This post has been updated February 28, 2019!
I originally wrote this post a few years ago and of course fashion changes so I wanted to update it with some newer recommendations for my cruise loving plus sized friends.
I am going on a cruise and have nothing to wear! Does this sound like you?
If so we hope this post will help you out both as a first time cruise traveler and as a plus sized women – which I proudly am.
Thankfully most cruises these days are more on the casual side which will help you be more comfortable and less stressed about wearing the “right”. The one thing I noticed as I began my shopping – which I hate – is that so many retailers just do not spend enough time focusing on plus sized women. I was struggling to find anything cute or flattering to wear – but when I finally did I knew I had to share these things with you guys!
Below you will find some of my favorite plus size cruise wear ideas for your next cruise as well as some packing tips to help you.
Packing A Carry On
When you arrive at the port you will check your bags and they will magically show up in your room within a couple hours. Your room isn’t usually ready upon boarding so you want to make sure you have what you need with you in case it’s more than a few hours before you can get to anything. This is why I recommend a small carry-on bag that will allow you to have a few items with you until you can get to your room and get the rest of your baggage.
- Bathing Suit in case you want to go swimming while you are waiting for your room
- Cover up for your bathing suit.
- Casual outfit for dinner in the off chance your room is not ready before dinner.
- Sweater or wrap in case you are chilly on the deck or in the restaurant.
- Medications and beauty needs. Just so you know, medications must be in their original containers in order to get through customs.
Packing For Casual Cruise Dinners
Each cruise line may be a little different with their dinners but most ships have a casual and formal dress code for their dinners. You will want to make sure you are aware of what type of dinners your specific cruise has so you can make sure you are dress appropriate. Some cruises also have the option to dine at their onboard restaurants instead of the cruise dinner – so you have to account for that as well when packing.
Casual dinners are more relaxed but you should still dress appropriately. By cruise standards casual dinner dress for women would mean:
- No flip-flops, sneakers or beach sandals
- No shorts or tanks tops
- Dressy slacks or pants
- Skirts with blouse
Plus Sized Casual Dinner Outfit 1
This adorable outfit features a beautiful striped jumpsuit that we love because the vertical stripes make you seem taller and slimmer. The v-neck is also great for larger chests giving you a more slimming look. The navy blue cardigan will help keep you warm if the air conditioning is too much or if you want to just cover your arms for any reason. The shoes are simple and classic and can be used not only for the casual dinner but also for a day out on the town when you land at a port.
The matching wristlet and bracelet are perfect accent details to pull it all together and can both be used to accent other outfits as well!
Get the look:
Hand Wrist Straw Summer Clutch – Amazon
UGG Traci Wedge Sandal – Amazon
Long Sleeve Cardigan with Pockets – Amazon
3-Row Tri-Tone Bangle Set – Lane Bryant
Plus Sized Casual Dinner Outfit 2
A beautiful ruffle wrap dress with its bright colors and floral accents are the perfect dress for your cruise dinner! The v-neck and wrap dress style is very flattering to plus sized women and will leave you feeling confident and beautiful. This price is also a great deal with a low price, so grab it while you can! The shoes – although sandals are dressy enough to wear to a casual dinner and bring a touch of flare to help you feel just a bit more glam!
The rattan purse deliver the perfect beach feel and complement the dress beautifully. It can also be used on your port stops when you are out seeing the sites or shopping. The wave necklace is the final piece that will pull this outfit together to make it the perfect cruise outfit.
Get the look:
Midi Ruffle V-Neck Floral Wrap Dress – Simply Be
Rattan Crossbody Purse – Amazon
Triple Ocean Wave Gold Necklace – Amazon
Dressing For Formal Cruise Dinners
Formal cruise dinners require a pretty strict dress code and the ideas above may not fit the bill! Below are some plus sized formal dinner ideas that we think you will love and will make you look like a movie star! Also – we hope you will see this as a chance to totally glam up – how often do you really get to dress like this? Enjoy it – and have fun with it!
Plus Sized Formal Cruise Dinner Outfit 1
Beautiful floral blank dress features embellishments for a touch of sparkle and whole ‘lotta glamour. The ruffled hem is perfect for those that want a little extra coverage around the knees and the semi v-neck is perfect for those with bigger busts giving them a more slimmer look. For those chilly rooms or to cover up arms you may not be so happy with the beautiful evening shawl is a perfect addition without hiding the beauty of the dress.
Silver accent pieces that offer intricate details and simple pearl accents add that luxurious element that will make you feel like the belle of the ball. A simple clutch to hold your lipstick and license and strappy silver sandals make this the perfect formal cruise dinner outfit.
Get the look:
Adrianna Papell Floral Sequin Dress – Macy’s
Marriell Light Ivory Pearl Earrings – Amazon
Silver Pearl Accent Necklace – Amazon
Lenore La Regale Ribbed Clutch – Kohl’s
Sheer Chiffon Evening Shawl Wrap – Amazon
Plus Sized Formal Cruise Dinner Outfit 2
The long max dress with its stunning geometric style print is the perfect formal dinner dress. The halter maxi is flattering for plus sized women and gives you a longer look. The beautiful Vaneli Maxine sandals with a gold tone will set off the colors fo the dress perfectly and the lower heel will keep you comfortable for a little after dinner dancing.
