowledgeable help of a Chico’s associate—and pieces carry over from one season to another, with the addition of one or two pieces to freshen things up.
Once I figured out my style, for me that’s pants that are slimming and long tops with a classic look, I became a happy customer. That’s right, Chico’s doesn’t pay me to write about them. Now on to cruise outfits.
I’ve gotten a lot of mileage out of this black travelers pants and tank top. And I especially like that Chico’s has narrowed the pants leg to match the current styles. Remember how baggy travelers pants used to be?
In the first photo, I’m dressed for formal night with a sheer sparkly long sleeve jacket, silver sparkly shoes, dressy jewelry and black evening bag. No, it isn’t ultra formal but the understated look fits right in on most formal nights.
The second time I wore this outfit, I topped it off with a royal blue fringe jacket and long necklace. This look would work for either informal nights or elegant casual (although I’d change out the shoes for elegant casual night).
The third outfit pairs a geometric black and white jacket, casual necklace and shoes, with the same pants and top. Three different looks!
Now let’s switch to white pants. This is the 2017 version of the Chico’s So Slimming Brigitte ankle pants. I’ve added a blue tank to the blue fringe jacket for a more casual outfit.
The center photo showcases my favorite top. I think it’s a much better look than cold shoulder tops. And, as you’ll see in the next series of photos, it can be dressed up or down.
The third photo shows a black travelers tank with geometric white and black jacket, worn with a long silver necklace.
And here’s an example of how versatile a top can be. Worn loose over black travelers pants, the top looks somewhat dressy. Tie it at the waist, over a pair of So Slimming pants, change out the jewelry and the look becomes more casual. And, you’ll notice, the sleeves have slits in them. Again, I like this better than a cold shoulder top.
But who wants to wear black and white ALL the time? Let’s add in a third color. I’ve worn these taupe travelers pants for several years.
In the first photo, I’ve combined the pants with a matching tank and lace jacket. Add sparkly silver shoes and a malachite necklace and I’m ready for formal night. Yes, I’ll be understated but will still feel that I’m appropriately dressed.
The peach sweater in the middle photo came from the 2017 fall collection. Now the pants work for elegant casual night. And the shell necklace is a really old Chico’s find. That’s the beauty of my favorite clothing line. One or two pieces and I’ve updated my look.
The last photo shows that yes, black and taupe do go together, especially if you wear gold jewelry.
This isn’t all that I packed for 42 days, but it gives you an idea of how I mix and match cruise wear.
What about formal night?
I’m planning to write several posts on dressing for formal night. For now, here’s how I mix and match clothes to create a formal night outfit.
More cruise fashion for boomer women
Knowing what to pack, no matter the trip or weather, makes for a more enjoyable trip:
- Are you traveling to Alaska on a cruise? You’ll need my tips for what to pack for an Alaska cruise.
- Are you planning a cold weather adventure? Check out cold weather gear for women that packs light.
- Going on a warm weather trip? Read about the tropical cruise gear that I recommend.
Do you have questions about dressing for a cruise? I’ll try to answer them or turn your questions into a future article. Email me here.