Originally Posted by You
I am looking at possible options for my attire for the two "formal" nights. I want something that I can take across several lines as I would be trying out several cruiselines(the first two being Carnival and Royal Caribbean) since I am going to be working in the travel industry as a cruise specialist soon. I was wondering if I should go with the white/ivory dinner jacket, the black tuxedo jacket with any standard lapel, or a non-traditional tuxedo with a mandarin collar, no button jacket(Jean Yves Mirage to be specific), or would a combination of two or all 3 be suitable.
If you want to get maximum wear out of your investment, it's best to stick to classic styles, as trendy styles will grow dated in a year or two.
>> A black dinner jacket ensemble, of which a "tuxedo" is a specific style (so named because it was first worn at the Tuxedo Club in New York), is always acceptable.
>> A white or pastel dinner jacket outfit is acceptable in warm weather. This generally means all year in tropical and subtropical regions and when "summertime" weather prevails in the temperate regions.
By way of amplification, "summertime" nominally extends from Memorial Day to Labor Day in New England, the Pacific Northwest, and the British Isles/Baltic region and grows longer as you move further south (mid-April to mid-October would be about right in the Carolinas, southern California, and the Mediterranean). Many cruises outside of the tropical and subtropical regions still operate in this window, but cruises to Canada's maritime provinces and New England have long run into October some cruises in the Mediterranean now run into December and thus really require the black dinner jacket.
Cultural equivalent attire, such as the Chinese silk dinner jacket with the "choker" collar or the Scottish formal outfit worn with a kilt, is always acceptable, though usually worn only by people who come from those cultures.
If you are concerned about cost, your best option probably would be to buy a Stafford tuxedo ensemble at J. C Penney's. The jacket and pants cost $99.00 and they have a shirt and a kit with the accessories for another $30 or so each. This ensemble will last for a few years with reasonable care (basically, just get it dry cleaned when you return home and hang it in a garment bag to keep it clean), and will be acceptable for "formal" evenings on all of your cruises. As you get established, you can add the white dinner jacket ensemble for wear in warmer weather, additional vest/cummerbund and tie sets, nicer shirts, and fancier cuff links and studs.