What to Wear on a Cruise: OTT Vintage Ruffles and Pleats

Cruise ship style: Orange Pleated Maxi & a Vintage Multicoloured Ruffled Top | Not Dressed As Lamb, Over 40 Style and Fashion

If you didn’t know that I recently went on a cruise, then I need to congratulate you on avoiding the Cruise Photos Overkill Extravaganza that was my Instagram feed last week (she says with tongue firmly in cheek)…

And what I mean by that is that despite my best efforts to scream I WENT ON A CRUISE!! at 1500 ‘social media decibels’, my sun-filled, fun-filled four days onboard Virgin’s first cruise ship I’m sure was probably missed by many.

All of which I absolutely don’t mind because hey, you’re now getting to see the cream of the crop where images from the trip are concerned (rather than my iPhone pics) and that’s a good thing. Now, NORMALLY I’d be desperately trying to be all humble about the quality of my content and how I think my photos are, you know, quite good/I’m really pleased with how they came out/this is a nice set of photos.

Not now. Not today.

Because today I bring you the OMFG-look-at-these-photos kind of content I’ve always dreamed about, and from here it’s only going to get better… amirite?


Photography by Giles Caldicott

Disclosure: This blog uses affiliate links (at no cost to you). The cruise was provided by Virgin Voyages in exchange for guaranteed Instagram content but blog content was not required. Full disclosure

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Cruise ship style: Orange Pleated Maxi & a Vintage Multicoloured Ruffled Top | Not Dressed As Lamb, Over 40 Style and Fashion

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To start from the beginning: two weekends ago I went on a cruise with the Instagram husband/very old friend from college Giles Caldicott (Keith couldn’t go as he couldn’t get the time off work because everyone with kids has already booked off August, boo) – we turned it into a working holiday and aimed to create a ton of beautiful images for his portfolio and my blog.

Richard Branson’s inaugural cruise ship, Scarlet Lady, was ready in February 2020 but then Covid hit and she’s been waiting to start her regular trips round the Caribbean ever since. Last month she kicked things off here with “UK Summer Soirées”, three or four-night trips from Portsmouth to the Isles of Scilly and back. He decided to do something different by making the cruises open to over 18s only, provide a “party experience” and do away with outdated buffets and bingo, instead providing London-quality restaurants and entertainment, endless fitness opportunities and generally quirky, fun stuff.

(FYI everyone had to be double-vaccinated and have a Covid test before boarding so we could all let our hair down.)

And in my humble opinion Richard delivered, and then some. Scarlet Lady – for us at least – lived up to all of the hype, and we had the most amazing time. We were both cruise newbies so had nothing to compare it to except for our own expectations (preconceptions?) of what a cruise would be like. It’ll be a Marmite love-it-or-hate-it experience I’m sure, but we’re in the former camp.

Scarlet Lady also provided incredible backdrops for endless shoots, and then we were rewarded with gloriously hot, sunny weather… IN THE ENGLISH CHANNEL, no less:

Cruise ship style: Orange Pleated Maxi & a Vintage Multicoloured Ruffled Top | Not Dressed As Lamb, Over 40 Style and Fashion

I wore a multitude of different outfits to all the different events and parties and eateries, and Giles has captured some INCREDIBLE imagery that takes my breath away. In fact (and I don’t know why I haven’t done this before now), I’ve done away with the sidebar just on the blog posts that feature Giles’s photos so that they can be seen in all their triumphant glory.

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In this case, we shot on the deck in the blazing sun – not something I usually recommend but when you have THIS sort of light, textures and bold colours you make an exception and go with it.

That orange against the blue sky and blue sea. With the splash of Virgin red.

The pleats of my maxi skirt and the soft ruffles of my vintage shirt (OMG can we talk about how it’s so beautiful it makes me want to cry despite its clown-like tendencies) contrasted with the hard lines of the deck and railings.

My round white sunglasses echoing the white ball sculpture thingy (don’t ask me what it is).

I’ve worn this outfit a few times this summer, but getting to capture it in this amazing setting was a dream come true. And there are lots more where these came from, so stay tuned.

