This the best feeling. You are on the deck of the cruise ship. You feel the wind in your hair, you smell the salty ocean air, and you are snapping pictures of the beautiful shoreline as you pull into the port. You look next to you and notice that the woman beside you has on the exact same outfit. The only difference is that she is a foot shorter with blue hair, smells of Fixodent and Ben-Gay, and is carrying a tote bag that says, “Del Boca Vista Retirement Village.” Funny, the travel agent didn’t mention self-pity as an onboard activity when you booked the cruise.
So how does one deficient in time and low in style IQ prevent the above scenario from occurring on her next cruise? All you have to do is avoid the three common pitfalls of cruise attire:
- 1. Restrict tropical prints to sarongs and dresses. Nothing screams “Retirement Village” like an ill-fitting tropical print shirt, you can’t get into an early bird special without one. However, you don’t have to avoid tropical prints until you are eligible for your pension. A tropical print maxi-dress and sarongs are great items to throw into your suitcase for your cruise.
- 2. Dress up for dinner. Dressing up for dinner does not mean putting in your good teeth. On most cruises, you must dress for dinner every night. If you are unsure, you can always call the cruise line ahead of time (or visit the website) to get the expected dress attire for dinner. For this, you need to pack at least one pair of heels. To really free up space in your suitcase, bring a pair of heels that will work with every dinner outfit. For dinner, you should wear a nice dress or a pair of pants (or skirt) with a fancy top. When considering a fancy top consider: unexpected details, an elegant color, luxurious fabric, or some bling-bling. All of these elements make a top a little fancier than one you would wear everyday. Remember that you need a different dinner outfit for every night of the cruise.
- 3. Wear shorts that flatter you. Your shorts should not be so big that they are able to double as a flotation device. On the flip side, your shorts should not be so ill-fitting that they ride up in the middle. If you are constantly tugging at your shorts, you might need a different style, length, or size. If you are unable to locate the perfect shorts or you are self-conscious about your thighs, then you are going to want to pack skirts. Plus, skirts will keep you much cooler and can hide many more body flaws.
Preparing for a vacation is always hectic with the last minute shopping for bathing suits and the search for an SPF so high that it rivals the Powerball. If you just remember to restrict the tropical prints to sarongs and dresses, dress up for dinner, and wear shorts that flatter you, your vacation will more than make-up for the manic week of preparation.
If you are of retirement age these tips are for you as well, as they say, “Age is nothing but a number.” They also say that, “You are as young as you feel,” but there is nothing wrong with feeling and looking like you still have your original hip. Bon voyage!
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