What to wear on a cruise formal evening that's not black

Q. I love your answers to all the quandaries that people write and do peruse them for helpful hints for me for the future! My dilemma is this: we are going on a Mediterranean cruise in early June. It’s a work related cruise my husband has earned. I will know some of the people but need advice/ ideas as to the formal nights. I have plenty of black, but don’t really want to be taking black. I love color and wear it well. I am 4 ’11 and about 118 lbs and 48. I don’t want to look to matronly or too prom-ish! I am having dilemma as I haven’t shopped for formalwear in a long time and need to always leave alteration time as well. Any ideas? I am eagerly awaiting your formal flair opinions! Thanks for your help.
– Formal cruise wear challenged

A. Skip the black dresses and embrace color while enjoying the view of intense blue waters. I’ve found several options both long and short that should make a sophisticated and stylish impression – far from prom styles. You will, however, have to visit your beloved tailor.


1. Phoebe Couture for Kay Unger V-Neck Stretch Satin Dress – Petites’, $280 at bloomingdales.com
2. Pencey Sonnies Dress, $417 at shopbop.com
3. Green and Gold Ruched Gowns by BCBG MAXAZRIA, $440 at edressme.com
4. Maggy London Chiffon Gown with Charmeuse Waist, $158 at nordstrom.com

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