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Sexy Plus Size Cruise Wear: Cocktail & Formal Dresses (Updated)

read my old article with updated photos for 2017

by Tina Boomerina (Christina Gregoire)

Yes, you can be chubby and sexy. Find great plus size cruise wear, like formal dresses and cocktail dresses. Make sure to show off your goods to best effect.  

updated cruise article for plus size women - babes.

What to Wear for Formal Night on a Cruise

I love cruising. It’s the easiest way to see different cities without doing any work. Well, here are some sexy plus-size cruise wear outfits for formal nights.  Hey, you might want to look sexy on your cruise because:

  • It’s your honeymoon.
  • It’s your anniversary.
  • You are just sick and tired of wearing long underwear and down jackets all through the horrid winter.

Sexy Slinky Outfits for Formal Nights  

First of all, you should check to see if your cruise ship has true formal nights because some lines don’t. Go to cruisecritic.com and look for answers on their fabulous forums. If you want to get dressed up because you have a fabulous dress, just do it. I swear that no one will kick you out if you’re the only girl dressed to the nines. Actually, you might get better service, so don’t fret if you want to wear a formal gown and you’re not sure about it.

Most women seem to wear black on formal night, but black is not a requirement. You can wear a long gown, a tea-length dressy frock, a nice suit, or a two-piece pant ensemble. And, I believe that a floral dress is fine for formal nights on most tropical cruises as long as you look suitably festive and your dress is not too casual.

My husband has snuck into dining rooms while wearing jeans...though, I hope your husband is trained better than mine is.  So, it's good to pack a mix of formal and informal clothes, along with a truckload of accessories.  That way, you will always have the right thing to wear.

What to wear for formal night on a cruise - plus size

What to Wear for Formal Night on a Cruise

Great Gowns for Plus Sizes

I am going to bet $5.00 that you didn't know you could wear an embellished black gown that's embroidered with wild flowers. (See photo in upper right.) What is this thing? Is it a mini...? Sort of. Is it a maxi? Sort of. It's a groovy party dress with a high-low hem. No, you are not too old for this great, flower-power gown.

If it looks good on you, you should wear it for formal night. And, if you have some sagging or wrinkling in your face, this type of "busy" design will keep people's eyes from focusing on your flaws. That's my favorite trick... because after seeing my friend's facelift, I've decided to live with my horrid wrinkles until I die.

Whenever you wear a wild and busy dress, fellow cruisers will look at your eyes, look at your embroidered flowers, look at your mouth, look at your embroidered flowers, look at your knees, look at your embroidered flowers, and back and forth until they get too dizzy to figure you out. Then, they will probably assume you are a fairly young chickadee... or maybe you're an older woman with a fab sense of flair.

One of these dresses will draw people's eyes to your chest and the other will draw people's eyes to you bottom half. Which is which? I'm not even sure I know. Read cruise dress tips.

Sexy Black Cocktail Dresses in Plus Size

Sexy Black Cocktail Dresses in Plus Size:

Here are two sister outfits. the two cocktail dresses directly above. One will draw attention to your chest and away from your butt. The other one will draw attention to your legs and the lower half of your body. And, as I look at this longer and longer, I'm not 100 percent sure which is which.

In theory, the dress on the left would be good for flat-chested (pear shaped) women, and the dress on the right would be good for women who want to steer people's attention to the bottom half of their bodies. So, if you are a top-heavy, broad-shouldered, square-shaped apple-shaped woman like me, you will want to wear the second dress, the one with the lace skirt. It will draw people's eyes to your skinny legs and non-existent booty... like mine.

In all honesty, I have short legs, so I tend to wear midi dresses that come to mid-calf or maxi dresses that come down to my shoes. I look like I'm tipping over if I wear a true miniskirt or mini dress such as the one's above.

About 10 years ago Mr. Boomerina and I took a cruise to the Caribbean. The weather was crappy, but all I remember are two tall n gorgeous women from the East Coast wearing beautiful long gowns with fab embellishments. See what to wear in plus sizes at boomerinas.com.

Sexy Evening Gowns in Plus Size: Black, Purple, Cobalt Blue

Sexy Evening Gowns in Plus Size: Black, Purple, Cobalt Blue

I think East Coast women (on Caribbean cruises) get more dressed up than women on any other cruises I’ve sailed. And, that includes two upscale cruises to the Mediterranean and the Baltic. A lot of the formality or casualness of your dress code has to do with your cruise line and your particular ship... and even your maitre d'. (The headwaiter who enforces the dress code when your husband doesn't know that real shirts have buttons or who looks the other way when you're slumming it on your way to London.)

I'm always looking for long dresses similar to the ones that two gracefully tall older ladies were wearing on one of our short Caribbean cruises. The duo was wearing beautiful, full-length gowns in dark, rich colors embellished with beads and sequins. The photo of the long evening gowns above show dresses very similar to what I remember, however I'm certain those two long and lanky beauties were wearing gowns that cost something in the thousands rather than the dresses above, which are around $300.

Let's just stay in the dark and make sure all the people at our table stay well lubricated. That's how we'll pull this off on our beer budgets.

