Over here in the UK we complain about the weather a lot. In fact, I think it’s in our DNA, which is strange as we don’t do extremes, instead we have a temperate climate with a lot of mild and damp weather. Well, most of the time! Today, the UK is going into meltdown because of some Siberian weather, which is, I admit, slightly more cold than usual, plus there’s a ton of snow about. But give us any temperature that drops below freezing and a bit of a snow and we can’t cope. Trains have been cancelled, schools are closed and we’ve been exhorted not to travel and to wrap warm if we do. Gosh, I lived in Switzerland for two years (in the 1970s) and how do you think they coped with snow? Very well, actually!

Here’s what I wore on Saturday, which was the beginning of our cold weather.

Actually, I was a bit too warm wearing it that day!  And yesterday I dressed up like the abominable snowman with the coat topping several layers – and I was too hot! (Btw, it’s not real – it is faux fur.) This is a coat I bought several years ago at a vintage market in Brighton, and have never worn!  I’m aiming to wear it throughout this cold snap, because I think there’s going to be a big wind chill factor.  And it’s so good to do this as I wasn’t following my own advice, which is to not keep stuff in your wardrobe for ‘best’, which often means you just don’t wear it.

Anyway, rather than tell you what to wear to keep out the cold, I thought let’s move away from all that and think about holiday gear, and cruise wear in particular!  I didn’t bring the right clothes with me for last year’s cruise (in the Caribbean) so this time, I’m saying to myself, it’ll be different! Well, maybe!

OK. I’m going on a cruise that goes through the Bay of Biscay (oh dear, fingers crossed) then down past Portugal and through the Med as far as Almeria and back to the River Guadalquivir for Seville.  Looking out of the window I can’t believe we’ll be going somewhere warm, but I won’t be taking summer clothes, instead I’ll aim to bring clothes that can be layered, so on a warm day I wear slightly less and on a cooler day I wear more.

But let’s start with the more exciting stuff of evening wear.  On this cruise there will be 3 formal nights, for which I will take three long dresses, which I think you’ve seen before. Here’s my favourite.

This pic was taken 6 years ago! The dress is made from that lovely silk devore fabric, and as it’s only worn on cruises (honestly where else could I wear it!) it is still in mint condition.

Here’s the second one taken with Mr Frugalfashionshopper on our last cruise in January 2017.

And here’s the third dress (pic taken in late 2016).  This is a Diane Fries original, a label that’s based in Hong Kong, and it’s a very forgiving dress as the material stretches.

Note that not one of these lovely dresses cost over £10.

Then the rest of the cruise nights are fairly informal.  And you could choose to eat in a cafe and/or buffet type of restaurant. But I cannot see the point of that at all. The whole raison d’être for cruising is to dress up!!! And most people do change from their day wear and put on something smart. I wear cocktail type dresses and go to the formal restaurant to be waited on, so that every night is an occasion! I shall, therefore, be taking four, or maybe five, of these dresses and here below are three of them.

This is an old favourite bought in 2012 and still going strong.

This dress below is a fairly recent acquisition, which I wore in the summer of 2017, but I’ll dress it up a bit more. I’m taking the dress because I do love the colour of it.

Then there’s this amazing dress, which I previously said cost £15 but was corrected by my friend as, yes, it cost all of £10.

What a beauty!  And remember, all the dresses, both short and long, were bought in charity shops.

For daytime wear, I’m bringing two different types of clothing.  There’s clothes for the guided tours or just getting off the ship (we prefer to do our own thing), which are all about sensible shoes, smart jeans and/or trousers and layered tops, including something for wet weather. Wet weather gear is essential if you’re going on a cruise to Norway, but Spain in mid-March, it could also rain. Anyway, I shall take 3 pairs of jeans and/or trousers for those days, plus layers, plus a light rain coat.

