Cover-up in style
Leave the big T-shirt at home and go for a flattering wrap. (Shutterstock)
I am going on a cruise and am debating whether or not I need a cover-up for my bathing suit. Am I right that my usual big white tee is inappropriate? If so, what do you suggest?
To verify what is usually expected poolside on a cruise I contacted cruise expert Renata Grant of Expediacruiseshipcenters.ca/Rosedale. She confirms your suspicion that your big tee is not your best choice. She says:
"A big white tee as a cover-up will look out of place on most of today's ships. Envision yourself on a huge cruise ship, walking through hallways, past shops, restaurants and other areas wearing only a big T-shirt and flip flops. You may be sitting by the pool and then decide you would like a snack or a quick lunch. Are you going to walk into the restaurant or even the buffet area dressed like that? Even the relaxed buffet areas on the ships do not allow guests to enter in only swimwear or with brief coverups. I use a beautiful sarong or sometimes a simple sundress over my swimsuit."
1. Exotic destinations have inspired lovely wrap cover-ups such as pareos or sarongs. These simply are a finished piece of fabric approximately one metre by two metres that can be wrapped and tied to create limitless fashion confections. These will serve as a beach cover-up and or comfortable summer apparel. *
2. A stylish shirt dress will do double duty as a swimsuit cover-up and casualwear.
3. An elastic waisted long skirt can easily slip on to your waist or above your bust for two different cover-up looks.
Olympic-inspired sportswear will look stylish and accomplish what you require from a cover-up. Try drawstring pants and a hoodie.
An easy-care dress will look great, take you everywhere and slip effortlessly over your bathing suit as well.
A light long coat will cover you down to your ankles and look stylish and sophisticated.
There are many websites (Pareo.com) that show you how to tie this length of fabric into numerous styles of dresses. A small woman can wrap the pareo around her body, hold the two top ends and twist in front, then bring both ends up and around her neck. Secure and tie ends and have a fully closed and useful dress. Necklines can be strapless, halter or one shouldered. Waistlines can be invisible, waist focused or dropped to the hip. Each person can do what suits them best.
For a woman of a larger size to accomplish this, she will need either more fabric or two separate pareos. Make a skirt from one by wrapping it securely with a double knot at the waist or hips. Fasten it front centre or on the side. Then create a top by placing the second pareo around the body and tying it either front and centre or criss-crossed and back around the neck for a halter effect. She can leave it loose and easy over the skirt, belt it or tuck it in and blouse it as required.
Online videos will inspire you to play and make the sarongs work for your body.
Once you see how simple it is you will be able to create a cover-up for your cruise and change your look every day if you wish. Regardless of your size the looks you can put together are limited only by your imagination.
"Wardrobe Doctor" Marilyn Wetston is the owner of Marilyn's, 200 Spadina Avenue, Toronto, ON M5T 2C2. Write to her and she will help you with your fashion dilemmas or visit her at Marilyns.ca.