Fashion Dilemmas: Amanda’s honeymoon cruise

Yesterday while we were all dreaming of colour bright pool-sides and retro road trips across the pond, reader Amanda commented the following:

I’m just planning our honeymoon in May/June 2013…

We’re going to go on a cruise ship from the UK to New York to start off with.  I’ve just booked it and was terrified at the commitment and money.  Now I’m a gibbering wreck having seen that I apparently I will need to wear evening dress on 3 nights, cocktail dress on 2 nights and the other 2 I can be “elegant casual” (which means for men that they don’t have to wear a tie)

I have precisely nothing in my wardrobe that would meet these criteria.  Smart for me is a t-shirt and skirt.  They say with some emphasis that t-shirts are not allowed after 6pm.  And how do you pack one bag with that sort of wardrobe and hiking gear for California?  I mean this metaphorically as I don’t think there is an answer – but if anyone has one I will be pathetically grateful.

Well Amanda – we think there IS an answer, and we don’t expect you to be pathetically grateful, just send us in a report of the highlights of your trip, ok?

Rebecca and I just love putting outfit inspiration together, so readers, please send your dilemmas in to FF – who knows, it could become a regular occurrence!

The maxi dress: An affordable black tie/evening option

It is an absolute sartorial gift that the maxi dress shows no sign of going out of fashion as yet.  Instantly formal due to their length, there is a cut to suit everyone.  The dresses below all have enough ‘wow factor’ to be worn with heels (and the beauty of a maxi is you only need to take one pair of heels on holiday and wear them with more than one long dress because you don’t really see them) and layered during the day.  The lightweight maxi is also a great choice if you’re travelling in countries where you need to cover your legs, if you’re visiting temples, churches and mosques for example.

1. Green printed maxi dress from MANGO – switch the belt for a different look and use the printed belt with one of the plain dresses you’re taking, or even as a headband!

2. Black gathered maxi from ASOS – Wear with a brooch at the bust and long dangly earrings – it won’t crease and no one will know that it’s jersey! Great for wearing during the day underneath a denim jacket or even a knotted shirt (my tip for Amanda? Steal your husband-to-be’s for the latter)

3. Bias cut Maxi from Ghost – This Ghost maxi is definitely an investment piece, but its timeless cut ensures it will never go out of fashion. I mentioned this yesterday but it’s worth saying again – at the moment Ghost are dyeing a range of maxis in 16 different colours.  So there should be something to suit everyone, including Rebecca who’s allergic to black!

Midi dresses: For the cocktail and elegant casual nights

1. Butterfly print asymmetric hem dress, Warehouse – This butterfly printed midi-dress (below right) is feminine yet still has a rock star edge to it.  I think it would look great with wedge sandals in a metallic shade but you could dress it down by wearing a cardigan over it, or a fitted jersey top with a sleeve underneath it.

Butterfly print dress – H&M // Butterfly print asymmetric hem dress – Warehouse

Cocktail and day dresses:

1. Butterfly print dress (above left), H&M – A bargainous number to pad out your wardrobe options… wear with a slip to add more substance to the fabric.

2. Blue Mesh Skirt dress, COS – I am in serious danger of buying this blue number.  Serious danger.  It is incredibly chic, and would be perfect as evening and cocktail wear, yet pair it with opaque black tights and a cropped black blazer and you’ve got a smart/casual outfit with serious catwalk-led credentials.

3. Lilac Jersey Dress, COS – This lilac jersey dress is basically an oversized T-shirt- but it’s the perfect item to dress up or down.  The viscose in the jersey means it won’t cling too much, and with a ribbon belt, high heels and statement jewellery, I’d say you’d have ‘elegant casual’ nailed.

4. Mint drop waist dress, COS – I have a silk dress of a similar cut and colour, and I’ve had it 10 years… I dress it up with heels or have been known to wear it on holiday with flats and a jumper over the top.

5. Gold sequin cuff long sleeved black Dress (see below), ASOS dress – This ASOS dress can be worn as an on deck ‘cover-up’ over your swimsuit, and then worn over a slip with high heels as a cocktail dress.