But this trip will also be about cruising up the river and days at sea, e.g. going down through the Bay of Biscay and back up again, so for those days I’ll be taking 3 pairs of lighter jeans and/or trousers, like the pink outfit I showed you in the last post. I haven’t yet shown you a green cotton pair of trousers with matching top, nor have I featured my last jeans buy, which was a really great pair of red jeans, yes, red! And don’t forget deck shoes, plus I will be taking some leggings to participate in the gym and other exercise activities whilst doing those ‘at sea’ days. I’ll aim to take lots of pics of all these outfits.

So that’s what I’m packing in my case. We don’t go until mid-March so the cases are not yet out of store, but I’ve made all my lists and am ready to go!  Have I chosen well?  Who knows?  I often get it wrong! Yes, do let me know if you find thinking about what to wear and packing a chore. Personally, I’ll find it a relief to start packing, because I’m ready, people!

Anyway, until next week, with love,

Penny, the Frugalfashionshopper

And sharing with the usual lovely people 🙂

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45 thoughts on “What am I thinking about on this cold and snowy day? Cruise wear!

  • 27th February 2018 at 11:35 am

    Your choices for your upcoming cruise sound perfect…. but who knows what Mother Nature will do. She can be so undependable, right! Good luck…. oh!! and I love all of the dresses!

    • 28th February 2018 at 8:25 am

      I’m crossing my fingers that it won’t be rough going through the Bay of Biscay! And yes, it could be lovely and warm in Spain – or not!!!

  • 27th February 2018 at 11:41 am

    I do love those dresses! And it all sounds marvellous. When we went through Bay of Biscay I had to resort to the pills dished out on board, which did actually work. In defence of our (UK) response to snow, though….the problem is we don’t have heavy snow often enough to invest millions in snow clearing monsters. If we knew it was going to happen every winter – as in Switzerland etc – no doubt we would (??)

    • 28th February 2018 at 8:31 am

      I always forget I’m actually not a particularly good sailor and would get sea-sick if I didn’t take the pills. But I do take them and they work, so I’m OK.

      As for the weather – yes, it is unusual for the UK to have so much snow. I read somewhere that the snow is drier this time. I wonder though with global warming whether these extremes will continue and we have rather more of these snowy episodes in the future. Then I think snow tyres should become the norm for a start. Let’s see what happens next winter.

  • 27th February 2018 at 11:57 am

    Love your fun fur coat, perfect for this snowy weather. Your cruise dresses are gorgeous. I never take the right clothes on holiday it seems, I have had to buy warm clothes whilst in Holland and an early summer trip to Slovenia meant a heatwave so I was buying sandals and thin tops. Layers is the answer I think, thin clothes layered. Enjoy the cruise. Carole.

    • 28th February 2018 at 8:33 am

      Thanks for the comment about the coat – it’s warm and toasty as well as being good to look at.

      I always seem to get it wrong – so will try the layers this time! I will enjoy – thanks!

  • 27th February 2018 at 12:26 pm

    What a lovely selection of dresses and I so enjoy being involved in your deliberations for packing. I’m never likely to go on a cruise. We tried it once – a mini cruise from Cyprus to the Holy Land and back. Was a one night there and one night back sort of cruise and choppy water on the way back revealed I wasnt the best sort of traveller. Have a wonderful time choosing the rest of your outfits and I look forward to reading the updates. Best wishes.

    • 28th February 2018 at 8:35 am

      I’m not a particularly good sailor myself. I find I have to take the pills. But they do work, so maybe try just once more fully prepared with at least two packets of the things! That’s what I do, anyway!

  • 27th February 2018 at 12:34 pm

    Re the snow: don’t laugh but it’s the wrong type of snow usually. Apparently in Switzerland etc the temperature is really cold and so the snow is “drier” and can be easily swept aside. Here we have wet and mushy snow, quite different. Please tell everyone it’s not our fault we can’t cope with snow, it’s just not COLD enough 😉

    • 28th February 2018 at 8:41 am

      I do agree that this is how it usually is. But every winter we have the same situation of things closing, especially schools. I went to school in the early 60s and one year there was snow piled up till April – I don’t think our school closed ever. Apparently though, this time it’s drier snow and drier cold weather. As I said in a comment above, I wonder if these extremes will be repeated – let’s see what happens next winter. We owe a great debt to that Gulf Stream and if it slips down more often, as it has now, we will have to learn to be more prepared.

