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 🙂