Fashion Forward: Is your vacation wardrobe cruise-worthy?

Is your vacation wardrobe cruise-worthy?

By Natalie DiScala

You’ve scoured the brochures, chosen your itinerary, booked your tickets, and you’re ready for the vacation of a lifetime. But before the journey begins, you’ve got to get those bags packed with cruise-worthy clothes that will make you look and feel great. Where to start?

If you’ve heard the term “cruise collection” before, you may have wondered what they’re all about. The high fashion houses (think: Chanel, Gucci, Dior) release annual cruise collections, also known as resort and holiday collections or collections croisière in French. While the more popular collections are Spring/Summer and Fall/Winter, which are shown twice a year at the fashion shows in New York, Paris, London, and Milan, cruise collections are shown between the two. In the United States, cruise collection clothing typically makes its appearance in stores in November, after the new Fall/Winter arrivals and before the Spring/Summer collections are available, making it an inter-season collection. But the reference to cruises is actually a bit of a misnomer.

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When this trend of haute couture “cruise” fashion started decades ago, it was targeted toward the uber rich, the jetsetters who wintered in wonderful places around the world, following the beckoning call of golden sun, white sand, and turquoise waters. While North Americans were looking at Caribbean cruises to escape winter’s harsh cold, Europeans were more likely to be heading to the Mediterranean for respite. So, summer clothing was displayed in the dead of winter for those who were planning a winter escape.

But these days, “cruise collection” is an outdated term in the fashion industry as it no longer really applies. Besides the fact that the collections have little, if anything, to do with cruising, everyone, not just the wealthy, is traveling now and they’re doing it all year long. But just because the name isn’t right, experts still think that cruise collections hold an appeal to travelers.

“Cruise collections aren’t just for cruising as they are also considered resort wear,” says Tiffany Dowd, founder and president of Luxe Social Media and Luxe Tiffany. “These collections can be worn just as easily on a luxury cruise or yacht just as they would be at a luxury hotel on a warm-weather holiday.”

Whether your cruise style is bold or subtle, couture or casual, there are certain things that make clothing cruise-worthy that have nothing to do with looks or labels. Here are six tips to ensure that you sail into your vacation sensibly, but in style:

  1. Go Wrinkle-Free

Light, breezy, summer-friendly fabrics tend to wrinkle easily and since irons are a fire hazard, you won’t find one in your cabin. So, while linen is gorgeous and cool, it won’t serve you well on a cruise. Instead, look for clothing in fabrics that won’t wrinkle. Many stores, in fact, feature collections of wrinkle-free or no-iron clothes. When you’re packing, layer your clothing between sheets of tissue paper to help the item retain its shape and minimize wrinkles. If your clothing does get wrinkled, hang them in the bathroom while you shower and let the steam smooth them out, or use wrinkle-release spray.

  1. Mix and Match

To simplify your cruise wardrobe, choose a color palette and stick to it. A combination of three colors (say, navy, white, and emerald green) makes it….

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Photo: Chico’s

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