      It’s sunny here but very cold and I’ll be off out today with that coat and multiple layers, before the next lot of snow! Thanks so much for reading and commenting – much appreciated!

  • 27th February 2018 at 12:36 pm

    Like you I love to dress up on cruises! It gives me a chance to wear my dresses and costume jewellery so I don’t feel so guilty about how much I’ve got.
    For our first cruise in 2010 all my evening wear came from charity shops, including shoes and bags. Now I get much more from E-bay, recently a pair of Jane Shilton matt satin shoes with embroidered scalloped fronts for 99p plus postage of £2.90. Almost new as well! I paid the same for some Lotus silver and gold sandals, leather and obviously unworn.
    Your daytime choices seem to be what most people wear and as you say layering is the way to cope with unexpected or changeable weather. I found the last ship that we went on over Christmas and New Year very cold so I was wearing more on board than off!

    • 28th February 2018 at 8:47 am

      This is great to hear Lynda, we think alike! I just love the dressing up! Interesting that you use eBay as I don’t. My preference is to see, touch and try on the clothes first. Shoes also. I have very narrow, high-arched feet and not a lot fits. Also interesting you say it was colder in than out, thanks for the tip. Will have to take at least one woolly for the trip from (and to) Southampton through the Bay of Biscay. Hopefully after that it might to get warmer – but with this weather, we’ll see!

  • 27th February 2018 at 12:49 pm

    Love your dresses for your cruise and everything else sounds fantastic. I too can’t go cruising because of sea sickness I get queasy standing on dry land looking at a boat. I’m off to Lisbon for five days at end of March and I too have my clothes picked and hanging in wardrobe ready for the case. Happy Holiday!

    • 28th February 2018 at 8:51 am

      Well, the thing is, I’m not a good sailor either. And I’m quite a headachy queasy person also. But the pills work on me. Have you tried a very small trip with pills? I also learnt very early on (my first cruise) that actually you have to eat a solid meal, you feel worse on an empty stomach. But I totally understand. And wow Lisbon – we’re dropping in to that port also. I treat all the port stops as tasters – if we like one particularly we’ll go back for 5 days or so. Enjoy and happy holidays!

  • 27th February 2018 at 1:24 pm

    Beautiful dresses! Color and shape, and you’ll layer over them easily if needs be. I hope your trip is everything wonderful, thanks for linking up, xo


    • 28th February 2018 at 8:53 am

      Yes, all the dresses will have either a stole/wrap or little cardi. I have a yellow one of those and a black one. Thanks so much for hosting x

  • 27th February 2018 at 2:55 pm

    Ooh, love your choice of evening wear dresses, this is the bit I have been dreading when we go on our first cruise in April. I literally have nothing in the way of “evening” wear. So with your selections in mind I think a bit of charity shopping is due, as well a bit of eBay and maybe TKmax. Cheap and cheerful, but not tacky hopefully.

    • 28th February 2018 at 8:23 am

      The most important thing to remember is that on a cruise you don’t have to dress up. There will be other restaurants and/or cafes (larger ships have many more, smaller will have just one other) and some people never dress for dinner. But a lot of people do and it can be fun. For the formal nights – all the men have tuxedos and bow ties, but women don’t have to wear long dresses. You could wear a long skirt or a pair of very smart trousers with a top, and you could therefore have one skirt, or pair of trousers, for formal nights plus three tops (3, if you’re going for 14 nights, 2 for 7 days). Then for the informal nights, a pair of smart black trousers will do, and then you can have a variety of smart tops to wear throughout the cruise. Don’t take any notice of me, I’m always a dressy cruiser! But you absolutely want to be on holiday, relax and enjoy and that includes wearing what you feel comfortable in – good luck with your search!

