by Dawn Woolcott


There is an art to traveling comfortably, yet still look stylish.  Recently, we co-hosted an event in Vancouver, WA with Viking Cruise Line and Arktana Women’s Boutique. A fun and informative presentation by given by a Viking representative, and an equally fun and entertaining fashion show put on by Arktana and their menswear store, Bigfoot Mountain Outfitters.  With over 130 guests from the Fairway Village Retirement Community travel club, inspiration was had by all.

Fall casual, comfortable, and chic were the fashion choices of the day as we are in peak fall color seasons right now.  At the event, guests could try on the clothes themselves and feel the fabrics, check not eh quality, and see items up close. Too many fashion shows may look good from a distance, but unless you can touch and feel the quality of the clothes or see how an item will look on you, it is not much better than looking at a catalog. Racks of clothing and accessories were available for guests to view and purchase if desired.

Traveling Wardrobe for Autumn

Traveling in Autumn is especially easy, as autumnal colors all seem to blend so well together naturally.  You can look stylish in the northwestern style (everything looks good with a nice pair of jeans!) or pick it up a notch when going out for dinner with a nice, stretchable pant in a neutral color or a simple and comfortable dress. Business attire can usually be left at home!

Tips for Packing for a River Cruise

When packing for a cruise, you need to think multiple uses – don’t bring something you will only wear once unless it is really thin.  For a week-long cruise, you won’t need more than 3-4 outfits. You can mix and match or wear the same thing twice – no one is going to judge you. They key to having clothing that has multiple uses it to choose a basic mix – your base is either black/grays; navy blues; or tans/browns. If you try and have a navy outfit, a brown outfit, and a gray outfit, you’re going to probably need too many shoes to go with along with them and shoes always take up way too much of your luggage space!

Daytime wear should be comfortable with good walking shoes. You will be doing more walking than you expect!  Evening wear is a good time to have a basic black pair of pants or a skirt and change up the top. There are many dresses you can choose that can be rolled up in the suitcase, and come out still looking fabulous. Choose fabrics carefully. You should never really need to use an iron while traveling. When on vacation, who needs that added stress?  But if you need, most small cruise ships offer laundry service or have a self-serve washer and dryer if needed. Personally, I prefer to leave that chore for when I get home unless I manage to spill something on myself and need to do a load of laundry. That is why I rarely wear a white shirt when eating spaghetti…  (That has been known to happen!)

Roll up or lay flat?

Speaking of rolling up – it is my preferred way to pack. Rolling up clothes actually seems to use less space and creates less wrinkles. Tuck socks or underwear into shoes to use up all available space. Puffer coats squish down to almost nothing, especially compared to a wool coat.  A few different scarves can change up a look dramatically and barely uses any suitcase square footage at all.  Shoes are trickier – as they can use up a tremendous amount of space – so choose a pair that will go with as many outfits as possible. Black shoes for a black pair of pants with white sweater on one day, then with a black/gray skirt on the next day and a purple/black dress on the next.

Dressing is a very personal choice – adapt these tips for your own style. Most small cruise ships have a “country club casual” feel, which means perhaps what you might wear if you were going out for dinner, but a step up from your “work from home” attire.  The small ship cruises don’t have the fancy dress nights – no long dresses and tuxedos left over from the days of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers.  Thank goodness!

And remember – your smile and friendly face will always be your best accessories!


In partnership with Arktana women’s fashions, you can receive a 15% discount on any orders whether in store or online.  Use the code RIVERCRUISES15 at checkout.

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