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-   -   How Formal are you now? (http://www.cruisemates.com/forum/all-things-cruising/370165-how-formal-you-now.html)

Paul Motter December 20th, 2009 02:22 PM

How Formal are you now?
 
Without a doubt, the more I cruise the more I realize that seemingly just in the last five years the degree of formal dress has dropped considerably.

There used t be ships where I would say "a tuxedo is mandatory." I cannot think of such a ship now (possibly Crystal). There are still some ships where they are not unusual (Celebrity Solstice class, Silversea and definitely Cunard) but they are not manadatory anywhere anymore as far as I recall.

So, I am asking you, depending on your gender, how much you have changed your approach to formal and what you take onboard now?

Personally, I take one black jacket and matching slacks. I will take one or two dress shirts and two ties - that is th MOST I ever take. I often now take just one dress shirt and we do not go out for one formal night, or we go to a casual alternative.

I find I can ear the same slacks every night for dinner (its only a few hours) and change my shirts. If it is semi-formal I can put my jacket over a colored, collared shirt, no tie, and no problem. Casual - same slacks and a nice collared shirt. That's it.

Of course I need two pair of black socks and one pair of black shoes - works for the entire week. I am wearing far more "nice" polo-type shirts with the slacks, and may opt to add the jacket or not.

In the old days I would bring two suits, different colors and coordinated shirts, pants & ties. No more. No more vests, pocket hankies, cufflinks, argyle socks, etc.

Has anyone else pared it down as much as I have?

colorcrazie December 20th, 2009 04:38 PM

We have pared it back even more. For me, health issues has included minimizing time and energy getting "Gussied up" (who was this Gussie?). And, it makes packing/unpacking easier. For a 7 day, I'll take one pair of dressy black slacks, black silk tank tops, and fancy beaded shawls or similar. Hubby had no problem dropping down on the formal scale, as he hates getting really dressed up. So, depending on the cruise line, he also takes a pair of dress pants and a couple of nice shirts. Or, his favorite, which is a Chinese formal suit. Comfy but dressy.
Marty

Mike M December 20th, 2009 05:10 PM

My tuxedo is too big for me now and hasn't been out of the closet in four years. Most of my wife's formal dresses have gone to Goodwill.

I now take one sports jacket and a couple of dress shirts, one pair of dress slacks and one or two ties when we cruise on a traditional cruise. I do have a dark suit that I will use if I sail a truly formal ship. On other nights it's a Polo shirt, button up shirt and a pair of Docker type pants.

We really try to book open seating and Freestyle type cruises. We will be sailing on Royal Caribbean next month so I guess the dark will need to come with or I may just use the sports jacket for formal night and the alternative restaurants.

My wife likes to "dress nice" but she does not like the "formal" evenings and it got to a point where she didn't want to cruise if it required buying, packing and wearing formal wear and all that goes with it. Women have it much harder than men. :)

Take care,
Mike

Donna December 20th, 2009 05:24 PM

It for sure, not as formal as years past, but still not old jeans and sweat shirts either. I think its a good alternative to Tux's, etc. I just don't stress over it and try to pack less. With all the airline restrictions, expecially the weight, packing to a minimum is called for these days.

nlb1050 December 20th, 2009 05:42 PM

Since a cruise is really the only time we can dress up we do. But for hubby it is a nice dark suit, a couple of shirts and ties and for me a very nice long black skirt with a nice jacket and top, I will take two of these and one pair of dress shoes.

For the casual nights hubby has a couple pair of slacks and nice collared short sleeve shirts, me maybe a nice dress or good slacks and tops.

Hubby has never owned a tux and I am sure some people would not consider my things very formal but they definitely are formal enough for a cruise.

lulu48 December 20th, 2009 11:51 PM

We take cruise with no formal night so a blue blazer, couple of collared shirts, dress pants for hubby
I usually take microfibre clothes easy to wash/dry silky looking pants, skirts & some nice tops nothing fussy.
We are usually on longer cruises so packing light is always good...less to round up the last night;)
& of course I take a small empty carry on for the shopping:)

hockeynut December 21st, 2009 01:10 AM

I definitely have become more informal the more I cruise.

My first cruise, I wore a tux on both formal nights. For the other "casual" dinner nights I wore a shirt and tie and also a jacket.

My second cruise I wore a black suit, and just a shirt & tie for dinner.

My third cruise, I wore a black suit and only wore a tie on occasion.

My fourth cruise I got married on board, so that was different and I did wear a tux on formal nights, but no tie for the other nights.

My 5th-6th cruise I only wore a suit formal nights, and just a shirt for the casual evenings and even wore polo a few nights.

My 7th cruise we only attended 1 formal dinner which I did wear a suit. The other nights, I just wore either a polo or a button shirt with no tie.

I definitely have become more and more informal. My next cruise in April I do plan on attending both formal dinners so I will wear a suit for those nights. The other nights, probably just a shirt and no tie.

