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Cruise Wear for Plus Sizes – Formal Nights

formal nights cruise ships

by Tina Boomerina (Christina Gregoire)

Hey all you plus size Baby Boomer and Baby Boomerette women getting ready to cruise!  Here are some ideas for what you should pack.  I like cruises because they are the easiest way to travel.  You unpack once.  Then you pack at the end of your trip. 


What to Pack for Evenings at Seawhat to pack wear for formal night cruise travel

A lot of what you pack depends on where you’re going and which cruise line you’re booked on.  Some cruise lines like Oceania don’t have formal nights, but the women still dress well.  Holland America can be really formal (some of the Caribbean cruises) or really casual (like in New Zealand).  Of course, no one’s going to throw you off the ship for being overdressed… so if you want to get dressed up, go ahead.

What to Wear for Formal Nights

There are lots of ways to avoid formal night if you don’t want to dress up.  Most cruise ships have an informal cafeteria-style restaurant where you can wear shorts and flip-flops.  And, most ships have free room service if your hectic day at the pool has done you in.

However, lots of chicks don’t have many opportunities to get all dressed up in their boring suburban lives in their boring suburban neighborhoods, so they like to fluff their feathers once they get out on the “town.”  So, here are some examples of what you might – or might not – want to pack for your cruise, and what I like and don't like about each item.

A Short Cocktail Dressplus size travel wear

Alex Evenings Embellished Jersey Dress: This sexy, plus size dress gets high marks from me.  First of all, I like the things that I have bought from Alex Evenings.  They fit well and they look good.

Pros of This Dress:

  • Jersey fabric moves when you do, and dresses made of jersey usually fit right out of the box.
  • Dark teal is more face-flattering than stark black, but just as slimming.
  • Ruching and sparklies make you look like you have a waistline.
  • Low neckline draws attention to “the girls”… and away from the booty or tummy.
  • Three-quarter sleeves cover arm flab and bingo wings.
  • This dress is knee-length, so it’s also perfect for less formal occasions.

Cons of this Dress:

  • It has a zipper.  I prefer dresses that slip on over your head like a T-shirt.
  • It’s not a real wrap dress.  While some women prefer dresses that are sewn closed, because they don’t want to accidentally flash the room, I prefer “real” wrap dresses because I can make them tighter or looser for a perfect, day-by-day fit. (article continues)


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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