Here at Cruise Critic, we’re always looking for onboard outfits that are as cute as they are functional. Which is why we’re pleased to announce this giveaway from Fresh Produce, a U.S. company that specializes in colorful and coastal-inspired clothes for women and kids.
To win a $500 gift card to use at Fresh Produce, let us know what’s the one piece of clothing that you’d never leave home without, by telling us in the comments. We’ll draw a winner at random on August 6. Use the gift card to purchase a Staple Maxi Dress (seen above), a Paradise Tunic or the Twin Peaks Edge Dress.
(Note: The contest is only available to US residents. For more rules, click here).
Here are some of our staff’s favorite cruise clothing:
When I hear “go-to” item, I think versatility. I’m a fairly light packer, but I never leave for a cruise without my taupe wedges. They’re the most versatile shoes I have and a lifesaver in the evenings; I can pair them with almost any dress. The extra room in my suitcase is also a plus. — Gina Kramer, Associate Editor
When packing for a cruise, I have two mantras. One is to layer – plan that an outfit you wear at breakfast can go seamlessly to the beach and even to a nice restaurant in port. To be that versatile, layering a super-casual article of clothing, with one slightly more elegant piece (usually a jacket, sweater or long linen blouse) really keeps things simple. For evenings, I pack what I dub “the uniform,” which typically consists of a few pairs of black slacks and mix and match cotton sweaters. Since most ships have resort casual policies at night, this approach really works.
Beyond the mantras, there’s one also must-have: For the past 15 years now, my Fresh Produce Legacy jersey shorts always come along (I’ve got ’em in blue, black, white, teal, and pink and as they ultimately get worn out, I pick up a new pair in St. Thomas, Ft. Lauderdale and West Palm Beach, among other spots). They’re super comfortable, reasonably respectable, and the style never, ever changes. — Carolyn Spencer Brown, Editor in Chief
I always pack sundresses. They’re lightweight and can be rolled to fit in luggage. They’re easy to throw on over a bathing suit, and they can also be dressed up for dinner in the dining room. — Ashley Kosciolek, Copy and Ports Editor
I have two go-to wardrobe items. One is a pair of Travelsmith black pants that work well for nice dinners. Paired with a nice blouse, they look like a pair of trousers and because they are Travelsmith, they do not wrinkle. Plus, if I need to wash them, they air dry very quickly. My other go-to wardrobe item is an embroidered, fringed purple shawl, which is perfect for dressing up outfits or keeping me warm in over air-conditioned theaters. — Dori Saltzman, News Editor
With all the walking I do in port, I need shoes that are comfy enough to handle cobblestones, but can also go with a casual skirt or sundress. That’s why I stick with my Clark Privo flats. The thick sole tackles tough streets, but the mary jane style looks cute in the evening. I love these shoes so much that I own them in multiple colors, and buy replacements whenever I see them on sale. I’ve also given them to family members as bon voyage gifts for overseas honeymoon or special anniversary vacations. — Chris Gray Faust, Destinations Editor
I always bring a lightweight, white, zip-up hoodie. It goes with everything, and it works in both warm and cold climates. I’ve worn it during breezy evenings on deck in the Caribbean and as a middle layer under a heavy coat in Alaska. The pockets are the perfect size for my camera too. — Sarah Schlichter, Senior Editor, IndependentTraveler.com
An oversized navy blue cotton cardigan is always a must-pack. I wore it for the first time on a cruise where I was ill, and it became my security blanket. It’s comfortable enough to wear in almost any climate, but can double as a cover for a sundress at night. The color matches many things in my wardrobe, and the anchors on the buttons are a fitting touch. — Brittany Chrusciel, Editorial Assistant
I always pack a maxi-dress for any warm-weather destination. I love dresses like this because they’re comfortable and versatile. I recently did a Mediterranean cruise where I wore a maxi-dress for walking through Ephesus. It was hot as could be, but I paired the dress with walking shoes, a wide-brimmed hat and a good amount of sunscreen, and I was completely comfy. I didn’t worry about the dust I was kicking up, and I was able to walk up stairs and down hills with no trouble. I’ve worn that same dress to dinners; I just dress it up with a thin sweater and some jewelry. Having great, flexible fashion options makes packing easier, too. You’ve got less to pack and more room for souvenirs. — Colleen McDaniel, Managing Editor
What’s your go-to outfit? Tell us in the comments – and possibly win!