I'm not sure why I became more "informal" through the years, but it does seem to be the trend though. I never wore jeans in the dining room and doubt I ever would.

I wonder if part of it might be the baggage fees airlines are charging?

katlady December 21st, 2009 03:11 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by colorcrazie (Post 1263473)
"Gussied up" (who was this Gussie?).
Marty

World Wide Words: Gussied up
"Many people associate the term with more recent events. The American tennis player “Gorgeous Gussie” Moran is best remembered for appearing at Wimbledon in 1949 wearing frilly panties, which caused considerable interest and controversy. Could she have been linked to the phrase?"

The above is from the link for the origin of the term Gussied up. So now you know who Gussie is.:wink:
http://img.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/200...06_468x610.jpg

Irish Girl December 21st, 2009 06:32 AM

I don't even take a dress anymore. Black pants and a top is my formal attire. I wear the same thing both formal nights so I don't have to pack an extra outfit.

Parrot Mom December 21st, 2009 09:06 AM

Dressing or undressing
 
We have just got off the NCL Gem..Parrot Pop took one black jacket and two dress shirts and two ties..two or three pairs of pants..I cant remember if he even wore the jacket..mostly collared knit shirts.. Yes,I saw some men in tuxes and women in sequins (made a positive comment to one of the men), many guests seemed to wear dungarees and/or dressed shleppy especially during the day ..As for myself I had the black pants, dressy tops (nothing sequined) and felt completely at ease..Yes, Parrot Pop has two tuxes in the closet but refuses to wear them now.. On the other hand...on our next cruise, a Celebrity, we/he will bring two sport jackets.. a dark and light. Parrot Mom always over packs (gets caught too) and I keep promising myself to cut down.. but the next cruise is a special one for us.. and I want to celebrate with dressier clothes..and of course there is always the shopping for an up and coming cruise.. to add a new item or two to freshen up the wardrobe..lol.. Yes, I really enjoy dressing up, going to the specialty restaurants...Jewelry real or faux or my special parrot necklaces do add a fun or dressy touch.. but I long for the days now when cruisers took pride in their appearance..

Paul Motter December 21st, 2009 02:27 PM

Well, I have to say that if ever there was a formal cruise in the modern age it was our Queen Mary 2 crossing. I believe almost every gentleman was in a tux.

Trip December 21st, 2009 08:25 PM

Any Love boat devotee will remember how dressed up the cruisers were, not only when they boarded the ship, but just on deck, in general....I wonder at the time, if people really did that!! I doubt it though...

For me...it's simply the airline that changed the way I pack for a cruise...the easiest things to remove were the tux, and the very dressy dresses....With resort style casual, we can look great, and not have to worry about extra baggage fees or baggage overcharge fees.

Parrot Mom December 22nd, 2009 12:27 AM

TRIP...I'd be embarassed to tell you how much I pay in "overage" at check in at the airlines. At this age I'm determined to look my best every day...and not just toss on any old thing...for heavens sake..my makeup alone takes up a huge, huge zip lock bag...there are some things you can't get in travel size..lol

LisaK December 22nd, 2009 12:29 PM

for me the long gown has been replaced by the little black cocktail dress, and for the hubby the dark suit has been replaced with suit separates

Trip December 22nd, 2009 12:33 PM

Parrot Mom, for ALL my previous cruises, I packed with everything, I could possible "ever" need, until this last cruise...I never looked like I threw something on,that's not my style....but, I packed very wisely, and trust me when I say, I am a health and beauty aid maven,and, I managed well on a 7 day cruise, not even wearing all Ipacked....you need to make that leap pf faith,and I bet you too can do it......I don't wanat to give the airlines anothe rpenny than I need to.

LisaK December 22nd, 2009 12:34 PM

yes Trip, but how many pairs of shoes did you pack? lol

Aerogirl December 22nd, 2009 01:34 PM

We dresssed nice every night and got all decked out on formal night. Most people looked pretty nice. I did see a few in jeans but not many.

Trip December 22nd, 2009 01:40 PM

OHHHH Lisa, who would think lady would have a low shoe count ,but I did...I bought this German pair of sandals that has all adjustable straps,so I could pack less....oddly,and thankfully, my feet were not as swollen as they usually get, and I never even wore them!!! If I can do that, I can downsize anything:)

LisaK December 22nd, 2009 02:14 PM

oh Trip i am crushed, the shoe maeven has fallen! lol. How much snow did you get in your part of the state? we got 2-3" inches in western ma

Trip December 22nd, 2009 09:29 PM

Welllllll:) My high shoe count was mainly tied to the swelling issue, but trust me if i didn't have that to worry about all these yrs,I probably would still have brought like 8 pairs...

