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  #91 (permalink)  
Old November 23rd, 2005, 09:00 PM
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Andre,

Your definition of "Black Tie" is basically correct. A gentleman's "formal" attire consists of a formal dress shirt (usualy with either pleated or ruffled front) with studs and cuff links, black formal dress pants (with satin stripes on the outside seams), black bow tie, cummerbund or vest, black socks, black dress shoes (well polished or patent leather, with leather soles), and a dinner jacket or waist coat. The jacket or waistcoat may be any color, but white and pastel shades are generally reserved for wear in warm weather of the summer season or the tropics.

Some common variations are quite acceiptable.

>> Contemporary fashion replaces the black bow tie with a bow tie of the same fabric as the vest or the cummerbund.

>> Bermudans frequently wear formal shorts, with the same satin stripe, and knee-high socks in place of the full length trowsers.

>> Scotsmen frequently wear a kilt in place of the trowsers. On my last cruise, I also saw a Scotsman wearing the plaid trousers of his clan in place of the standard formal trowsers.

>> Military and naval personnel of any nation on active duty may wear their "mess dress" or equivalent uniforms, which generally consist of the same elements but with appropriate insignia of the service and the rank of the wearer and miniature medals.

In proper use, a "tuxedo" is a black dinner jacket of a specific style that was first introduced several decades ago at an extablishment named The Tuxedo Club (http://www.thetuxedoclub.org and click on the "Guest" button), from which it took its name, though many people improperly apply that term to any formal outfit.

As you correctly state, one should not substitute a dark business suit only unless the host (that is, the cruise line) indicates that such substitution is acceptable. Nonetheless, most cruise lines marketed in North America began allowing this substutition in the 1970's as a concession to the reality that most men who were likely to take cruises did not own formalwear but did own business suits. Alas, the advent of the "business casual" workplace has turned the tide so a lot fewer men now own business suits....

Norm.
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Old January 2nd, 2006, 01:37 PM
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Totally agree with you Andre, I personally hate when the tradition is forgotten due to lazynes or "comfort", I love using my smoking (tuxedo) on formal nights (weddings, cruises, etc). Anyway, those who look ugly wearing jeans on formal nights are themselves!
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  #93 (permalink)  
Old February 15th, 2006, 05:15 PM
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Ok, so the point of the original post was to explain mens formal wear, got that (although, I don't understand why there were so many ? in it, but that is a whole other topic). It was very informative.

Here is my question, why do people care what other people are wearing. Why does what someone else is wearing have any affect on whether you have a good time or not? I just don't understand this. It is not like the people are being loud and obnoxious and ruining your evening. I enjoy dressing up on formal nights, I have two long formal dresses I wear or a fancy little black dress. But never has what someone else was wearing had any affect on my evening. Arogant, opinionated tablemates have ruined my evening before, but never their clothes.

Just a question I felt I had to ask.
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  #94 (permalink)  
Old February 16th, 2006, 08:43 AM
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jules, this is an will always be a "hot button" issue. What started out as a clarification, clear-cut and precise, turned into a mess. The point that we are trying to get across is what you know. Formal means formal, nothing more, nothing less, and that is what is expected of you if you choose to dine in the main dining room. Its not about the "fashion police" its about information and doing the right thing, what is expected of us as civilized guests. But it is painfully obvious that a small few choose to break the rules of etiquette, and they don't have respect for their fellow passengers.
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  #95 (permalink)  
Old February 16th, 2006, 12:06 PM
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LisaK, I understand what you are saying about the topic was about the definition of formal, maybe I should have started a new thread with my question.

But about what you said about the few passengers that break the rules and don't respect their fellow passengers. I don't understand where they are disrespecting anyone (except maybe the host, if the host truly has a problem with it). If anything, aren't the people who get upset about what other people are wearing disrespecting them. Is a person showing respect to another person when they expect them to dress a way that obviously makes them feel uncomfortable and have a miserable evening. I was always taught that we respect a person by accepting who they are and not judging. The cruiseline is hosting the dinner and in my opinion they are the only ones who have the right to have a problem with what other people are wearing. If a co-worker was having a holiday party at their home that they had said was formal and someone showed up not dressed that way, but the host was ok with it, would it be ok for other people at the party to complain?

But all that aside, what I still don't understand is why anyone has a problem with what other people wear. How does that affect your evening? If anything if you (and I'm not speaking directly to you LisaK, just using the term generally) think you look good dressed up and the other people look bad, then them looking bad just makes you look that much better.
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  #96 (permalink)  
Old February 16th, 2006, 12:37 PM
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Jules, I agree completely with you. I go into the dining room to look at my food and not the other diners.

