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How to dress for dinner on a CRUISE with flea-market finds, and nice friends who give you stuff

In 1965, I flew into Portugal on a PanAm 747 jumbo jet and landed in Lisbon to meet my mom.   I don’t remember a lot, but I do remember the beach hostel we stayed in and taking out  my contraband 2 piece bathing suit.   She took a picture of me on the beach but later when I searched for the photograph, she had cut out my middle and left my legs and my head.  Oy vey MAMA CITA!!!! what were you thinking?   Oh yes, I know.  It was bad enough that her daughter was on a beach half way across the world in that forbidden two-piece & cute figure –   and god-forbid attracting some Portuguese playboy,  but no pictures of her should ever be shown!!  I’ve dressed conservatively ever since.   ( I think )


Here is the Cruise wardrobe for Transatlantic Crossing – November 2013  – all on a shoestring.  – You don’t have to be rich to show up for dinner nicely dressed…………   ( The euro  — about 1.00 = 1.32.  )

This is the CASUAL collection for the transatlantic Cruise on the PRINSEDAM.   This was really great fun to put together.  I did NOT spend a fortune at all!!

(Typical market shopping………… most are hanging though and very organized)       Image

The first casual is a blouse from Galleries Lafayette at 75 % off (Marseille, Galleries Lafayette).     The melon pants are from a boutique in Cassis that I never darkened the door of until they had a “summer everything is going sale” – or  75% off the pants.  Yes, a real deal.

This taupe blouse was from a flea market in Marseille – it was about 10 euros, the scarf a birthday present from my beautiful daughter-in-law, and the pants, same as aboveIMG_2039
This little deep melon and white blouse I paid more for than I really should have at a boutique in Cassis that had fairly reasonable clothing, but I loved it for the summer.  It goes well with same pantsIMG_2043

This is the taupe blouse again with a different scarf, and pants – also at a boutique at 75% off.   They are kaki cotton with blend, easy wash and no iron, and extremely comfortableIMG_2047

This is another blouse from a boutique I would not ordinarily frequent.  However, it was silk, and on sale.  It looks great with the peach color pants and my BD scarfIMG_2048

This is one of my favorite favorite blouses.  It is reminisent of something of high quality that my mom bought me in sixth grade, (at not our usual shop)…. so I had to have this.  It was 50% off in Cassis.  Normally, my clothing was either salvation army clothing or from Lerner’s.  If you ever shopped in the 60’s at a LERNER’s, you would know, that you would often meet yourself on the street, several TIMES A DAY, because that is how cheap and popular the clothing was.    This looks great with the creme & pink star scarf and those beige pants I wear all the time


There are 15 nights of dinners that we dress up for on the Prinsendam.  4 of those nights are very formal, so I’ll be wearing always black.  You can never go wrong with BLACK.

Here are the outfits I put together for the 15 nights of fine dining on the Prinsendam:

I love this breezy flowing blouse.  It was a present for my birthday.   It’s hard to tell the skirt, but it’s really a skort, taupe color , kind of like a “I dream of Jeannie” pants/skirt.  It’s flowing and very very comfortable.  I bought it at the outdoor market in Marseille for less than 14 euros.  There are better pics below of it.Image

This is my FAVORITE dress of all time.  David bought it for me in Bonnieux, a tiny provencial village that we saw (for the first time, 25 years ago. )   This was also an (early ) birthday present from David.  It’s linen/cotton very thin and is a 1920’s style dress.   This is the dress I needed a REGULAR “Donna Reed” type silky white slip, however, they DO NOT EXISIT in AMERICA!!!  Everything now is SPANX in the goole ‘ole US of A.   Consequently, there are full slips that won’t SQUISH you to death in France, however, you’d need to get a bank loan to afford one.  So, I looked and looked   and voila!  The local market in Cassis had one.!!! Only 15 euros….silky, white, very “Donna Reed-ish” .. Ofcourse I had to try it in an outdoor “cabana” – but , that’s okay.  It had a “door”.     This woman was wonderful, she works hard to set up her “lingerie booth” twice a week and was the happiest most helpful woman ever.  I got a beautiful whole slip to wear with this 1920’s style dress _AND _  a lovely visit and help from the lingerie lady!   What a deal

Image 1  the “lingerie lady” I love…….IMG_1902That’s the little “cabana” you try her great lingerie in, on the street, tiny as it is.  No one cares.  No one looks. It absolutely fun.  She even got a super pair of pajamas for the next week for David.   Made in France.  Not China.!

