Just a note to all you who think you need to spend a fortune for a new wardrobe of cruise wear. You don't! I just found my formal night dress for under $30 it's very unique and colorful, my second formal night dress I got on sale last year also $30 found shoes to match for $16, got 2 new bathing suits for $8.00 each end of summer sale. Im almost all set whoopie!
You make a great point -- it is NOT necessary to spend a fortune on a cruise wardrobe!
>> For ladies, many consignment shops and thrift shops get dresses that somebody of means has worn only once or twice and sell them for substantially less than normal retail prices.
>> For gents, many tuxedo shops sell former rental formalwear that has been worn only a few times at substantial discount. If a piece fades ever so slightly, they can't rent it to wedding parties and such because it won't match properly, but it's fine for stand-alone wear.
>> Liquidators such as Building 19 here in Massachusetts and Railroad Salvage in Connecticut often get formalwear from factory overruns, insurance salvage, or other sources looking to get rid of it.
>> Many regular formalwear shops also have sales on discontinued items at the end of the season where one can get brand new formalwear at major discounts.
Finally, I strongly recommend buying formalwear in classic styles that will not become dated. It will serve the average cruiser for years, and the odds of encountering somebody who has seen your outfit before are pretty slim.