Men's evening wear

We are going on the Rhine Cruise - Switzerland to Amsterdam. Are men's suit jackets required for dinners? Ties for formal occasions? Would button shirts, dockers slacks & sweater be OK? My husband hates to dress up.


  • The perennially favorite question on this forum. Lots written about it.

    First off be sure to read everything under the "Before You Go" tab for your tour which includes packing tips, weather averages, etc etc. A wealth of info.

    Here is their guidance for the Rhine/Moselle cruise, "During evenings aboard the riverboat, dress is resort casual. Items such as slacks and collared shirts are appropriate for men. For women, slacks, a dress or a skirt and blouse are suitable. For dinner and throughout the evening, guests should refrain from wearing shorts, t-shirts, jeans, flip-flops or sneakers. Your journey also includes one or two special occasion dinners, where a sport coat and tie for gentlemen and a dress/pantsuit for ladies are suggested. (Your Tauck Director will advise you prior to those evenings.)"

    We've done this tour in Oct 2015 and the Rhone in Jul 2014.

    On the Jul Rhone cruise, he wore cotton dockers and short sleeve polo (golf) shirts for day and evening wear. Then on the special nights went with dress slacks, shirt, tie and sport jacket. That was our first cruise and it included a fancy dinner out in Paris.

    For the Oct cruise my husband wore the same type of pants as before and a long sleeve polo shirt. At the welcome and farewell dinners he (and most of the other men) wore dress slacks and a long sleeve dress shirt at a minimum. Many added a V-neck sweater and/or tie. We had very cool weather on that cruise so the extra layers were needed.

    Even in the summer it can get cool up on the sun deck in the evening so you and he will want some sort of jacket, sweater or wrap if you'd like to go up topside. One of the most fun things to do on a cruise.

    Enjoy, let me know if you have other questions.

  • Thank you! This helps a lot.
  • Claudia, I know I have posted extensively about this subject in the past, but I need educating..............How would you describe "dockers" to me - a mere Brit and upholder of the collar, tie and jacket brigade?
  • Ah Richard, let me translate! Dockers are actually a brand of men's casual trouser but it is used as a generic term for a pair of casual, usually khaki/ beige color of men's trousers made of cotton gaberdine style fabric, often with a no need to iron finish. They look much smarter than a jean pant. This is usually the type of pant one could describe as 'dress casual ' or ' business casual' these days.
    Took me a while to understand what a 'polo shirt' was---a t shirt with a collar. My personal opinion of these is that it is a t shirt, and too casual for dinner, but it is what men tend to wear on the tours for many of the dinners. My husband prefers to wear a casual long sleeve shirt and use a polo for daytime to protect his neck better from the sun.
    Now don't get me started on 'wife beaters' ---- a sleeveless t shirt! When we were in a show one time, the director said the men could wear wife beaters for under their costume and I had to ask what the heck that was!
  • Yep, British has it right. And yes "dockers" can also come in grey, navy, black, etc. Adding to the confusion are Dockers brand shoes - typically associated with their leather lace up boat shoes.

    On the polo shirt I've added a link here to Wikipedia's article on it calling it also a golf shirt and a tennis shirt. It all started with Rene Lacoste trying to make a better shirt for tennis players in 1926. Interesting reading.

    Yes, Richard coat and tie are nice but fashion is an ever changing beast. I'm rereading my Georgette Heyer favorites and laugh when the older generation in the books decries the Regency/Beau Brummell look with the plain black coats instead of bright colored brocades, trousers instead of knee pants and stockings, plain shirts instead of lace, no wigs, no powder, etc. Funny.
  • Thank you, ladies, I understand now. Just to confuse the issue I think the current name for those in the UK is Chinos - though heaven knows where that name came from. As for fashion, for me it is all about what one feels comfortable in. Indeed, it is only about 20 years ago that I stopped wearing laundered stiff collars on my white shirts for work, and then only because servicing became too expensive. Individual comfort is what it is all about. I agree that fashions change but getting the mindset to change is rather different. Anyway, it is only a matter of time before previous styles come back into fashion.
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