What Gretchen Wore

I love shopping….I think I have mentioned that a few times.  I was looking for new swimsuits yesterday for my upcoming cruise, but this dress caught my eye.  I found it at Marshalls for $29.99.  It is so colorful and comfortable.  I added my navy jacket and statement necklace for a cute office look today!

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I’m Cruising in a Month

One would think that clothes would be the least of your concerns when you are on a trip that is all about doing things at an enjoyable, leisurely pace. But, when you are going on vacation where you will be spending some time with new people in a luxurious setting for a stretch of time – then picking the right kind of clothing may actually be something to pay attention to.  Not to mention, some ships and onboard activities do have a dress code that you need to follow. Otherwise, you will have to either spend extra and buy the right outfit from an outlet on the ship, or you would have to be left behind while everyone else enjoys the activity.

You would also have to keep in mind the weather in the area you will be cruising to. You really would not want to be underdressed nor overdressed for the climate you are in. And for sure, you would want to look back on those cruise pictures and see yourself looking happy and stylish, right? If you just said yes, here are a few tips to keep in mind and take note of on what clothes to pack and wear for your cruise:

Think ‘cruise casual’

This term may vary depending on the cruise ship, but in general, ‘cruise casual’ pertains to walking shorts, jeans, t-shirts and collared shirts, casual skirts, and sundresses. For men, this translates to casual khakis, jeans, walking shorts, sports shirts and t-shirts.  For footwear, make sure to have some comfortable flats or sandals. Athletic wear and shoes are a must in fitness centers and for certain activities. Flip flops are best used when you are bound for the pool area. While keeping it simple is great – keeping it too ‘spare’ in terms of fabric may not always be in agreement to some ships’ dress code. Limit your stash of short shorts, ripped jeans or cut-offs, and tank tops as certain areas of the cruise ship like restaurants and recreation centers have stricter requirements.

Bring proper swimwear

Just like luxury resorts, cruise ships also have strict rules on swimwear. Make sure to bring a swimsuit, flip flops, and a cover-up (great for lounging around the pool area, and is acceptable at some pool-side restaurants). If you are feeling the beach vibe, you can jazz up your look with a light sundress or shorts. Light colors are great for poolside wear, especially if you are cruising in hot weather.

Be ready with hats and eye protection

If you are cruising to a hot-weather destination, you would want to have hats and sunglasses handy. They are not just classy and fashionable, more often than not, they are actually necessary to keep the blinding glare of the sun at bay and to keep your facial skin protected from painful sunburn.

Outerwear are just as important – bring a light cardigan, a heavy jacket or scarves

Layering is so ‘in’ in cruise ships, mainly because it lets you carry just a few basics and transform them into a ‘new’ outfit with just a scarf, a cardigan, or a jazzed-up jacket. These pieces of clothing also come in handy for those instances when the weather takes a bad turn, and you’d need to get a little warmer.

Always have at least two formal wear choices

Cruise ships have, at the very least, at least one formal night, when cruisers literally dress up and bring their most elegant selves to the event venue. For women, formal cocktail dresses and evening gowns are a must. You may also want to bring at least one dressy top or bottom or an elegant dress for semi-formal nights.  For men, a tuxedo or dark suits with ties are best. You may also consider sports coats and button-down shirts for less formal night events. For footwear, bring a formal pair that can match all your formal clothing options. Classic colors like black, silver, gold, or nudes are best. For men, elegant dress shoes are a must.  Make sure to pack these clothing basics for your upcoming cruise, and be truly ready for your grand vacation and those picture-perfect moments!

 

What Gretchen Wore

I absolutely love my black leather jacket.  I found it at The Loft Outlet a few months ago.  I had a coupon, and ended up getting it under less than $80.  You literally can wear this jacket over any outfit from jeans to dresses.  Today I threw it on over my army green and black maxi dress.  I normally add a little more color, but today I kept it all muted.

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Asking for a Discount

Yesterday I was shopping, since clearly it is one of my favorite pastimes.  I found a red dress that I fell in love with at Steinmart.  I tried it on, and it fit perfectly.  The only problem was that there was a slight tear on one side,but it was in the seam.  I figured my tailor could repair that in a snap, but I was not going to pay full price when I knew I would have to repair the seam.  So I asked the clerk for a discount. Asking for a discount is not hard. No one is going to think badly of you for asking for a discount.  In fact when I asked for one yesterday, the store clerk did not even bat an eyelash….and I saved 15%.

What Gretchen Wore

I love mixing prints and patterns!!  It really makes an outfit visual interesting.  Check out my polka dot sweater from Charming Charlie and gingham print shirt from Old Navy paired together.  I added a dark gray pencil skirt, chunky pearl necklace and black flats to complete my look.

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What Gretchen Wore

I am in love with a chevron print.  This black and white dress is from Charming Charlie.  Charming Charlie is known for their costume jewelry, but they have some clothing….like this cute dress.  Most of their dresses are around $36.  I opted not to belt it today, but you could definitely add  more accessories to this outfit to bring it up a notch.  I added my favorite fuchsia open toed pumps for for a pop of color.

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Four Winter Fashion Rules….to Break

Dressing up for winter can prove to be quite the challenge sometimes. Between choosing comfy clothes and stylish pieces that will let you have the best of both worlds, there are also a few “rules” to be taken into account. Though unspoken, these rules of winter dressing are know by all fashion and style enthusiasts and are observed accordingly. Rules, however, are not always meant to be obeyed. Here are a few winter fashion rules to break right now.

No shorts – forget about this rule and go head and wear your shorts!!  You can always cover up or layer up your look with a pair of tights in case you find the outdoors too cold.

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Reserve crop tops for spring and summer – many say that winter is not the time to rock a crop top or two whilst outdoors but I personally think that winter is just as good a month as any other month to wear crop tops. I mean they are seriously so cute, it is no wonder many fashionistas around the world find ways to wear them despite the cold winter weather. To make this possible, layering is key.

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Wear dark colors – gone are the days when winter outfits meant something dark, dull and dreary. Today, your winter outfits can be as bright as any of your spring and summer ensembles and no one will question you for it. If you are still feeling your way around this, you can always start with small and subtle pops of color and then graduate to bolder winter color statements later on.

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Stay bulky, stay warm – a bulk silhouette is not a must to keep yourself warm on a cold winter day. You can stay warm and look stylish at the same time if you know how to style your outfit. Fitted pieces go underneath baggier ones, not the other way around. Also, instead of piling on a thousand layers, choose pieces that are made of warm and thick fabric to keep a streamlined silhouette.

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Inspiration from Pinterest.