      Btw, I love charity shop shopping for these clothes as you can try the clothes on. All my cruise dresses have been bought over 6 years, so you may not find everything this time. But again good luck with your search x

      • 5th March 2018 at 4:58 pm

        Penny is absolutely right, Chris, you want to be able to enjoy your holiday and a lot of that entails feeling comfortably dressed. Please don’t let your dread of not having the right ‘dressing up’ clothes spoil your looking forward to your cruise. I totally understand the ladies who love their posh frocks and love seeing their obvious enjoyment in looking so glamorous, but personally have no wish to look alike. During many Atlantic crossings – the ultimate in Posh Frocks on formal nights, believe me – and one Caribbean cruise, I have only ever taken one ‘long’ and smart black trousers and a choice of tops for after-six on other evenings. As Penny also said, most ships have alternative eating areas where dress codes are more relaxed and the food choices there are just as good as at ‘high table’.

        I certainly don’t agree with slobbing around in pjs, like I did see once,, but having paid a goodly price for my ticket, I have questioned whether I should then have my personal dresswear dictated by others. But then I remind myself of ‘my house, my rules’, and think Okay, fair enough, and THEN I go full circle and feel resentful all over again as I’ve bought my passage and therefore should be allowed to make my own sartorial decisions – providing I don’t frighten the horses!

        But there is a middle course and I plough it. I don’t frighten any horses but I do retain the right to dress My Way. And providing you’re not in your pjs ,whatever your evening wear, Chris, I’m sure you’ll look lovely. Remember, you are just as worthy as all the other ladies, however bright their bling, so when you go down to dinner, in your choice of dress – or trousers and top! – just enjoy! And that means starting now! Have fun going shopping for your cruisewear, and have a great holiday.

  • 27th February 2018 at 4:34 pm

    Loved reading your post! All of your dresses were lovely.

    • 28th February 2018 at 9:04 am

      Oh thank you so much Jody! The dresses have been bought over 6 years, so it’s taken a bit of time to accumulate them, and one or two were mistakes and discarded. But yes, I have just the right number now for a 14 day cruise! Thank you again!

  • 27th February 2018 at 9:09 pm

    What lovely dresses! My favourite was the devore which I just love as a fabric. I thought the wrap you wore with it was beautiful and so elegant! How nice to be able to dress up and wear all your ‘best’ clothes but then be able to dress down for sight seeing.

    No wonder you can’t wait to go with all this cold and snow about…..

    • 28th February 2018 at 9:07 am

      I love cruises, Veronica, for exactly that, the dressing up. We don’t go to places where you can do that now. And having stopped film night this is my big opportunity and I love it! Thanks so much.

      Btw, I hope the snow isn’t too bad where you are. We’re going out today – but the next couple of days look to be indoor days!!! Have a good rest of the week xxx

  • 28th February 2018 at 7:37 am

    What a beautiful and elegant dresses you have! And how fabulous it is to go on a cruise!

  • 28th February 2018 at 9:51 am

    Wow, what a great blog! I have just discovered you as I was looking to see what was around on the blogosphere that was attuned to my interests and found you via another blogger. You are indeed an inspiration! I love your style and cunning buys. I have a different life to you and live in a small cottage in the countryside in the north of England, so I have to be selective rather than expansive (not too much storage space!). My shopping style is to buy quality items at bargain prices, then I try to look after things well and wear them lots 🙂 Looking forward to following you and your blog, Lynn

    • 3rd March 2018 at 9:45 am

      Hello Lynn! It’s good to hear from you! We down-sized a lot for our move and now that we live in a small flat we are quite minimalist in our life-style especially furniture and crockery and vases and other stuff like that. Yes, all good, apart that is from my clothes. I do have a large wardrobe for these items!!! However, I aim to do the one in, one out thing, which is mainly great, until that is, I say, ‘now where is that…. uh, oh, I go rid of it!’

  • 28th February 2018 at 11:30 am

    lovely evening dresses; your hair from 6 years ago is lovely.

