Updated October 10, 2019
Three little words can cause ample confusion and stress pre-cruise: black tie optional. What should you pack? How formal should you dress? How many ball gowns can one even fit in a suitcase? Fortunately, we know a trick to nailing formal night every time: Pack the right formal accessories. Jewelry, bags, cufflinks and more can transform a daytime look into something appropriate for formal nights at sea, whether you're planning for froufrou events or resort-casual affairs. Consider the following accessories for ladies and gents that will help elevate your cruise formal ensemble.
Freshwater Pearl Statement Necklace
A row of beautiful elongated freshwater pearls makes up this nautical statement necklace. This is a sophisticated piece that will easily take daytime attire to formalwear status. Add the necklace to a white sundress or a knit shift, throw on some heels, and you've got a look that will more than pass muster during elegant events at sea.
Ocean Life Necktie
We're not always fans of ridiculously loud ties that practically shout "look at me!" And while an ocean life necktie sounds like something straight out of a novelty store in Florida, this silk tie by Chaps is surprisingly refined. A pattern of tiny shells, seahorses, starfish and crabs dances across muted yellow silk fabric. Use this chic tie to add a touch of the nautical to your outfit while keeping it classy enough for formal evenings.
Don't bring your beach bag on formal night. Instead, pack this straw clutch, which is the perfect formal accessory for your fanciest bohemian or beach-inspired outfits. Pair the clutch with a silky midi skirt or a breezy kaftan to suit your laidback resort-casual vibe. Since the clutch folds flat, it's easy to slide it into a side pocket in your suitcase. And the bag comes with an interior chain in case you need both hands to, say, sip from a mai tai while snapping a selfie.
When traveling, pieces that can accessorize multiple outfits are always a plus. These dainty, delicate starfish earrings fit the bill. They wouldn't look out of place at a cafe or on a beach, yet they're certainly elegant enough for a formal event at sea. Handmade from 14-karat gold, the pair of studs comes in a gift box, which we recommend keeping so that you don't lose track of the jewelry in your suitcase.
Men's Nautical Cufflinks
Wear a subtle nod to your cruise fanaticism when you snap on these smart nautical cufflinks. Choose from anchors or ship wheels; both come in either brass or silver finishes. A swivel post makes it a cinch to attach these to the cuff of your shirt. To make sure you don't lose them in your suitcase, store them in a zip-top bag or a travel pouch, or attach them to your cuffs before you depart.
Natural fabrics and textures are having a fashion moment right now. What's more, they add a decidedly summery vibe to any outfit. We love this handmade bamboo clutch, which comes in large and small sizes. (The small size will be large enough to bring a wallet, a phone, some sunglasses and a few other small items to dinner.) This affordable piece is a knockoff of a popular designer bag that's popping up all over Pinterest and Instagram -- but for a fraction of the price.
Men's Cruise Ship Cufflinks
Snapping on a cheeky pair of cufflinks is an understated way to add some zing to your cruise formalwear. Yes, these are mini-ships -- and they're adorable. These cruise ship cufflinks have a silver finish, and they come with a clamshell travel box that makes packing a breeze. We think they'd make an excellent gift for anyone in your life who owns menswear and loves to cruise.
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