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Style Inspiration & Resources

by Vintage Reporter

Vintage and Vintage-Inspired Style

Whether you’re a true vintage aficionado or just dipping your toes into this style community for the first time, you are welcome at Ahoy Vintage Cruises. We encourage you to explore this style aesthetic in your own way. 

While many of our participants pull their inspiration from the 1920s through 1950s, a Dickens era inspired suit or a Jackie O style dress and jacket would certainly not be out of place. 

There are lots of ways to combine or jazz up modern day available clothing to give it a more vintage aesthetic. Men’s suits can be worn with a vintage tie, or women’s dresses or skirts and blouses can be accessorized to make your assemble feel more classic. 

You also don’t need to pack a huge wardrobe. A few basic pieces can be worn multiple times when accessorized in different ways. For women, think about shoes, scarves, jewellery, gloves, hats, and the way you wear your hair. It’s possible to give a “little black dress” a different look every day when you pick a clean silhouette and pair it with different accoutrements every time. 

Dress Codes & Attire


On Cunard, daytimes are what is often called “smart casual”. Among the regular passengers, you will see people dressed pretty casually. For our groups, most of the passengers will opt for a nicer interpretation of “smart casual”, with slacks and shirt or sports coat or blouse, a skirt or day dress. 

As vintage enthusiasts, many of our passengers will wear daywear that was more appropriate during bygone days but that’s absolutely up to you. If you want to go all out, please do! 

Regular Evenings

For regular evenings on the ship, think “smart attire”. For our vintage group, you can think of it as smart, dapper, or polished. This is a step up from daywear but not overly formal–unless you want to it to be, in which case we would say that “semi formal” is more than acceptable. 

Men might wear a suit or shirt and tie. Women might wear a dress, skirt and blouse, slacks, or a suit. You could think about what you would wear to a dance or to a regular modern day person’s wedding if you were a normal everyday guest. 

Formal Nights & Galas

Cunard now holds two formal nights on a seven day crossing. On the Dandy Wellington crossing, we will be holding an additional formal night for a total of three during the voyage. 

Please note that the first formal night also coincides with Cunard’s Black and White Ball. You are not required to wear black and white, you won’t be asked to leave if you wear red, but it’s up to you if you would like to adhere to the ship’s theme. 

Formal Wear – Women

Our formal evenings are a chance to wear the nicest thing you own… or to go shopping if you so desire! Floor length evening gowns are welcome, but a nice cocktail dress is also appropriate. 

If slacks and a blouse or a suit are more your thing, you do you! We will be happy to see how you interpret elegance in your own way. 

(This GIF of Marilyn Monroe and Jane Russell entering the dinning room on a ship in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes would be considered on the high-end of formal wear for women. You don’t need to use them as your benchmark but we couldn’t resist choosing this GIF!)

Formal Wear – Men

Formal wear for men has traditionally been a tuxedo. There is no specification of black tie or white tie,  you may interpret that as you would like. 

However, if you don’t own a tuxedo, you are not required to rent one unless you would like to. A nice suit and tie will be welcome. 

There is a service on board to send your garments to be pressed or ironed, or there are also launderettes with irons if you prefer to prepare yourself. 

And for the record, gender non-conformity is absolutely accepted! Please wear what feels right for you. 

Reproduction Vintage Brands

While we absolutely love the treasures of true vintage, these days there are many excellent reproduction vintage brands all over the world. It’s impossible for us to list them all but if you have a favorite that you would like to see added to the list, or if you represent a brand that is interested in sponsoring one of our Best Dressed or other on-board contests or online contests, don’t hesitate to contact us.

Note: Several of these brands produce both men’s and women’s style clothing but we’ve categorized based on primary focus. 

*Partners & Sponsors

Ahoy Vintage Cruises is delighted to partner with Vivien of Holloway to offer a special discount!

With clothing inspired from the 1940s and ’50s, you’ll find terrific wardrobe pieces that will look stunning on our upcoming vintage voyages on the Queen Mary 2!

Use code “AHOYVINTAGE” at checkout to receive a 10% discount.

Visit vivienofholloway.com to browse the beautiful selection.

#VintageStyle Inspiration

We’re always looking for vintage style inspiration and one of the best places to turn to is the vintage community on Instagram. Here are just a few of the posts we’ve shared in our stories for style inspiration. Be sure to follow these taste makers and browse the #vintagestyle and #vintagestylenotvintagevalues hashtags on Instagram – more on that important subject on our Values page

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