To give you an idea of exactly how versatile it is, here’s a Day-to-Night respresentation Rebecca made earlier showing how you can style it to take you from sight seeing to cocktail sipping…

Dress – ASOS
Day: Sunglasses – Rayban // Bag – Accessorize // Sandals – Accessorize
Night: Clutch – Accessorize // Earrings – Accessorize // Heels – Zara

Rebecca’s tips:

  • Go neutral with your daytime accessories to find something that works with every outfit in your case. This raffia and tan leather bag dresses down a glam dress for day and won’t look out of place in a National Park over a hoodie. Similarly, take one pair of double duty flip flops that will see you from pool to sightseeing to bar. Think tan, black or metallic, whatever the majority of your wardrobe is.
  • Same goes for evening attire – find a small metallic, black or neutral clutch to work with everything and choose nude shoes – lighter for summer and they’ll work with dark colours, brights and neutrals meaning only one pair of heels required! Did I mention they lengthen your legs? 😉

Woah – I could go on but think I should stop now before I am too tempted to reach for my credit card.  I haven’t really gotten around to skirts and tops for capsule wardrobes either – next week perhaps?

So readers, do you have any suggestions for Amanda? Do leave us a comment with the link if you do!

Gemma C-S xx

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13 thoughts on “Fashion Dilemmas: Amanda’s honeymoon cruise

  1. Ooh – i love that wee H&M butterfly dress! Even though if that many butterflies were near me in real life I would die – their wings and the fluttering creep me out! Def going to take a look in there after work tonight 🙂 x

  2. Brilliant post!

    …and once again, thanks FF for encouraging me to spend money. I tried that warehouse dress on last week and was trying to forget about it…..

  3. lovely selection of evening dresses!
    on our cruise I wore dark skinny jeans with a blouse and jewel sandals for 2 of the casual nights, also its worth having one extra evening dress as I found to my cost when the zipper broke on mine on the gala night, and totally agree you cant fail with maxi dresses.

  4. I soooo need to go to Cos!! Had forgotten how gorgeous it was and they are all such classic pieces you will wear for years!

    Totally agree I love metallic accessories especially flip flops as they are so versatile and never look out of place and my metallic clutch is something I use again and again. Also completely agree about the Maxi as they are so easy to wear and you can really them dress it up with accessories, a statement necklace or a blazer for evening. New look always have surprisingly good jersey ones…

    Can you tell I loved this post! Love a holiday wardrobe!! Currently planning my honeymoon one 😉

    Rachie xo

  5. Awww, shucks! I am OVERWHELMED. In fact, iI very nearly had to yell it round the office that there was a whole post just for me – if it weren’t for the fact that that might give it away that I’m not exactly, erm, working. But thanks so much – can’t help BUT be pathetically grateful actually!

    So, I’m definitely buying that bird/butterfly/flying creature dress from H&M because I can totally wear that sightseeing in NY/California as well as on board (race you there Lynsey!). And I’ll be looking for a maxi dress like the black one you show (but not in black because, like Rebecca, I’m allergic to black). LOVE the Ghost dress and have planned a trip to their outlet store that Marlene tipped me off about – oh how I’d love to have my bridesmaids in one of these dyed to match our wedding colours. Adore the blue of the COS dress (one of my favourite colours) and will be taking a trip to see what they’ve got as it’s somewhere I never go and I like the mint t-shirt. And I really, really love the ASOS dress – just hoping they might have it in any other colour than black (see allergy above).

    I’m on the lookout for a gold clutch (fancy a snakeskin one) and am now suddenly in the market for nude shoes (leg lengthening, you say?).

    THANKS GUYS! And if you’re serious about a trip report? You’re on!


    • Amanda you’re in luck – the black jersey maxi from Asos also comes in a gorgeous deep purple, and the wrap dress in black comes in nude… I suggested black for versatility but chuffed that there are other colourways in the things you love! and of course we want a trip report! xxx

  6. Love these posts – and love that black asos dress although i too rarely wear black – you cant go wrong with a lbd that can work for city sightseeing and evening glamour! Cant wait to see what you put together for my packing dilemna! Xxx

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