Have you been on a cruise or have you ever thought of going on one? And if you have experienced cruise life did you also make about five outfit changes a day like I did??! Comment below…


Stay safe, XOXO

Catherine signature

Cruise ship style: Orange Pleated Maxi & a Vintage Multicoloured Ruffled Top | Not Dressed As Lamb, Over 40 Style and Fashion
Cruise ship style: Orange Pleated Maxi & a Vintage Multicoloured Ruffled Top | Not Dressed As Lamb, Over 40 Style and Fashion
Cruise ship style: Orange Pleated Maxi & a Vintage Multicoloured Ruffled Top | Not Dressed As Lamb, Over 40 Style and Fashion

Photography by Giles Caldicott

Top: Vintage at Etsy (similar)
Skirt: Roman (I like this one)
Shoes: Melissa at Asos (I like these)
Sunglasses: Asos (similar)
Earrings: Orelia


Other vintage ruffled blouses you might like:



Linking up to… Monday: Stylish Monday, Inspire Me Monday, Ageless Style Linkup (first Monday of the month), My Glittery Heart, On Mondays We Link Up || Tuesday: Style With a Smile, Trend Spin/Walking in Memphis in High Heels, Turning Heads Tuesday, Spread the Kindness, Confident Twosday, Happy Now Blog Link Up || Wednesday: Style Me Wednesday, WowOnWednesday || Thursday: Chic & Stylish || Friday: Fancy Friday, On the Edge, Fabulous Friday, Fabulous Friday’s Link Up

Cruise ship style: Orange Pleated Maxi & a Vintage Multicoloured Ruffled Top | Not Dressed As Lamb, Over 40 Style and Fashion


  1. 24 September 2021 / 3:09 am

    I enjoyed following on Instagram. This is one gorgeous outfit.

    • Catherine
      24 September 2021 / 5:40 pm

      Awww that’s so kind of you Mireille, thank you..!

  2. 21 September 2021 / 5:27 pm

    I love love this outfit and cruising..its been over 2 yr since I did one..need to go again

    Awesome tips!


    • Catherine
      23 September 2021 / 4:14 pm

      Thank you Valerie – if you’d like to try something different I can definitely recommend a Virgin cruise! x

  3. 14 September 2021 / 5:19 pm

    Your vintage blouse is gorgeous and not at all clown-like! I love your pleated skirt too! The cruise looks amazing…and such good weather too! I went on a school cruise when I was 13 – it sailed around the Mediterranean, starting in Greece, then stopping in Egypt, Israel, Rhodes and Turkey. The food was awful and I lost half a stone. By midweek we’d bought every overpriced chocolate bar in the shop! Unfortunately we missed going to the Acropolis as our flight was delayed by six hours thanks to that hurricane that Michael Fish said wouldn’t happen…remember that? I’ll get there one day! Thanks for linking up!

    Emma xxx

    • Catherine
      20 September 2021 / 9:53 pm

      I can imagine it’s the sort of blouse you’d have snapped up if you saw it first, Emma, amirite?! 😉 Thank you my lovely…!

      Your cruise sounds like a bit of a nightmare!! I was meant to go on a school cruise up the Nile at about the same age but it was cancelled because too few people signed up for it, I was gutted. Though maybe it would have been as bad as yours, so perhaps I didn’t miss out after all 😉

  4. 10 September 2021 / 11:55 am

    TOTALLY understand why you would get rid of the sidebar for Giles’ photos (although your photos are also sans-sidebar worthy too!). These images are simply stunning. How lucky were you on the weather front?! And your outfit, well… talk about perfection! I’m SO envious of your cruise experience. I’ve been wanting to go on a cruise for a while but hubby isn’t so keen. One day… it will happen!
    Suzy xx

    • Catherine
      20 September 2021 / 9:50 pm

      Awww Suzy thank you – Giles will be so pleased 🙂

      We TOTALLY lucked out with the weather. The blue sky and sunshine were beautiful, and tbh it did not feel like the English Channel in the slightest. I can only imagine just how incredible going on the ship in the Caribbean would be!

  5. 9 September 2021 / 7:57 am

    Enjoyed your content on IG! And wowzers, these photos! Fantastic colours. I’ve never really fancied a cruise but you’ve made me slightly reconsider! Thanks for sharing at #WowOnWednesday x

    • Catherine
      20 September 2021 / 9:49 pm

      Thanks so much Gail… yes I think I’d be seriously considering a cruise if I saw these photos too – I’m desperate to go back again!!!!

