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A Guide to Formal Nights

Written By:
Nick Hollands
September 2, 2015
Hands up who wants to go on a Music Festival Cruise?

So, you’re about to set sail on your cruising holiday and packing commences – formal night – what on earth do I wear? For first time cruisers formal night can pose many uncertainties...

How formal do I go? Long or short dress? Will I be overdressed? Or underdressed?

I’ve written a guide that will help you if you’re stuck in a rut when it comes to formal night, or simply just want to do things differently this time! This guide will ensure you will look and feel fabulous whilst dancing, dining and drinking in the middle of the Mediterranean – who knew?!

The outfit – Perhaps the biggest concern and indeed the biggest factor in looking fabulous for formal night. If you have one formal night on holiday I would make the most of your glowing tan and edge towards a cocktail style dress, it is simply elegant and ideal for the evening’s events – such as dancing. I would recommend this style for a number of reasons; it’s hard to look overdressed in a shorter style, as you can opt for a simple outfit and dress it up with some statement accessories that will pull your entire look together. If you’re a first time cruiser and are worried about looking far too done up then this is the best option for you – accessorise to your hearts content. However, if you’re lucky enough to have two or more formal nights then you have the option to play around with your style. Here is where I would say a maxi dress/ball gown style is a great option. You’ve had your chance to show off your tan and have got to grips with the evenings agenda so you can now start to be adventurous – perhaps you’ll go for a brightly coloured maxi dress or a glitzy black tie-ball gown, but I will say be careful – you want to make a statement without looking too thought out or overdressed. I will always say think ‘black tie’ not your full skirted prom dress. If you’re of a younger age then this can be an exciting time – getting to dress up is always fun, but take advantage of your age and have fun with jumpsuits and playsuits, they can be fun and formal. My favourite style would be tailored, with a slightly cropped trouser paired with a classic pair of pointy court shoes.

Hands up who wants to go on a Music Festival Cruise?

Accessories – Something that is completely dependent on your outfit. If it is simple then go for an embellished clutch, or a sparkly pair of stilettos, and if you have gone to town on the dress, then go for a simple style of jewellery or none at all. Discreet strappy shoes are also a must if your dress is a statement. The most important thing is comfort, and if you’ve pulled out your old pair of stilettos that you haven’t worn for years, then ask yourself the question will you a) be able to walk with elegance and b) be able to last the entire evening in them. This isn’t an evening where walking around bare footed is acceptable. Having said that, if you aren’t one for wearing heels, then the perfect pair of flats will look great too, especially with a maxi dress! (Heels aren’t necessary because you won’t really be able to see them).

Hair – Not something that everybody would like to think about, but if you wanted to be completely stress free on the evening and haven’t got the knack of blow-drying your locks into the perfect wave, or have the ability to pin your hair up in the perfect up-do, then a trip to the on-board salon is your answer! Opt for a pinned up-do for a vintage twist or a curly, voluminous blow-dry for a glamourous red carpet look. Going to the salon means you can feel stress free and not have to worry about learning how to Dutch-braid before you set off on your holidays - leave it to the experts! One thing I would say is that if you want your hair doing for formal night then get it booked as soon as you get on board as from past experience it is VERY popular amongst the ladies as the stylists do such a great job of helping you look and feel a million dollars. I would also say this for any treatment in the spa/salon, if you want to get pampered then book it ASAP to avoid disappointment.

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