CRACK THE DRESS CODE
How to nail the art of getting changed for dinner
Amajor selling point for sea holidays is that you only have to unpack once. But what to pack? The dilemma of what to wear to dinner and, it seems, just as importantly, what fellow passengers will be wearing, faces everyone as they prepare to pack for a cruise.
Each day at sea, the dress code is published in the ship’s newspaper, usually delivered to your cabin the night before, but obviously it’s too late then if you have forgotten something you need.
When I worked as a journalist in the public relations department of what was P&O-Orient Lines in Sydney in the early ’60s it was all so easy.
That was the golden age of cruising in Australia when first class really was first class.
In those days you knew there would be many formal nights, when men wore dinner suits, women long gowns and the British officers mess jackets with decorations.
I travelled around Australia, compering fashion shows of shipboard wardrobes in department stores that are no longer with us, such as Farmer’s in Sydney and Boans in Perth.
I also wrote a pamphlet called A Woman’s World at Sea that said: “Knowing what to wear when on the high seas, you’re sure to have a wonderful trip.”
One of my helpful hints would upset animal libbers today: “Don’t forget a little fur wrap or woollen stole for after-dance deck-strolling.”
There was lots of fur then and lots of deck-strolling.
A woman from New York who I met on a cruise had serious jewellery.
“I would probably be mugged if I