Formal night - allways floor length dresses?

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Cruise Fashions & Beauty

Deck yourself out for your next cruise! What clothes should you bring, and what should stay at home. Offer up packing tips, and savvy shopping info, too
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19 Posts
Joined Dec 2004
I am bidding on 2 floor length dresses on is chocolate color with velvet trim, and one is black with sequined top. If I don't win them, or they don't fit or something, I am now thinking a beaded/sequined cocktail dress is also an option for formal night. I might get more use from a shorter dress after the cruise. Would have to figure out the hose situation if I got a shorter dress...I am thinking I would get the sheerest-looking I can find. I know sometimes I've seen women wearing these type, and you can't tell if they have hose on or not until you get real close or happen to see a shine on their bare leg.

We are on Grand Princess in April - Carribbean
Northern Arizona
1,181 Posts
Joined Nov 2003
Yes, upscale cocktail dresses are often seen on formal nights- you will be just fine!
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~~ Joyce ~~

“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness.” ~ Mark Twain
Central Ohio
16,195 Posts
Joined May 2003
Ditto on answer from last poster. In fact, I have been seeing more and more cocktail length dresses on formal nights across the board of cruise lines DH & I have sailed. My observation has been that cruises with two formal nights normally bring out the floor length gowns for the Captains Dinner and the second formal night features a lighter mix of floor length vs cocktail length.

Have also observed that the average length of women's formal wear closely coincides with the average age of passengers aboard ship.

After 8 cruises behind my formal wear belt now, I've learned to pick out what I'm going to wear on formal nights through my husband's eyes, not the eyes of fellow passengers. If a dress, floor length or cocktail length, brings a sparkle to his eyes when I'm wearing it, then that's the answer to my formal question. Nothing else really matters.
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Central Ohio
16,195 Posts
Joined May 2003
Oops, Debn Texas, I forgot to congratulate you for searching e-bay and wish you luck and fun during your bidding. DH purchased his entire tux wear, piece by piece, on e-bay. Entire outfit, including shoes, tux, suspenders, vest, tie and black pearl studs, came in under $100.

My formal wear has all been purchased through e-bay, basement final clearance sales or (gasp) garage sales. When ever we've compared e-bay and basement sale prices to bargains on formal wear other places we've discovered we can save a big bunch of bucks by shopping well and enjoying the hunt. And the dollars we save on the formal wear we can bank for the down payment of our next cruise!
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New York City
9,515 Posts
Joined Sep 2001

I agree with the others. You can certainly wear a shorter length dressy coctail dress.

As far as the hose, that depends on the color of the dress. If it's black, I'd go with sheer black hose or black fishnets if you have shapely legs. That would make it more dressy looking than nude hose.

If the dress is pastel in color, I'd opt for sheer nude hosiery or bare legs, if you're comfortable with that.

Naples, Florida
6,542 Posts
Joined Jul 2004
I have chosen a variety of short and long skirts for formal nights, along with some black and white "car wash" pants - dressy formal-type pants with loose panels of matching fabric that give an illusion of a skirt. I mix and match with several different dressy tops and strappy sandals in three colors.

One way to get an idea of what will be worn is to check on the links some people have posted to their cruise pictures - usually they include some from formal nights, as that's when the ships have their photographers all set up.

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2,117 Posts
Joined Feb 2001
I've seen lots of short cocktail dresses on Formal Nights, and used to wear them for one night myself. Now, I just CANNOT wear stockings, so I wear long skirts or dressy silk pants, and NO stockings! I think there are a lot of us out there.......
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18 Posts
Joined Jan 2005
I believe that hosiery is no longer a standard in semi and formal dressing. Hose are not fashion foward now, at least with a younger woman. If you have fabulous shoes and a nice pedicure, don't be afraid to go bare legged. If you don't like the way your legs look bare, put on a bit of shimmered lotion.
Sounds crazy, but look around. You won't see many in the magazines.