  6. 8 September 2021 / 5:05 am

    Fan-tas-tic!!!!! I for one followed your quick trip on Instagram…… and I am so glad for you!!! ps yep orange is SO your col,our

    • Catherine
      20 September 2021 / 9:48 pm

      Thank you Ratnamurti – I sometimes wonder if I overdo the orange, but to be honest who cares 😀 lol

  7. 4 September 2021 / 8:19 pm

    You look amazing and now I am craving a cruise!

    Danielle | thereluctantblogger.co.uk

    • Catherine
      5 September 2021 / 9:19 am

      I never thought it would be for me Danielle but I loved it!! Thank you hon x

  8. Sue Dunlop
    4 September 2021 / 1:21 am

    Stunning. Kudos to you and Giles. I feel as if this is #ndal on steroids. Amazing!

    • Catherine
      4 September 2021 / 12:52 pm

      Sue I LOVE “not dressed as lamb on steroids”!!! Thank you so much!! x

  9. 4 September 2021 / 12:14 am

    These photos are stupendous!! You look amazing! And now I’ll have to go check back on your Insta to see what I missed! And your hair looks so good too. You’ll have to share your secrets on how you upkeep this fabulous shade xx

    • Catherine
      4 September 2021 / 12:55 pm

      Thank you ever so much Lucy, we were both so pleased with how the photos came out 🙂

      And there’s no real secret to my hair colour, it’s the same shade that’s featured in my L’Oreal hair ad, Olia by Garnier Rose Gold. It fades from the pink to this warm blonde shade and I actually really love it (apart from the roots)…!

  10. 3 September 2021 / 12:26 pm

    Oh my goodness I’m so jealous and you look absolutely gorgeous!

    • Catherine
      3 September 2021 / 7:17 pm

      Suzi thank you so much… it really was a fabulous ship/trip!!

  11. Andre
    2 September 2021 / 7:10 pm

    Just sailed on Scarlet Lady 26/8/21 & although very different from the many other (10’s of!!) cruises we’ve been on before we throughly enjoyed it. Certainly one for the over 18’s. Loved your outfit…….I wasn’t so brave

    • Catherine
      4 September 2021 / 12:57 pm

      I’m so glad you loved it too Andre as I thought that seasoned cruisers probably wouldn’t like it! And thank you, I tend to go bold in the summer (best time to do it if you want to wear brighter colours) x

  12. 2 September 2021 / 7:10 pm

    That ship looks a lot better then the P&O ferries I’m usually on, lol. The photos are stunning and I hope to read more about the cruise!

    • Catherine
      4 September 2021 / 12:58 pm

      Hehe I went on a P&O a couple of years ago Nancy and yes, the difference is stark, LOL!

      I might be writing much more about the cruise itself as I wrote so much about it on Instagram… I did three posts in a row (one grid post and two reels) talking all about it, that’s the best place to go for more details x

  13. 2 September 2021 / 6:25 pm

    You are so right. These photos are glossy magazine worthy. Everything is just perfect:
    you, the outfit, the background, the light and of course the photographer. I understand you call this a dream come true.

    • Catherine
      4 September 2021 / 1:00 pm

      Oh Greetje THANK YOU, “glossy magazine worthy” is such a fabulous compliment… I told Giles and he was well chuffed – says thank you!!!!

      (He actually said “sound the blog horn” and I thought that truly sums it up, haha)

  14. Patti Cichon
    2 September 2021 / 6:23 pm

    Went on a Viking Eastern Mediterranean in 2019 … I think I only managed 4 outfit changes a day! But I did follow the capsule packing philosophy and I did laundry halfway through.

    I love the contrast of the orange against the brilliant blue sky.

    • Catherine
      4 September 2021 / 1:03 pm

      Only FOUR Patti?!! What were doing with yourself?!!! Hehe 😉

      Thank you my lovely, we were blessed to get such amazing weather. The blue was indeed stunning.

  15. Pilar
    2 September 2021 / 6:09 pm

    OMG!!!! Loooove the ‘fit and the cruise!!!
    Can’t wait for it to start doing the Caribbean!!
    I will def draw inspo from this and your coming cruise posts!!!

    • Catherine
      4 September 2021 / 1:05 pm

      Awww thank you Pilar – I know how excited you are about cruise wear so I hope I’ll continue to provide cruise wear inspo… tell you this, people do NOT hold back when it comes to dressing up. If you want a week where you can’t possibly be overdressed, a cruise is the place for you!!

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