I’ve kept everything in my wardrobe “repertoire ”  beige/peachy/taupe and black except this –

It’s TURQUOISE, and very pretty.   The sweater I already had, the scarf, yep, and the skirt, – another flea market find – oooh la la

Again, the big sale shirt from Galleries Lafayette, and a long nylon skirt I’ve had for 5 years and have been waiting for the opportunity to wear it on a SHIP! Because BLACK anything is GOODImage 3 This cute voile top is a gift from a friend in St Louis and it goes very well with the skirt I bought for my son’s wedding.  There is a silk ecru tank that goes underneath!   Image 4

This is the same silk blouse as above, a black and silver scarf and that  very important black long skirt. This cobalt blue color is very popular right now in France.   Ali (my neice) convinced me that the particular handbag I should buy was this great blue color and it is very very beautiful and cheerful.  I’ll keep it forever. Image 5

A cute lace sweater that was NOT a sale item but a present to me, nonetheless.  I fell in love with this pure beige cotton sweater with lace collar and tiny pockets that looks great with a longer top or with jeans.   This is set with the long taupe  skirt/skort from the outdoor marketImage 6

Another outdoor Cassis market sparkly top with built in black voile shirt……looks cool with the long black skirt (yes, same one).

Image 7

I love this brown and golden design silk shirt  – My friend from Australia/Texas/Marseille gave it to me when she was moving back.

It meant a lot…….and it looks great with the taupe skirt/skort – or the caramel tight jeans that are not in the photo.   This will come together nicely with the gold/silver mesh belt, (not shown here)Image 8
a cute cute top from the – can you guess?  YES!  the open marche- it was cheap – like less than 12 euros……..and it’s gorgeous!

I wear a sweater with it usually because I don’t like my upper arms. Goes with – the same – taupe skort as aboveImage 9 This sweater weaved with gold threads is more matronly that I like, but I can do something to make it fit better.  It’s a sweater!

But it goes well with a little black cotton sleeveless dress, and threaded black sweater is good combo

Image 10 This is a georgeous off white peasant blouse that was another huge reduction at Galleries Lafayette.  These huge MAGAZANS ( French department stores) I cannot normally afford but to window shop, but when they have sales, ooooh la la…….thus – the white peasant blouse, that NOT on SALE is not for peasant wages!  Isn’t it lovely?   It coordinates with the long white sparkly silk skirt I bought for Ryan and Anna’s wedding.  Belt as well.   It all comes together here.Image 11

Well, it’s that “basic black dress” only it’s not basic – because it’s not 100 dollars or 100 euros or 350 euros, or 500 dollars (designer)

no – it’s just a simple black stretchy cotton little black dress with my old black and silver scarf………  15 euros at the Marseille marketImage 12 Image 13You’re gonna laugh at this one.  This is a lovely black knitted top I’ve had for 5 years, and – you guessed it – the long nylon-ish/polyester slimming black skirt – and with the right costume jewelry — it all comes together.

5 Comments Post a comment
  1. Your color palette is what I use…taupe, peach, black and I throw in teal. I love taking, say 7 pieces, and seeing how many outfits I can make out of those seven pieces. I travel light, but look good while doing it. Tom, on the other hand, has NO IDEA what it means to travel LIGHT!

    November 16, 2013
  2. You should start your own “marche” fashion magazine!

    November 16, 2013
  3. Linda Wheatley #

    What a lovely wardrobe!

    November 16, 2013
  4. I’ve aways admired your great sense of style and how you put things together. Nothing has changed – you still do a fabulous job. Enjoy wearing all your outfits and know that you’ll look as good or better than folks who paid ten times the $$ for their threads. Ciao!

    November 18, 2013

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