There’s a fine line on dress-up night at sea between the right to individual expression and a wardrobe disaster the wearer’s friends or partner should really have helped prevent. But should we really judge what other people wear?
Well, we’re only human (and secretly, not always very nice) and we do judge, as some of us enjoy nothing more than snickering at other people’s outfits.
On the Cruise Critic boards, members are talking about various outrageous outfits including UPNYguy who writes: “Last year on Veendam while sailing a Canada/NE coastal cruise, a … woman … was wearing an open, ladder back style dress. The ladder back continued down her backside TO her rump. Every step she took, the ladder back moved up and down.”
Then there are the eccentric dressers; member Boytjie recalls: “On the QM2 on a formal night: a gentleman in a white tuxedo… and some kind of animal tail sticking out from his behind.”
And the purely practical. According to member 4boysnana: “A few years ago we were on a cruise with two elderly sisters that we would see every night in the dining room. One was tall and one was short. They had two lovely dresses, one white polyester and one bright blue in the same fabric. Every night they would rotate and switch who was wearing each dress. They were having a great time. Saved room in the suitcase!”
Don’t be too harsh on fellow cruisers who appear sartorially challenged. You don’t know what their circumstances are. A normally very elegant friend of mine remembers: “The airline had lost my bag and I was sailing on Eurodam. They sent someone to the cabin to measure me for a tuxedo and about 6pm on formal night, this monstrosity appeared. The shoulder pads were straight out of Dynasty. The shirt sleeves were two inches too long and the trousers at least four inches too long. I made it to the bar, mortified, turned around, went back to my cabin and changed into shorts and a polo shirt and had a pizza on deck.”
As member Colleyberry points out, “A mean spirit trumps an unflattering outfit every time.” Quite.
On the other hand, if you have any stories to share about fashion disasters at sea… You know where to share them!
*Check out our guide to cruise ship dress codes.