Clothes do not make the man, the man makes the clothes!
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  #97 (permalink)  
Old February 17th, 2006, 09:39 AM
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jules, you make a very good point, personally i am waay to involved with my family and friends to knit-pick on what everyone is wearing, besides it seems to me that the majority of passengers do get dressed for formal night.
The original purpose of this thread was just to inform, but since this seems to be such a "hot button" issue (which i still don't understand why), the thread goes off on a tangent and takes on a life of its own.<SIGH>
I think that Andre has given up and at this point so have I.
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  #98 (permalink)  
Old February 17th, 2006, 01:11 PM
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Lisa, never give up the ship Sorry, bad pun.
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  #99 (permalink)  
Old February 17th, 2006, 01:57 PM
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Old February 26th, 2006, 12:29 AM
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jules123,

Here is my question, why do people care what other people are wearing. Why does what someone else is wearing have any affect on whether you have a good time or not? I just don't understand this.

Well, why bother to decorate a room for a party? After all, one can have a good time without decorations!

But decorations help to set the ambiance, or the mood, for an event -- and so does the manner in which people dress. A Halloween party does not have the same ambiance as a wedding reception, for example, largely because of what the participants wear. Just as a Halloween party would fall short if some people were to come dressed in street clothes, so too a formal evening falls short if some people come dressed in casual attire.

It is not like the people are being loud and obnoxious and ruining your evening.

From a standpoint of social etiquette, these behaviors are fully equivalent and equally gauche.

Norm.
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  #101 (permalink)  
Old February 26th, 2006, 01:58 PM
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The thing is, in all of my 21 cruises, I have never noticed people not following the dress rules as long as formal is construed to mean coat and tie rather than tux. If a tux were truly required , I would not be in the dining room and probably not on the ship as all. I am still in the dining room for the food and the service rather than the ambiance.

I am certain that you can still find upscale cruises where most of the men are attired in a tux, but the percentage seems to be getting fewer on most cruise ships.

In the early days of cruising, I am sure that the formal dress requirements were in effect because most of the passengers preferred them. However, I really believe that one of the primary reasons for still having such rules is that the cruise line makes money from the photographs taken on formal nights.


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  #102 (permalink)  
Old February 28th, 2006, 08:15 PM
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Paul,

The thing is, in all of my 21 cruises, I have never noticed people not following the dress rules as long as formal is construed to mean coat and tie rather than tux. If a tux were truly required , I would not be in the dining room and probably not on the ship as all. I am still in the dining room for the food and the service rather than the ambiance.

Back in the 1970's, most gentlemen who could afford to cruise did not own formalwear (tuxedos or dinner jacket outfits) but did own business suits, which they wore in their work. Thus, most cruise lines adopted a modified standard of "formal" that admits DARK business suits in lieu of a true formal outfit in order to make cruising more accessible.

Alas, society has continued to change (one could debate whether it has evolved or devolved...) over the last three decades. For better or worse, many professional workplaces have gone to "business casual" attire, so many gentlemen no longer own business suits and most restaurants ashore have dropped their dress codes. The majority of cruise lines, however, have not further modified their dress standards. The result is that many more gentlemen now rent formalwear because they don't have the proper alternative, so we're seeing a lot more tuxedos and dinner jacket outfits on most cruise lines than a couple decades ago. By the guidelines now n effect on most major cruise lines:

>> A DARK business suit (navy, charcoal, black, etc.), worn with a dress shirt and a necktie, is acceptbable.

>> A light grey business suit is NOT appropriate.

>> A sport jacket, either with or without a necktie, is NOT appropriate.

>> A Hawaiian shirt, or a sport shirt without a jacket, is NOT appropriate.

A "T" shirt and shorts should be out of the question, but I have seen people show up in such attire....

I am certain that you can still find upscale cruises where most of the men are attired in a tux, but the percentage seems to be getting fewer on most cruise ships.

That has not been my obsrevation.

In the early days of cruising, I am sure that the formal dress requirements were in effect because most of the passengers preferred them. However, I really believe that one of the primary reasons for still having such rules is that the cruise line makes money from the photographs taken on formal nights.

Actually, there's a fairly large segment of the population that enjoys dressing up for a special evening and has little opportunity to do so in our casual society. Many such individuals now take cruise vacatoins prcisely because the cruises include formal evenings. Some cruise lines undoubtedly attract more such individuals than on others, but it's a significant factor in the popularity of cruising. In my experience on Celebrity Cruises (seven cruises since the fall of 2003), for example, the published dress standard seems to be more of a minimum than a maximum -- especially on the line's "informal" evenings when many passengers dress well beyond the "informal" standard and it's not uncommon to see ladies wearing cocktail dresses and accessories that would be acceptable on formal nights

There are enough options out there for everybody, but there's some onus on us, as prospective passengers, to make choices that are appropriate for our preferences rather than expecting every cruise line to accommodate -- or even tolerate -- failure to conform to its published standards.