We got like a foot of snow..you guys lucked out this time, but wait.....:)

Aerogirl December 23rd, 2009 11:13 AM

Do you think that people who have the early seating time are more likely to be dress up ? The reason I was thinking this is I think most of the older crowd like to be seated earlier for dinner and are accustom to being properly dresses for dinner. Like I mentioned we had the early seating last week and pretty much everyone look very nice every night.

green_rd December 23rd, 2009 12:56 PM

I love the Love Boat reference. Next time I cruise with my steamer trunk I'll pack a tux :) People also use to "dress" to travel by air before they started packing us in like sardines. When I return home from business trips I try to dress down on the way before boarding the aircraft.

Marc December 23rd, 2009 02:58 PM

My cruise line of choice, Regent, has basically (all cruises less than 16 nights) gone casual. I take a sports coat or two for some nights but have gotten to enjoy the "elegant" casual dress. My tux and dinner jacket haven't been on my last few cruises.

I am concerned about the "slippery slope" but "so far, so good."

Truck Cruiser December 24th, 2009 05:22 AM

Personally I hate dressing up and would like to see the cruise lines do away with it all together.

After all, you are on vacation, you should be able to dress however you want!

Trip December 24th, 2009 11:37 AM

"After all, you are on vacation, you should be able to dress however you want!"

I would like to ask....if you were on vacation at home, and, you decided to go to a real nice restaurant..would you not dress accordingly?

AIS December 25th, 2009 04:35 PM

Personally, we are not into dressing up on our vacation because vacation(for us) is time for relaxation - bar none.

I will lounge around the ship in my jeans because that is what I wear. However, if there are specific dress codes in the main evening dining aka sans jeans, then I will abide by that and wear casual pants and a proper shirt.

Understand there are three formal nights on our 16 day caper. I have no intention of dressing in a tux( never did, not now and never will), however I will pack my navy blue blazer, dress shirt and tie for formal night, that is if we decide to partake. We will probably take in one but that will be enough for us.

Just my view point.

Marc December 25th, 2009 06:14 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by AIS (Post 1264273)
Personally, we are not into dressing up on our vacation because vacation(for us) is time for relaxation - bar none.

I will lounge around the ship in my jeans because that is what I wear. However, if there are specific dress codes in the main evening dining aka sans jeans, then I will abide by that and wear casual pants and a proper shirt.

Understand there are three formal nights on our 16 day caper. I have no intention of dressing in a tux( never did, not now and never will), however I will pack my navy blue blazer, dress shirt and tie for formal night, that is if we decide to partake. We will probably take in one but that will be enough for us.

Just my view point.

AIS, can I ask why you chose to book a cruiseline with three formal nights if you do not want to dress formally? After all, some of your fellow cruisemates may have chosen this cruise specifically for the formal nights (along with itinerary and a multitude of other factors)? It would be sort of like attending a black tie formal ball without formal attire at home. There are a number of cruise lines that don't even require a blazer, let alone a tux.

Based on your previous posts, I recommend Regent Seven Seas Voyager 15 night repositioning cruise from Barcelona to Ft Lauderdale. Everynight is "elegant casual." Here is a link to itinerary and other information:

http://www.rssc.com/cruises/VOY101108/Itinerary.aspx

Enjoy!

Dave Beers December 26th, 2009 03:30 PM

Add me to the list. When I first started cruising - and for the ensuing 10 years or so - I always brought two complete formal outfits, one a tux and the other a dinner jacket. I also brought a dark suit for the "semi-formal" nights. Whoever thought that name up anyway....semi-formal? Kind of stupid when you think about it. It's in the same vein as "smart casual" vs "casual". I never heard of "semi-smart casual" or "casual-formal" but I wouldn't be surprised if they exist.

Anyway, no more tuxedo or dinner jacket for me. I prefer personal comfort as opposed to being trussed up like a stuffed turkey in some silly effort to look elegant. I bring one dark suit, a sport jacket, and two ties. Two button-down shirts. That is my formal wear, with the sport jacket worn with dockers for one of the nights. Otherwise I am in dockers, deck shoes, and either a tropical shirt or polo shirt.

AIS December 26th, 2009 05:01 PM

"AIS, can I ask why you chose to book a cruiseline with three formal nights if you do not want to dress formally?"

You certainly can ask and my response is “because this is the cruise/itinerary we wanted to do”. It’s that simple.

Dining/dressing up is not the overriding issue for myself and my partner when it comes to a particular vacation (we had plenty experiences at five star establishments drinking classified French/Italian vintages). Unless I am missing something, isn’t a cruise a vacation – time to relax, that’s what it is for us. There will be times during our 16 day trip we will have meals in one of the main rooms and other times it will be the burger/fries/pizza menu washed down by a cold beer issue. As for “dress” for the three formal nights, we don’t want to dress(shirt/tie/suit for me and cocktail dress for her) we will exercise our option of not attending. That's what we always did when faced with a function that we didn't/don't want to dress up for.

Cheers
;)


Truck Cruiser December 27th, 2009 02:03 AM

If I am on vacation anywhere, i should be able to dress as I choose. Cruise ships especially because of limited dining venues. I should not be forced to dine in my room or seek out the buffet just because i dont want to get dressed up.


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