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How To Dress For A Cruise--In Real Life
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How To Dress For A Cruise--In Real Life

You guys, you guys, I just went on my first cruise — the magnificent Celebrity Summit from Celebrity Cruises — and it was surreal. Not to make everyone jealous, but I spent my days gazing at the ocean and taking selfies in the Summit’s many mirrored surfaces, and my evenings drinking champagne, deciding what to wear to dinner, and dancing with the same band of merry creepers night after night.

Honestly, getting dressed was my favorite part. I saw my fair share of flip-flops and lookalike sundresses, sure, but fashion on the ship was so much more exciting than fashion on land. Blues looked bluer. Everything looked nautical. And no matter how questionable your outfit was, if you stood on the deck with the sun setting behind you and the wind Beyoncé-fying your hair, you looked good. Here are some oceanic style rules I’m trying to implement back in my real, landlocked life.

Tibi Striped Silk Refined Tank

Get down with those nautical stripes.

If you think stripes look cool and aquatic and refreshing on land, you should see them on a ship. I think everyone on a cruise ship should be legally required to wear stripes all the time. Stripes and white shorts and friendship bracelets that say “Bermuda” on them.

For Love & Lemons Sombrero Maxi Dress in White

Do white at night.

White dresses are for brides and daytime picnics, except when it’s warm outside and there’s a salt breeze blowing. Then, white dresses are for people who are still pretending they’re eating at the Captain’s table.

KENZO Wave Print Tank | No

Wear ocean-inspired patterns because you can.

I brought a ship-printed blouse onto the cruise and wearing it felt so appropriate. A fish-themed ensemble? A wave-printed tank top? Go for it; irony be damned.

Filles à Papa | Cool printed swimsuit | NET-A-PORTER.COM

Wear your swimsuit IRL.

You’re probably going to be in your swimsuit all day, so you might as well choose something that goes nicely under your clothes, whether that means a gorgeous pattern, great straps, or just something that doubles as a tank top.

Kimchi Blue Beyond The Sea Lace-Inset Maxi Dress - Urban Outfitters

Pick a cover-up that doubles as a dress.

See: wearing your swimsuit all day.

Halston Heritage Cap Sleeve Stripe Dress |



Dress nice.

Maritime style is no joke. I never saw the Summit’s crew in anything but blazers and epaulettes; when faced with all that crisp seafaring style, jeans with holes in them just felt wrong. Get a little fancy, and conjure up the days when cruise ship dinners meant tuxedos and gowns.

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