Sexy Plus Size Cruise Wear Dresses

Almost every woman will be in black. If you don't want to blend in with the crowd, just wear a different color.

read about what to wear for formal cruise night at boomerinas.com

Sexy Red Cruise Dress

Can you wear short dresses and skirts for formal nights at sea? Of course you can.

Shorter Dresses for Cruise Dining and Dancing 

If you want to buy a dress that is practical and can be worn many times, then you are like me. Plain dresses can be tarted up for formal night or worn out to dinner at home. Heck, many upscale dresses can be worn out to lunch with a girlfriend at a local mall.

read about sexy looks for plus size women on formal cruise nights

Elegant Pantsuits Plus Size for Cruise

Pant Suits for Formal Cruise Wear

If you are more comfortable in a pant suit, there are many styles that will look perfect on formal night.  I wear dresses (usually in jersey) because I look better in dresses, and stretchy dresses are more likely to fit my apple shape.  However, many women wear pants on formal nights:

  • Sexy Black Shimmer Drop Shoulder Tunic and Pants.
  • Long Gauzy Jackets Over Pants
find cruise travel tips for plus size women over 40 50 60 70

What to Pack for a Cruise

Casual Outfits for Formal Nights

If you want to take an informal dress or suit to the max, you can use props to spiff up almost anything.  Here are some ideas:

  • Wear a headpiece or hat with your suit (or dress) to outshine everyone in the entire dining room.
  • Look trendy enough for Italy with a great fabric corsage.
  • Wear a low cut top with your suit and knock your sweetie’s socks off when you remove your demure jacket.
  • Add a statement necklace or a Victorian neck ruff.  (Google "Gothic neck ruff" or look on etsy's.)

What to Pack for a Cruise

The best tops and dresses to pack are items that can be worn in different ways. The boho tunic (above) can go to the beach over a swimsuit or it can be worn with leggings for smart casual or floaty gauzy pants for formal nights... just change earrings and other jewelry to take it up a notch. The black and white cocktail dress can be worn to lunch or tarted up with big jewelry and a different pair of shoes.

I have found that some cruises are very casual, even when their brochures include formal nights.

read about sexy plus size cocktail and evening dresses for cruises

Sexy Plus Size Cruisewear

Read More Articles for Hip, Sexy Baby Boomer Women:

Best Swimsuits for Women Over 40 & 50 

Hippie Wedding Dresses for a Casual Bohemian Chic Celebration

Knit Jersey Dresses: Travel Wear for Women Over 40 or 50

How to Wear a Peplum If You Have Curves

read article so you know what to pack for cruise

Main Photo: Sexy Cocktail Dresses

Photo credits: Prshots.com.

  • Main Photo: BonMarche, Lovarni, Marisota, 2011.
  • What to Wear for Formal Night on a Cruise: High-low rose dress from Elvi, 2017.
  • Sexy Black Cocktail Dresses Plus Size: Navabi, 2017
  • Sexy Evening Gowns in Plus Size: Black, Purple, Cobalt Blue: Marisota, 2017.
  • Sexy Red Cruise Dress: Vera Mont, 2011.
  • Elegant Pantsuits Plus Size for Cruise: Chesca, 2017.
  • What to Pack for a Cruise: Navabi, 2017.
  • Sexy Plus Size Cruisewear: Vera Mont, 2011.
  • Sexy Plus Size Cruise Dresses: If you came here from one of the images below, they are from several years ago, but sometimes these sites have similar dresses in current colors. Fashion World, Lovarni, Marisota, 2011.
these dresses are from a couple of years ago, so I added new pics to my article to update it.

Older Photos: Sexy Plus Size Cruise Dresses

What do you wear on formal nights?  Leave a comment at the bottom of the page. It will take a while to show up because I get a lot of junk and I have to sort through the comments. But, it will show up eventually.

Tina Boomerina (AKA Christina Gregoire) is a Baby Boomer born at the end of 1952. Her mission is to make the internet a kinder and gentler place for Baby Boomer women around the world. Tina's specialty is fashion for women over 50.

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  1. lisa giles

    I would like to know who makes the black dress with the long sleeves and the beads, please

    • Tina-Boomerina

      Having a little trouble with a few photos since we updated to new wordpress. Can you show me the dress on Pinterest? I don't think it's from this article.

  2. Laura Wagner

    I would love to know where to buy the royal blue side draped dress w/ rhinestone accent pictured in your Sexy Plus Size Cruise Wear: Cocktail & Formal Dresses. I think it would make a lovely informal mother of the bride dress

    • Tina-Boomerina


      Sorry, but that dress is from 2012, when I wrote this article. Lots of women ask about that dress. You should contact the website for Marisota (in the UK) and tell them to bring that dress back. Or, contact SimplyBe.com, which sells Marisota in the US.


  3. Barb Bauman

    Can you please tell me where I can find the long sleeve black dress with gold cuffs? Thank you!

  4. Villa st Martin

    It's very trouble-free to find out any topic
    on web ass compared to books, as I found this post at this website.