Although I'm definitely a jeans n' t-shirt kinda girl, I like any excuse to dress up, especially if party wear is involved. But what should you wear on a formal night on a cruise, when there's cocktails, dinner and dancing? This was the question I pondered in order to enter a blogger style-off competition: I'd been cordially invited to a "mock evening of dancing and decadence" on board the MSC Splendida and was able to buy myself a suitable outfit, courtesy of MSC Cruises.
So not a real evening on a cruise, just a pretend one... but going on a cruise is something I've always fancied, and dressing up is my forte - who was I to resist?!
This was my invitation...
With a budget of £150, I knew it had to be a long dress, but I didn't want an overly formal gown if there was going to be dancing. I also wanted something floral or perhaps a tropical print for a cruise, and definitely a full skirt for movement. Two dresses I considered were the blush pink maxi jewelled dress from Asos (beautiful but a little too 'evening wear' rather than cocktails and dancing) and the tropical floral print maxi dress from Zalando (which was more of a summery maxi dress).
In the end I decided on the Debenhams orange floral border ombre maxi dress (£110), and accessorised with the Warehouse white 50s frame clutch (£26) and the Matalan black and white strappy sandals (£15). Total: £151 - only just over my budget... not bad! The dress is absolutely gorgeous and made me feel very elegant - I love the ombre and the fact that the skirt is pleated, plus it's full and it swooshes so that's perfect for dancing.
A beautiful dress calls for some stunning jewellery, so I also added my own beautiful expandable silver and gold necklace and matching bracelet I received from Mark Milton. Really simple, beautiful pieces that, as they're mixed metal, are really versatile. So with the addition of the jewellery that's my outfit (and competition entry) complete - I just need an invitation for real... maybe I'll be treated to a cruise one day :)
Have any of you been on a cruise before, and if so, what did you wear? Were there opportunities for cocktails and dancing - and dressing up? Do share in the comments!
Update 29/04/2014: I'm so happy to tell you that I won the competition!!! It was judged by the stylist at Girl Meets Dress who said this about my outfit:
"This is one of those gorgeous dresses that really encompasses what summer themes are all about. The silhouette is flawless with a belt to cinch in the waist, and nude accessories to complement the dip dye effect. Catherine's dress looks like it can be worn in the day or in the evening, which is essential if you're going on a Cruise and need versatile pieces. This is definitely one of those stand out dresses which will turn heads in a room. Very well done!"I'm a VERY happy (and lucky) girl :)
Dress: Debenhams, Clutch: Warehouse, Heels: Matalan, Red cuff: Asos, Necklace: c/o Mark Milton, Silver & gold bracelet: c/o Mark Milton, Nails: Rimmel Blue Me Away / Seventeen Monochrome Graffiti Nail Effects
Linking up to: Visible Monday, Monday Mingle, Funday Monday, Style Sessions, Trend Spin Link-Up, What I Wore Wednesday, Three-Fer Thursday, Passion for Fashion Friday, Friday's Fab Favourites, Share in Style, Sunday Style Link-Up