In Categories, Fashion and Beauty

I’ll post the complete World Cruise packing list in a future post, but for the time being some of you have been asking me for tips about what to wear on a cruise and asking “How much, and what can you buy on a cruise to top up your wardrobe if necessary?”

cruise clothes

If you don’t have to fly to your departure port, you don’t have to worry about the weight of your suitcases but although you can, at a push, fit four medium suitcases under the bed (if it’s a double) in your stateroom, I wouldn’t suggest this! Particularly as you’ll find that you’ll probably wear less rather than more on a cruise, and garments that mix and match will see you through lots of different situations.

When it comes to purchasing cruise clothes onboard, there are likely to be boutiques on a Princess Cruise which will tempt you – both with designer gear (more expensive) and (reasonably priced) casual gear. For instance, I bought a couple of stripey nautical tops and a sweatshirt for AUD$24.99 reduced from around AUD$60 which I thought was pretty good. You can also occasionally buy T-shirts, trousers, sun dresses, active wear and jewellery in ship sales as well.

Cruise Clothes

I think that although there’s a case for packing a couple of sundresses, a couple of cocktail dresses and a formal gown, separates should feature strongly in your cruise wardrobe.

Pack slacks that can be worn with different tops, for instance as in the photos below.

I’d also be thinking about packing a black pair of pants for more formal evenings, and a more funky pair for casual evenings, as well as cut-offs or capri pants for on shore excursions.

Make sure they work well with comfortable flat shoes – because you won’t always want to wear heels on the ship, and certainly not on shore excursions.

Below I’m wearing Joseph Ribkoff separates and FRANKiE4 Sandals – all very comfy.

cruise clothes

Tops that are lightweight and which don’t cling to my tummy are top of the pops for me, as are tops that cover the top of my arms.

The white blouse below would be a great shore excursion garment – lightweight and comfortable in hot weather but offering good sun cover. The blouse above would be perfectly suitable with these quirky patterned slacks (or block black or white pants) for a meal in the formal dining room.

cruise clothes

On Sea Princess there was a boutique showcasing Joseph Ribkoff designs, which while not inexpensive, were clothes that would go the extra mile. The cuts were fabulous, the fabrics were lovely, and as one passenger told me, “The black pants I bought a few years ago have gone on and on and on and on,” which fits well with my strategy of buying really good staple wardrobe items which you can mix and match with less expensive show pony additions that you might want to change more frequently.

Cruise Dresses

When it came to packing dresses, I packed some frocks for daywear around the ship, and other more dressy options for evenings – both formal and casual (more to come in a future post).

I loved the Joseph Ribkoff dress below which fits snugly, gives me curves where I really want curves, and at a pinch went okay with my flat FRANKiE4 sandals. Although I probably would have teamed this dress with black shoes with a bit of a heel or wedges, if I’d had them with me on the ship (I didn’t have any with me – big mistake!)

cruise clothes

This kind of dress is great for ship events like captain’s cocktail parties and more formal dining, not only because it’s comfortable and moves with you, but also because the fabric is stretchy but firm and helps hold you in a bit. I think it’s really flattering. I love the slimming side panels too.

For more cruise tips and stories you might like – Cruise TipsΒ – This is the page where you’ll find a whole lot more posts about world cruising.

7 Top Tips for cruise clothes

  1. Pack lightweight clothes that can be layered and don’t require ironing, if possible.
  2. Take garments which mix ‘n match.
  3. Don’t take anything that’s too tight before you start a cruise in the hope that you might squeeze into it later. You probably won’t.
  4. Opt for comfort.
  5. Depending on the cruise your dress theme should probably be ‘resort wear,’ both casual and formal.
  6. Don’t just take white cut-off pants for shore excursions – be a bit inventive – how about khaki, or navy, or patterned or floral?
  7. Take one pair of beautifully cut black pants for evening wear that you can wear with different tops.

Got any great tips Lifestylers for cruise style or what to pack on a cruise? I’d love to hear in the comments.

Oh and Katies have some lovely spring/summer clothes if you’re looking …

This post contains an affiliate link.

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Showing 12 comments
  • Annabel Candy

    You always look gorgeous but that Joseph Ribkoff dress and the trousers/top combo looks fantastic on you. I love the label and hadn’t heard of it before. So fun to get new clothes πŸ™‚

    • Johanna

      Hi Annabel, thank you so much πŸ™‚ I’d never heard of Joseph Ribkoff until the cruise either, but I am a little bit in love with the styles,the cut and the fabric he uses.

  • Janet Camilleri aka Middle Aged Mama

    I would also suggest taking things which don’t need ironing. Ain’t nobody got time for that!!!

    • Johanna

      Lol! Janet! Definitely, “Ain’t nobody got time for that!!”

  • Kathy Marris

    Yes Jo I agree with all of these packing tips for a cruise. Both cruises I have been on have been in hot weather so I would add bathers, coverups, sun hat, shorts and tops and cool sun dresses to the above. I think I packed far too much formal wear for the evening as I found most guests dressed very casually. In fact I would say some of them dressed way too casual at times. I love your checked pants with the red top. This outfit looks amazing on you with your lovely trim figure.

    • Johanna

      Hi Kathy, thanks for some more great packing tips. Yes I also found I took too much formal wear as guests often do dress more casually than you imagine they might. Then there are others who go all out and dress to impress. I do think there’s a middle ground that’s acceptable.

  • Life Images by Jill

    I’ve never been on a cruise, but when I do I will surely look back for your great tips Jo. Thanks.

    • Johanna

      Thanks Jill, and here’s hoping you get to experience a cruise πŸ™‚

  • Deborah

    I think the mix and match thing is really important… you can ‘make’ so many different outfits out of just a few things and if some are plain colours you can dress them up / change them with jewellery. People so rarely remember what you wear if it’s a plain colour! Well, that’s my excuse and why I live in black! πŸ™‚

    • Johanna

      That is so true Deborah – not many people remember what you wear, and if you have basic classics that you dress up with jewellery or scarves then you feel quite different – thanks for this tip πŸ™‚

  • Irene Foley

    “Tops that are lightweight and which don’t cling to my tummy are top of the pops for me”….my thinking too. I don’t like clingy things at all but unfortunately I’ve bought some tops in the past before I realised that the clingy effect didn’t look so good. I can see them going into a charity bag very soon to make way for non clingy, light weight, drip dry materials which are so good on a cruise. You can rinse them through, hang them in the shower overnight and they’re dry in the morning.

    • Johanna

      That’s a great tip Irene – to remember to pack things which are light weight, and drip dry – because washing in the shower and hanging up overnight in your own bathroom is easier than using the laundry πŸ™‚

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