Norm: I wanted to ask you this. And while we BOTH agree on the formal code.....I HAVE seen more and more women wearing pantsuits to formal nights....I don't necessarily consider it formal, However from what I have seen these women also dress up consistantly during the cruise. Just wanted to know your thoughts on the issue. Can and should a woman have the option of wearing a high-end pantsuit to formal evenings?
I think that if many ladies ever saw photographs of how they look when wearing pants (which tend to emphasize "bulges" that they should try to diminish...), they wuold never again be seen in public wearing pants!
That said, the sad reality is that formal pantsuits, usually made of brocades or similarly ornate fabricss, are now accepted in many places, and some cruise lines do admit them. In any case, social etiquette dictates that one should either follow the "suggested dress" or "dress guidelines" of the cruise line, which are written to North American standards on the major cruise lines marketed in North America, or substitute equivalent attire of one's own culture. Since Celebrity's guidelines for formal evenings do not include such pant suits, ladies travelling on Celebrity should avoid them.
BTW, the term "equivalent attire of one's own culture" here is somewhat liberal -- but the key word is EQUIVALENT. In Bermuda, for example, it's customary for gentlemen to wear dinner jackets with formal black Bermuda shorts that have the same silk stripe as the formal dress pants worn with dinner jackets in the United States. Likewise, many Scotsmen wear their dinner jackets with kilts and Chinese men frequently wear high-collared silk dinner jackets that button from top to bottom (similar to the jacket of a Marine's "dress blues"), and thus don't require a shirt and tie. These variations are quite proper. Likewise, it's proper for members of military and naval forces to wear their "mess dress" uniforms rather than civilian formal attire on formal evenings.