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Cruises aren’t known for fashion sensibility. With many liners heading for topical locations, most guests stick to summertime basics like shorts, t-shirts, and flip-flop sandals. Clearly, there aren’t many candidates for fashion week on the world’s most popular cruises.
That being said, fashion isn’t in the forefront of anyone’s mind when it’s time for any kind of vacation. People want to relax, unwind, and not worry about whether they need a pedicure to wear sandals—and rightfully so. This makes packing for a cruise trip difficult for the fashion-minded.
How can travelers dress well without sticking out amid a sea of casual t-shirt wearers? And, conversely, how can anyone highlight their look with so many bright Tommy Bahama shirts around? Much advice depends on the weather in the region where a cruise sets sail, as well as the type of cruise ship.
For example, some groups might prefer a more varied cruise experience, opting for top cruise ship from groups like Royal Caribbean and The Norwegian Escape. Naturally, an outfit will look drastically different when sat at a blackjack table in Scandinavia versus Turks and Caicos.
Even with vast differences in setting, there are a few helpful hints that will apply to all cruise ship travelers. Here are five tips that all men can keep in mind when it’s time to start packing.
Tip One: Smart Casual
No matter which company a cruise runs under, smart casual is always a great baseline for packing. Given its vacation, there’s no need to pack business pieces like slacks and blazers, but keeping tailor-fitted jeans, chinos, and button-ups around is an easy way to look sharp without overdressing.
Color palettes will depend on the weather—think darker, neutral schemes for cooler areas, and brighter colors for tropical trips.
Tip Two: Mind the Sun
Regardless of where a cruise sets sail, there’s bound to be plenty of sunlight on the decks. Keeping dress casual is one way to highlight unique accessories such as hats and sunglasses. Those headed to warmer climates will need more variation in headwear, especially if sweating is a factor.
In terms of sunglasses, go wild. Classic Ray-Bans and aviators are great for making an impression, while rounded lenses are better for days spent at the pool. Just like with color palettes, colorful lenses are best suited for tropical trips.
Tip Three: No Need to Lookout Below
Shoes are the traveler’s worst enemy. Most journeys require formal, athletic, and casual shoes, but suitcases rarely have enough room to make this possible—especially for guys with larger shoe sizes.
Luckily for cruise travelers, there’s no need to spend hours picking out shoes. Those in doubt can stick with a casual sneaker, then add sandals or brogue shoes depending on the weather. Boat shoes aren’t suggested, but there are exceptions.
Tip Four: Totes
Cruise ships are deceptively large. Heading back to grab something from a room can take a long time and end up complicating a day or evening. Most cruise ship travelers will want to keep a tote bag with them in order to stash handy items they may need later.
Be sure to think ahead when packing a tote, opting for a neutral color that will match most outfits and occasions. And make sure to pack a larger tote, as others will likely ask to stow something away.
Tip Five: That Weird Piece
Most people who meet on a cruise ship will never cross paths again. Though it might be heartbreaking for the social traveler, this is a great opportunity for the edgy stylist. A cruise ship is a great place to try out that one unique piece that seems to cling to the back of the closet.
Some cruise ships impose a dress code for evening attire to foster a more formal atmosphere. Savvy dressers can use such opportunities to try out that floral-printed button-up, cuffed blazer, or jumpsuit.