The gold clutch is a perfect accent to complement the shoes – and the stunning cuff bracelet is a fantastic bold piece to dress up those arms! Finish up the outfit with a simple pashmina shawl to keep your shoulders warm in those colder rooms – this is a versatile piece that can be used with so many outfits too.
Printed Halter Maxi Dress – Dress Barn
Vaneli Maxine Gold Sandal – Zappo’s
Nodykka Sparkle Gold Clutch – Amazon
14K Engraved Cuff Bracelet – Amazon
Sakkas Pashmina Shawl Wrap – Amazon
Dressing For Everyday Casual
When you are just exploring the ship or stopped in a port you will need to be super comfortable! These ideas will offer some inspiration for clothing that is lightweight for the heat and comfortable so you can move and grove no matter where your cruise is headed.
Plus Sized Casual Wear Outfit 1
We love these black and white shorts that sit just above the knee on normal height ladies. It gives great coverage with a pretty yet simple style all bundled in a light linen fabric to ensure your not too hot. The v-neck sleeveless tank brings in a splash of color for to keep your look from being to dark and the denim jacket is perfect for when you are indoors where it may be chilly or for days that may be not the normal hot and humid.
The water shoes from ALEADER are a breathable mesh that will keep your feet cool and offer great traction on wet and slippery conditions that can be found on cruise ships or in the port areas. The straw shoulder bag is perfect for trips into the ports for carrying all your goods!
Get the look:
Floral Linen Mix Shorts – Simply Be
V-Neck Ultimate Tank – Roman’s
Aleader Aqua Water/Hiking Shoe – Amazon
Mar Y Sol Straw Shoulder Bag – ShopBop
Plus Sized Casual Wear Outfit 2
Simple beige linen blend pants are a must have for any vacation. Comfortable and light they are perfect for walks along the cruise deck – can be dressed up for a dinner or dressed down for a day at a stop on your cruise schedule. We love the coral floral tank from torrid that adds a touch of color and fun to the outfit and for those chilly walks the matching cardigan will keep you a bit warmer and offer a bold touch of color.
The fun matching shoes from Aerosoles will give your feet a splash of color and you will be comfortable for those long walks around the ship or at a stop on the itinerary. An adorable straw bag finishes the look and will hold all of your necessities.
Wide Leg Linen-Blend Pants – Old Navy
Coral Floral Lace Tank – Torrid
Teal Drape Cardigan – Torrid
Aerosoles Chlairvoyant Sandal – Amazon
Straw Zipper Wristlet Clutch – Amazon
Dressing For Beach or Poolside
This is the one thing most plus sized women dread shopping for. Personally, I hate wearing bathing suits since they seem to always make me look heavier. But there are a few brands out now that I am particularly fond of that help make you look as amazing as you can and accentuate your curves in all the right ways!
Plus Sized Beachwear Outfit 1
A stunning black bathing suit (it is also available in a stunning blue as well!) with the perfect slimming accents that will make you feel and look slimmer so you can be more comfortable while on the beach or by the pool. The bathing suits are not the cheapest option, but this is the brand I wear because they seriously do make you look 10 pounds lighter, and they last for years.
The wrapped look wide leg pants are lightweight and bring in a splash of color with the beautiful floral accent.
Top it off with the color inspired sandals that have a stunning cutout design and color splash and you have a complete pool side look that will make you look glam. The straw tote and hat will let you carry your goods and keep that beautiful skin out of the sun, and the bracelet is a nice touch to make you feel like a movie star.
If you are really shy – a simple black cotton shawl can be thrown over your shoulders as a cover up for the top – but we think you should be proud of the curves and not hide them!
Get the look:
Straw Beach Tote & Hat Set – Amazon
3-Row Tri-Tone Bangle Set – Lane Bryant
L’Artiste Spring Step Sandal – Kohl’s
Floral Wide Leg Cover Up Pant – Lane Bryant
2019 Cruise Miraclesuit – Miraclesuit (use promo code MSAFF15 to get 15% off )
Plus Sized Beachwear Outfit 2
Another fantastic swimsuit from Miraclesuit features extra coverage on top and a beautiful floral design in the waist area that makes your middle seem a whole lot slimmer. Pretty shades of blue and orange on a navy backdrop make it the perfect cruise inspired swimsuit that will make you look slimmer and last you for years to come. A terry cover up will keep you warm if you get a chill and keep you covered to go grab a quick lunch.
The stunning canvas beach bag in shades that will remind you of the ocean you are sailing on is a perfect accessory to carry all of your beach goods and the simple slip flops from Crocs will be easy on your feet and in the sand.
Get the look:
Crocs Capri Flip Flop – Amazon
Hooded Terry Swim Coverup – Full Beauty
Samoan Sunset Fascination Swimsuit – Miraclesuit (use promo code MSAFF15 to get 15% off )
Kauau Canvas Beach Tote – Amazon
While these ideas are very varied – we do recommend you try and create some mix and match outfits so you can limit the amount of clothes you need to pack. I am working on some more posts that will help you plan more mix and match cruise outfits so you can travel lighter without sacrificing options!
We highly recommend Miraclesuit swimwear and it is the only brand of suit I actually wear. It covers my large boobs, makes me look slimmer and I have not had to buy a new in years because the quality is just that good.
They have a fantastic selection – so we recommend you take advantage of this sale and get one for your next cruise!
Simply use promo code MSAFF15 at checkout to get 15% off !