One of the things that I continually lament is that in this hip modern world, people just don’t get fancy so much. Everything is so casual. As one who probably is overdressed for any given occasion, I welcome an opportunity to cast off the shackles of the thump of flip-flops and dress up a bit.
I learned that on cruise ships, people dress up at nights. This is particularly true on Seabourn cruises where guests have fairly high disposable incomes and the clientele skews older and to the exact kind of people who might lament the casualness of daily American society. The ship at night was fancy. The restaurant looked fancy. The crew members were dressed up. In fact, for dinner, you would frequently get invited to dine with the higher level crew officers. We dined with the pursers one night. One was from South Africa and one was from the south of France, so you know I loved it. (As an aside, there were so many South African crew members on board and I never tired talking bobotie and the Western Cape.)
Nonetheless, even with all that fancy, I was still paranoid that on the one “formal” night they had designated on the ship, that I would be overdressed. I don’t wear long formal gowns on any occasion. I never even went to a high school prom. So I was a little self-conscious while David and I were getting ready in our room.
David of course, cleaned up like a champ. Men can never look too overdressed:
David’s suit was probably the best I saw. Seriously. Of course, a well tailored slim-cut British suit probably doesn’t work as well on men in their 70s. He looked good right down to his cufflinks.
I was terrified. Again, I don’t have much occasion to wear something formal. Maybe I should become more involved in the kind of charity events where one must attend functions all dressed up. I just wasn’t sure of myself at all. I kept asking David to walk out of the room and go see what other people were wearing, so I would know if I should change or not. In the end, I decided to be tough and wear the dress that I purchased the last time we paid a trip to DC, because I knew that if I didn’t wear it now, I might never have reason to wear it again.
After the drama of dressing for formal night, I handed the dress codes of the other nights quite well. I don’t do the extremes of t-shirts or formal dresses that well, but in between I am just fine. I live in the dress code “elegantly casual”, after all.