Norm.
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  #103 (permalink)  
Old March 1st, 2006, 11:00 AM
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well said Norm, i totally agree with you. In my cruise experiences i would have to say that the VAST majority of men and women were dressed appropriatley for formal night. Its that very teeny, tiny small few who choose to "buck the system" and disregard the dress code that get the attention, because frankly they "stick out like a sore thumb"
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  #104 (permalink)  
Old March 1st, 2006, 06:34 PM
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Lisa,

well said Norm, i totally agree with you.

Thank you for your kind words!

i would have to say that the VAST majority of men and women were dressed appropriatley for formal night. Its that very teeny, tiny small few who choose to "buck the system" and disregard the dress code that get the attention, because frankly they "stick out like a sore thumb"

Yes -- and do they ever stick out like sore thumbs!

BTW, inappropriate attire is not confined to men. I have seen a few women show up for dinner on formal night in slacks and a blouse. Such outfits really is appropriate only on casual evenings. Even worse, it seems to be mostly older women who are grossly overweight who do this. Their girth only draws additional attention to the fact.

Norm.
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Old March 1st, 2006, 07:57 PM
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Hi Norm,

I often wear silky slacks and a long (over the hips) sparkly blouse for formal nights. I've never felt out of place. Many women of "girth" are more comfortable in outfits like this.

And you shouldn't be looking at my "girth" anyway !
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  #106 (permalink)  
Old March 1st, 2006, 09:08 PM
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Sorry, but I have missed all the cruisers who stick out like a sore thumb on formal nights. Perhaps there weren't any on the ships I have been on. I still think that this whole thread is much ado about very little.
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  #107 (permalink)  
Old March 2nd, 2006, 09:37 PM
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Fern,

I often wear silky slacks and a long (over the hips) sparkly blouse for formal nights. I've never felt out of place.

Perhaps, but standards do vary from one cruise line to another.

In any case, the fact that you don't feel out of place wearing such an outfit does not mean that you [/i] are not [/i] out of place. In any case, a long silk or velour skirt probably would be more appropriate than slacks.

Many women of "girth" are more comfortable in outfits like this.

Then they obviously have not seen how they look from the back, or even from the side. Pants tend to emphasize bulges in the wrong places whereas skirts really do deemphasize them.

And you shouldn't be looking at my "girth" anyway !

If you don't want other passengers to notice your girth, don't wear clothes that emphasize -- and thus draw their attention to -- it. Most people are polite enough not to say anything to your face, but the absence of comment rarely means that they don't notice.

Norm.
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Old March 2nd, 2006, 09:40 PM
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Paul,

Sorry, but I have missed all the cruisers who stick out like a sore thumb on formal nights. Perhaps there weren't any on the ships I have been on. I still think that this whole thread is much ado about very little.

As they say in the old country, Ouvrez vos yeux!

Norm.
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  #109 (permalink)  
Old March 3rd, 2006, 08:05 AM
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Default Let's say Goodbye to this thread!

I think that its time to put this thread to rest. It has totally gotten off the original topic which was a simple explanation of the technical meaning of formal wear. Goodbye Thread!!
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  #110 (permalink)  
Old March 3rd, 2006, 09:03 PM
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Quote:
Fern,

I often wear silky slacks and a long (over the hips) sparkly blouse for formal nights. I've never felt out of place.

Perhaps, but standards do vary from one cruise line to another.

In any case, the fact that you don't feel out of place wearing such an outfit does not mean that you are not out of place. In any case, a long silk or velour skirt probably would be more appropriate than slacks.

Many women of "girth" are more comfortable in outfits like this.

Then they obviously have not seen how they look from the back, or even from the side. Pants tend to emphasize bulges in the wrong places whereas skirts really do deemphasize them.

And you shouldn't be looking at my "girth" anyway !

If you don't want other passengers to notice your girth, don't wear clothes that emphasize -- and thus draw their attention to -- it. Most people are polite enough not to say anything to your face, but the absence of comment rarely means that they don't notice.

Norm.
Norm, I'm talking about tops that cover the bulges! You'll never see me in any tops that stop at the waist or even the hips. Mine go down to my knees! (Easy for me, as I'm short!) And you'd have to really be "studying me" to see that I have on slacks and not a skirt.

(I've just had the thought that maybe you just don't like the idea of women wearing slacks?)

I don't expect anyone to say anything about how I look. (How rude would that be!) I try to look my best and I must say that I've seen women much larger who look ridiculous in clothes that are too small! I'd rather see someone in something that fits than someone who is trying to look smaller than they are!

Oh no, LisaK, this thread must never be put to rest! It is "much ado about nothing", but it's fun !
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  #111 (permalink)  
Old March 11th, 2006, 08:39 PM
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Norm:

According to the Army Regs, as i read them, retires can wear their mess dress uniforms on formal nights on cruises.

For one thing, the attending crew members, wear their military type uniforms to the formal and since they do it is a military affair of sorts.

I'm aware, that many other Countries, such as the UK do not allow other then active duty people to wear their uniforms after retirement for any reason.
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