Cruise Formal Wear

Most cruise lines offer one or two formal nights which may require cruise formal wear. If your fortunate enough to cruise for extended periods, you may have more than two formal evenings. You're likely to only have 1 or 2 so we'll start with that assumption.

If you've already read our article on dress code then you know that technically "formal" after 6pm requires white tie. However, we're pretty sure that's not the intent or at least that's not the result.

That said, "formal" by cruise line standards is lose and up for interpretation. Some men choose to dress semi-formal and pack or rent a tuxedo (black tie). For the most part however, cruise line formal nights are predominantly "informal" (business suit: matching jacket & trousers, dress shirt & tie and dress shoes).

The trick to completing your cruise packing list is to decide how you will chose to interpret formal dress requirements aboard the ship. One of the best ways to do that is to find out what your significant other will be wearing.

If the technical definition of formal will be followed by your "other" then it's advisable that you fall in line. If however, true formal is not in the cards, then going with a dark suit & tie is absolutely acceptable. Two examples follow...

If she's wearing something like this

Formal Dress

Then you wear something like this

Semi Formal Attire

If she's wearing something like this

Cocktail Dress

Then you wear something like this

Business Suit

Those two examples should help with your cruise formal wear decision. If you chose to go the semi-formal route then you'll be wearing black tie (tuxedo) with black dress shoes. In this instance you might consider your best black balmorals or bluchers.

To cut down on luggage you can coordinate your other non-formal evening attire to take advantage of the black shoes. This might mean coordinating the packing of; one tuxedo, a business suit and slacks with a sport jacket or blazer so that they all work with black dress shoes.

If you chose to go with the business suit for your formal night then your non-formal evening attire should be slacks, dress shirts, sport coat and/or blazer. For traveling lightly, coordinate these to work not only with one another but also with one dress shoe, brown or black so you don't have to lug both pair.

Depending on which way you choose to go we off infomation on black tie and business attire throughout this site which can help guide you through your cruise packing list requirements.

Regardless, a cruise is a wonderful experience and one that should be ejoyed and not spent fretting over your formal cruise wear. After all, you don't even have to dine formally at any time during your cruise, you can go casual the entire time so don't get too worked up your cruise formal wear

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