It’s a subject that crops up on our forum time and time again; where can I buy the perfect cruise dress? Nowadays, we don’t get many chances to go all out and dress to the nines, so when the opportunity arises, we ladies like to know we can look our best. Unfortunately, finding the perfect outfit for formal night can be easier said than done, with the high street often limited in its offerings.
Luckily, we decided to answer your cries for help and come up with our own guide on where to find the perfect frock. We came, we shopped and we conquered, and this is what we found…
It’s almost impossible to attend a wedding without coming within 6ft of a Coast outfit and this occasion wear favourite is a great spot for finding something amazing for formal night. The high-end high street offering has over 50 standalone stores and 185 concessions; alternatively free delivery and returns makes shopping online a doddle.
Coast’s website offers some really helpful advice in its ‘What’s The Dress Code?’ section, including tips on what to wear when it comes to black tie and eveningwear dress codes, with suggest outfits including expertly coordinated looks; perfect for cruisers.
Debenhams is not only home to Coast but also other concessions including Phase Eight, Oasis and Butterfly by Matthew Williamson. As a high street favourite, Debenhams caters to a range of price points, with free next day delivery on orders over £30.
With dresses, accessories and underwear all under one roof, Debenhams is a one-stop shop for formal night friendly outfits.
If the thought of spotting a fellow cruiser in the same dress scares you senseless, head to TK Maxx. You will only find one or two of each dress in stock so you’ll have to fall on your feet to find the perfect look, however the chances of seeing someone else in the same outfit are slim.
TK Maxx receives new stock throughout the week, much of it current season with some past season thrown in at hugely marked down prices; our resident TK Maxx fan once spotted a Stella McCartney silk gown marked down from £665 to £36! You’ll need to be willing to rifle through the rails, but you’ll be justly rewarded if you do.
There’s a common misconception that all cruisers are over a certain age, however this couldn’t be further from the truth; young and style obsessed cruisers should look to online-only retailer ASOS for inspiration. The ‘Black Tie & Formalwear’ section is full to bursting with cruise-appropriate looks from both ASOS brands and high-street favourites. Pay £9.95 to become an ASOS VIP and you’ll get unlimited next day delivery for a whole year too, so it doesn’t matter how many outfits you order and return in your quest for the perfect look.
ASOS SALON and ASOS RED CARPET go to town with embellished maxi dresses, pretty prints and glam evening gowns, while ASOS BLACK favours luxe cocktail looks with a focus on separates. ASOS CURVE caters for sizes 18-30 in amazing style and is one of the best plus-size offerings around; these looks are far more fabulous than frumpy!
If you’re setting sail in six star style, you’ll need a gown to match. NET-A-PORTER is home to high end designers including Gucci, Dolce & Gabbana, Michael Kors and Jenny Packham, and if you’re looking for something truly special, this is the place to be.
It isn’t for all budgets, with some only dreaming of spending four figures on a dress, but if you’ve got the cash to splash we suggest going straight to the dedicated ‘Gowns’ section.
Local boutiques are perfect for those who want something a little different but hate the thought of ordering online. Bridal salons often incorporate occasion wear too and small country villages can sometimes be home to the most fantastic boutiques.