    • 2nd March 2018 at 8:36 am

      Yes, agree, but also don’t forget I was 6 years younger!!! And what’s more I took the decision to not dye it. That hair that looks so lovely cost me a fortune, which I can no longer afford. I haven’t dyed my hair since October 2016 (it’s still growing out!) and feel much better for it. Also I now love the white and grey, I embrace it!

  • 28th February 2018 at 12:09 pm

    I too think the shorter hairstyle is pretty and younger looking ?

    • 2nd March 2018 at 8:42 am

      That shorter hair, which I agree looks pretty and young-looking, was on a face that’s 6 years younger! Don’t forget that I’m now 71. I don’t think my face changed all that much even into my 60s but now I’m 70, yes, I can see the ageing in it. So, what to do? OK I embrace my age, but the growing of my hair is an actual statement that I don’t do things that are expected of us as we age. My hair which is becoming white will be I hope a witch-like mane of white and grey hair. So the growing of it is quite deliberate – it’s also cheaper! I spent a fortune on that style and colour – that’s not longer possible.

      But actually thank you for saying that – I remember that hairstyle with fondness x

      • 2nd March 2018 at 2:18 pm

        I don’t know what age has to do with it. It’s more a case of a haircut that suits your face. You have a long face so long hair makes it longer looking. And that other style did suit you, but if you want a witchy look that’s fine haha. I am 73 and still have some colour in my hair. Now and again I fancy colouring it and use Boots own make. Costs around £5 and is semi-permanent so gradually washes out. I get my haircut shortish and then let it grow to shoulder length. My husband trims the back and I do the sides. ? Like you, I don’t want to be the same as everyone else, so if everyone has grey hair I shall probably colour mine! As long as my face can take it that is. Never was one for blending in. When my teenage friends wore blue jeans, I wore red! Now I have a lovely pink blossom raincoat instead of black or brown. Goes well with my pink gingham umbrella. Whatever makes you happy I say.

        • 2nd March 2018 at 2:42 pm

          Bet you look good in that raincoat!

          • 2nd March 2018 at 2:52 pm

            Well I do stand out! Can even find me in a crowd haha.

        • 3rd March 2018 at 9:50 am

          Also, re-reading your comment just now (I do the blog first thing in the morning) I’d say we’re quite alike as we don’t want to be the same as everyone else. There are a lot of short grey bobs out there, and for the moment, the growing the hair out and the growing the hair long is an experiment. I’ll see what it looks like when the grey is fully there and the hair is bit longer, if it looks lank and dull, rather than full-on witchy I’ll be cutting it shorter!

          • 3rd March 2018 at 10:37 am

            I think the main thing with our hair is to keep it in good condition so it looks good whatever style you choose. I change my style all the time. As I said before I have it short, grow it out, get it cut etc etc. But I do love COLOUR, keep threatening to go red! Penny I bought my first bargain. Windsmoor long wool coat £25 for my sister. She was pleased.

          • 3rd March 2018 at 11:21 am

            I don’t want to look like anyone else either and when I stopped dyeing my hair at 48 I certainly was unusual! Now I’m 65 and many others have caught up. I’m lucky in that my hair is almost white and many people compliment me on it – much more difficult if your hair goes ‘pepper and salt’.
            What I wouldn’t do is have my hair (or clothes) in a way I don’t like or doesn’t flatter me just to be different or to confound critics or the received wisdom about what older people should look like. I can’t bear the thought of ‘witchy’ hair but then I don’t like red or purple hair but that’s just me. Each to their own!

            I went to see the latest ‘oldie’ film last week (Finding your Feet) and could not help but notice how all but one of the main characters, including the men, had dyed hair. The lined faces beneath it just look older to me when contrasted with brilliant auburn and chestnut hair – and I’m not saying that there is anything wrong with looking old. Only Joanna Lumley was grey and we know that it was a wig!

