Dress to impress: How to pack for a summer cruise

Advice

Whether you’re heading to the cooler climes of Northern Europe or the hot and sunny Mediterranean, there’s no reason not to look stylishly on point. Here’s what to wear for a summer sail.

Cooler climate

Sailing through the Norwegian fjords is a highlight of the summer cruise calendar. Summer temperatures are usually on a par with our own, or cooler. And there are extremes: you can go from sunny Skjolden at the end of Sognefjord one day, to snow on a high-altitude excursion to the mountains of Mefjellet the next. 

For gents

For men, layering is key. Pack an overshirt that will sit nicely over a graphic tee and fling a tailored sweatshirt or cableknit jumper over your shoulders. La Paz, (lapaz.pt) a Porto-based brand (whose motto is “The sea is our soul”), have got your back here with their quirky, anchor motif-emblazoned garments. Classic tailored shorts, such as this Ghurkha-style pair from Neapolitan tailors Rubinacci (£280, mrporter.com), will complement all of the above. 

The La Paz motto is “The sea is our soul”

The La Paz motto is “The sea is our soul”

Rubinacci shorts and a Norwegian Viking sweater

Rubinacci shorts and a Norwegian Viking sweater

For wetter weather, sturdy shoes and a lightweight waterproof jacket are essential. These Norwegian-welted Paraboot Avoriaz walking boots (£364, paraboot.com) will be returning to their fatherland while keeping you dry and safely tractioned for that vertiginous walk. On sunny days (more likely in Stockholm or St Petersburg) you can unpeel to a T-shirt and slip back into espadrilles – Castañers, of course – on deck. Or you could invest in a Norwegian Viking sweater (£300, daleofnorway.com). 

Paraboot Avoriaz walking boots

Paraboot Avoriaz walking boots

Ladies

One of the hottest names in knitwear, &Daughter, features the most luxurious Aran and Fairisle knits crafted by artisans from Scotland and Ireland. With high necks and relaxed shoulders, it’s perfect for a chilly Nordic cruise (£295, and-daughter.com). Wear with cargo pants for day and soften with a satin slip skirt for evening.

&Daughter attire

&Daughter attire

If you’re planning to climb every mountain and ford every stream, then Italian walking-boot brand Diemme (£340, brownsfashion.com) is the ultimate. Offering supreme performance know-how, they are lightweight, comfortable and, most importantly, look great. And we love these contrast neon laces. A lightweight wool wrap (this one by NY’s Rag & Bone, £135, net-a-porter.com) will be your style saviour. Top it off with Hindmarch’s Walton luggage collection (from £295, anyahindmarch.com). Imagine this waiting in your cabin. Personalised, of course.

A Benoît Missolin headband and NY’s Rag & Bone wrap

A Benoît Missolin headband and NY’s Rag & Bone wrap

Hindmarch’s Walton luggage collection

Hindmarch’s Walton luggage collection

Mediterranean dress code

Summer in the Med invariably means hot, sunny weather, so leave heavier garments at home.

Gents

If your cruise ship has its hull pointed due south, you’re set for sunshine. You can play devil’s advocate by including a half-zip sweater in your armoury, but aside from that waterproof coat, keep the layers light.

Summer is the ideal time to introduce a bit of seersucker (which aids air circulation) to your wardrobe, such as a full-on olive suit like this Drakes ensemble (£1,195, drakes.com) for dinner. It can be broken down into separates, too, and the jacket looks just as cool with white or beige chinos. 

A Drakes ensemble

A Drakes ensemble

Loafers, especially Belgian loafers, are our go-to summer shoe as they work with shorts (to be worn without socks, though) and smart tailoring. These brown suede Lusitanias from Baudoin & Lange (from £305, baudoinandlange.com) are the Rolls-Royce in terms of comfort and style. If you’re wearing trainers, opt for premium leather, like the Common Projects Original Achilles (£315, mrporter.com). The old adage that white goes with everything is a sure thing, but why not try their more racy citrus colourways? 

Baudoin & Lange loafers

Baudoin & Lange loafers brown suede loafers, made for a mix of comfort and style

Credit:
Baudoin & Lange

Common Projects Original Achilles

Common Projects Original Achilles

Familiar with the Swedish brand Thule, renowned for the best roof racks in the business? They’ve now lent their expertise to luggage. Pack all of the above into one of their new Revolve Spinner hard cases (£349, thule.com).

A Revolve Spinner hard case

A Revolve Spinner hard case

Ladies

We’ve been on several cruises, and while the style has varied, the desire to dress up for the occasion has not. There’s something about travelling on water that makes you want to ditch your jeans for something more feminine. This Reformation wraparound floral maxi (£325, net-a-porter.com) could work for cocktails beneath the stars as well as in the cafes of Saint Tropez. Long and sweeping beats short and sparkly any day. These knotted mules by New York accessory brand Loeffler Randall (£300, loefflerrandall.com) look set to be the shoe of the summer, and are perfect for a capsule cruise wardrobe. We love the lower heel (stops any teetering when the ship is on the move), the flattering leg-lengthening shape, and they bring a lovely touch of sparkle in the plissé fabric too. 

The Reformation wraparound floral maxi

The Reformation wraparound floral maxi

Heimat Atlantica woven bag

Try a Heimat Atlantica woven bag for evening

Credit:
Heimat Atlantica

Loeffler Randall shoes

Loeffler Randall shoes

When it comes to holiday/beach bags, look to Loewe – whether it’s the roomy leather-trimmed basket totes or the neat raffia cross-body bags (£775, net-a-porter.com). For evening, go for something cute and retro, with ceramic-embellished woven bags. Hats and headwinds rarely mix, so a playful headband is a fuss-free way to finish your look. Benoît Missolin (£185, matchesfashion.com) is the go-to for colour and print – the nautical stripes are our favourite. 

A Loewe bag

A Loewe bag

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