Getting the go ahead for anchors aweigh to sail around our home shores this summer has delighted cruise-starved Brits. But a staycation could leave the majority of us all at sea sartorially.
With our capricious weather – one moment basking in tropical-style sunshine, the next drenched by a downpour – it’s difficult to know what to pack.
Factor in days ashore as well as by the pool and the need to glam up for dinner (Captain’s table, anyone?) and the fashion stakes become even higher.
What’s needed is a capsule wardrobe of gorgeous but versatile items you can layer, depending on the weather, and dress up and down according to the occasion ashore and on board.
Here’s our nautical but nice collection of pretty dresses, chunky knits and chic accessories that will ensure you’re always looking your best come rain or shine.
Sustainable as well as stylish these are the perfect sunnies for a staycation at sea
Darya Khaki Sunglasses, £80, palaeyewear.com
Khaki green, gorgeous and on trend, these sunnies are ethically crafted using eco-friendly materials. Pala gives back to Vision Aid for every pair sold and they even come with a sustainable case, providing a new source of income for the traditional weavers in Ghana who make them.
This Bardot-inspired dress will look manifique on deck this summer
Jacquard Bardot Dress, £49, Accessorize
This is the perfect dress for a seacation. Pull on a chunky knit or pashmina for a brisk walk on the sundeck, sundowners on a crisp evening or team with heels to wear for a tres chic dinner at a speciality restaurant on board.
This cossie is flattering for all shapes
Rock a lobster and crab jumper for extra staycation style
Sea Life Jumper, £55, Crew Clothing
Ideal for chilly nights on deck or for exploring cities or nooks and crannies ashore, this beautifully soft jumper is a keeper. The crab and lobster details just make us love it even more.
Perfect pants for dressing up or down – we’re dotty about them!
Polka Dot Capri Pants, £35, Joe Browns
It’s not just itzy bitzy bikinis that drive us dotty with desire – these Capri pants are a staycation fashion staple. Pair with a crisp, white shirt and heels to watch a show or with trainers for excursions.
A crisp white shirt goes with everything
Glam this tee up with the retro skirt or down with the capri pants
Elbow sleeve Breton striped top, £48, The Nautical Company
A cruise isn’t a cruise without a striped top. This is from a French company so it’s genuinely tres chic. Red stripes rather blue give it a SS21 seacation twist.
Go retro with kitten heels at night or with pumps during the day
Retro Full Skirt, £40, Joe Browns
Paint the town – or ship if you’re on a seadays only cruise – red with this scarlet skirt. We love the button details, rich colour – and think it would be perfect for dancing or getting the party below deck in full swing.
Max your style in this maxi dress
Maxi beach dress, £25, My Little Wish
Go from pool to bar with this stylish cotton maxi beach dress, designed with an adjustable drawstring waist and a hand-tied tasseled skirt. Simple yet sophisticated – what’s not to love?
This chic long sleeved swimsuit means you can swim on chilly days too
St Barts Monochrome Long Sleeve Swimsuit, £140, Alma Society
Make a statement in this spectacular long sleeve costume. You’ll look like you’re heading to St Tropez rather than the Shetland Isles in this monochrome swimsuit. It has a built-in bra to give you support and shape, and its UVP 50 will protect your skin from sunburn and rash. It also doubles up as a beautiful top when you’re not in the pool.
Join the glitterati on board in this shimmery little number
Taylor embellished maxi dress, £170, Monsoon
Bring out the sparkle for a special night onboard in this shimmery number. The shape flatters in all the right places and the bang on trend colour means you’ll be pretty in pink. We heart!
A cocktail dress with edge to add glamour to a sundowner – or two!
Bea Cocktail Dress, £250, Phoebe Grace
It was love at first sight when we spotted this LBD. Team with your highest heels for cocktails and with a chunky knit and trainers when you just want to look stylish ashore. We would never take it off – after all it’s always cocktail hour somewhere in the world!
These sail-shaped earrings really float our boat
Geometric surfite and silver stud earrings, £80, The British Craft House
These triangular studs with swirly surfite bezel set in sterling silver remind us of the sails on a boat. Perfect to liven up any outfit, they’re the ultimate accessory for a staycation cruise.
The smart way to carry everything you need from ship to shore and back again
Large Pinstripe Basket Bag, £29, Basket Basket
Big enough for a towel, book and all your documents, this ethically handwoven basket, made with sustainable raffia, is great for by the pool and city tours. It has an inner pocket so y ou won’t lose your purse and leather handles.
Hello Kitty. One word: gorgeous!
Kitty Clog Gold Mid Dansare Heels, £129, Oliver Bonas
Put your best foot forward in these golden heels. Due instore in April, these are the perfect shoes to see you from spring through to autumn. They’ll pep up a pair of jeans but are dressy enough to dazzle on a night out on the ship.
More useful than flipflops – you can wear these everywhere
White scalloped strap sliders, £27.50, Accessorize
Better than flip flops, these are just as comfortable but can be dressed up as well as down. They’ll see you from poolside to an excursion on a summer day and go perfectly with dresses as well as casuals or a cossie.
The glitter and coloured laces make these sneakers staycation superstars
Superstar Sneakers, £48, Mimi’s Edit
Who says you can’t pimp your pumps? These have a multicoloured glitter heel tab, a brightly-coloured star and, best of all, they’re made of vegan ‘leather.’ Why not add our colour pop laces to add your own stamp to them? They’ll go just as well with the cocktail dress and retro skirt as the capri pants.
Throw these on and add instant glamour to any outfit
Wilma Couture Shoes £65, Joe Browns
What can we say except that we love them? The retro styling is on trend for this summer and the colour goes with everything. We want a pair in every colour!
Ethical as well as elegant, we heart this vegan ‘leather’ tote
Maya tote bag, £225-£250, Luxtra
Designer Jessica Kruger has created a beautiful brand with her plant-based leather totes. Crafted from from vegan friendly materials including pineapple leaf, apple skin, cactus leaf, corn and mango leathers, these bespoke bags are hand finished in Italy and just ooze style. Choose from Burgundy, Caramel, Dark Cherry, black and blue. Bellissima!
The Scent of a Woman on a staycation
English Pear & Freesia perfume, £100 for 100ml, Jo Malone
With the fresh aroma of just-ripe pears enveloped in a bouquet of white freesias and the mellow notes of amber, patchouli and woods, this is the perfect scent of a summer staycation.
A lightweight trench is the ultimate addition to any British summer wardrobe
Pu Trench, £79, M&S Collection
Hopefully, you’ll only need it for the journey to the terminal, and can leave it in your cabin for the rest of your sea-cation. But just in case here’s a stylish take on the English classic trench coat at a modest price. It’ll ensure you look quintessentially smart from ship to shore.
A perfect colour for cruising and no chips – this polish nails it
Nail polish in Slate, £2.95,W7
Hopefully every summer staycation will have cloudless skies and an azure ocean but if the weather’s less than perfect this nail polish in slate will stop you feeling blue. It’s modern, pretty and goes with everything.