          • 3rd March 2018 at 1:47 pm

            I wouldn’t really dye my hair red, it was just a joke. I don’t have a lot of grey, mainly white at the sides so I’m not sure whether I will be salt and pepper or not in the future. But I would never colour it darker than my face could take, I agree that looks silly. I only colour my hair when I want a change and that isn’t so often these days. So I think we agree that “doing our own thing” is much more fun than being conventional .

  • 28th February 2018 at 5:44 pm

    Fabulous dresses, I love the third one with the flashes of leopard print! And the faux fur coat is gorgeous, the long length is perfect for this cold weather! Hope you have a wonderful time on the cruise 🙂

    Emma xxx

    • 2nd March 2018 at 8:43 am

      Thank you Emma! It’s a lovely dress and just a charity shop dress, but the quality bargains are there. All of those dresses have been found over 6 years – and I continue to hunt!

  • 2nd March 2018 at 12:28 pm

    I’m absolutely with you on dressing up for dinner on a cruise and I never go into dinner dressed casually. Like you, I have several cruise-only outfits and I love the fact that I can bring them out year after year. It’s like meeting up with an old friend.
    Boots travel sickness tablets have seen me through The Bay of Biscay many times. I Take the tablet as we approach regardless of sea conditions (I learnt early on that waiting until I actually felt unwell was pointless) and also wear sea-bands on my wrists if I feel the need.

    • 3rd March 2018 at 9:52 am

      Thanks for the tip about the Bay of Biscay, which could be OK, or could be ghastly! Will go with a good supply!

  • 2nd March 2018 at 5:24 pm

    I can’t believe you’ve never worn that gorgeous coat! Hope it gets a few outings during our no doubt brief Siberian chill.

    You have a wonderful eye for dresses – I love the 3rd long one and the shorter £10 dress that didn’t cost £15.

    I’m totally with you on occasion dressing- our summer holiday is the only time I get to dress up every evening.

    • 3rd March 2018 at 9:57 am

      I had never worn it (bought approx 5 years ago) but when I was doing the big throw-out I just couldn’t do it. So hung on to it. And actually despite it being faux fur, it’s amazingly warm but at the same time, it’s not a heavy coat. Have you ever tried a real leopard skin coat on? As well as feeling slightly queasy doing so, they’re incredibly heavy to wear. The coat really is the best of both worlds and will be worn in the future. Didn’t feel out of place either as in Brighton there were several women wearing faux fur.

      Can’t wait to dress up!!!

  • 3rd March 2018 at 2:18 am

    Well, I enjoy reading about your cruise planning. This landlocked lady has never been on one. We would have to fly just to get to the boat. I have always been amazed of the quality of “fancy dress” that you find at charity shops. I just haven’t found quite the quality here in the Midwest. I might find a component that I have to finish out with something that I’ve sewn or just sew it to begin with. I would love to try on your last dress to just see how I would look in it. You are right, it’s a stunner.
    And as a life long Midwesterner, I’m going to bite my tongue on your such “horrible” winter experience. LOL. Thanks for linking up to my little celebration of us that buy 2nd hand first (OK, I probably would sew it first, but I’m weird like that).
    Take care, Penny xox

    • 3rd March 2018 at 10:06 am

      Hi Terri, and can I say I so loved that jacket you up-cycled. You’re so skilled. Also it reminded me of another coat I have that I’ll have to feature! Btw, our charity shops are like little boutiques and people do donate lovely clothes – not all the clothes are good, but the quality clothes are there.

      Well, re: cruising, two years ago we were the only Brits on board a Holland & America liner that went up and down the coast of Norway. When I complained that my 3/4 hour flight was delayed by 3 hours, most people laughed and told me their flight alone was 10+ hours. So many had flown for hours and hours and hours to get to Amsterdam for this cruise. Amazing. Also we loved talking to them and hearing their views on the candidates in the coming election!!!!! You know, that one in 2016!

      As for our weather, we know nothing about actual ‘weather’ here in the UK!!! But this little bit of snow was for us, a challenge as we don’t have sufficient diggers and snow ploughs etc etc. And people just get in to their cars and expect to drive and then get stuck. If it keeps happening I think we might have to change our ways.

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