How to Shop Your Closet Before Your Next Cruise #CarnivalPartner


Fall weather in Atlanta can range from cold and 50 to a balmy 75 degrees. I’d almost started packing away my summer clothes when we booked our Carnival cruise to the Western Caribbean for December. So it was easy to access my summer clothes since many of them are still hanging near the front of my closet. It’ll save me time to shop my closet instead of buying new clothes before our trip. Plus it’ll be Christmas as soon as we get back, so I don’t want to blow a lot of our end of the year budget on summer clothes I won’t be able to wear again in Atlanta until 2016.

I’ve been watching the weather in the Turks & Caicos. It’s almost 25 degrees warmer there than it is in Atlanta. I’m confident I can find the appropriate cruise wear in my closet before we fly to Miami and board our Carnival Cruise. Would you like to shop your closet too? I’ll walk you through the steps!

Take inventory

Go into your closet with a mission to see what fits and what’s best for the climate of your next cruise.

If you’re unsure about your decisions or want to make it even more fun, invite a friend over. Remember that scene from Sex and the City when Carrie’s crew helped her get rid of things she didn’t need?

If there’s anything you haven’t worn in ages and no longer need – donate it. Use this closet inventory as a way to de-clutter as well.

The most popular items you’ll need on a cruise include:
• Shirts & Tank Tops
• Pants & Shorts
• Dresses (sundresses, maxi dresses, evening dress for dinner)
• Sweater
• Sandals
• Swimwear
• Rain Gear
• Accessories


Repairs & Adjustments

I put my maxi dresses through the ringer last summer since they were my go-to outfit. Unfortunately, a few of them got snags on the hemlines that need repair.

Go over your cruise clothes to see if there are buttons missing or other alterations needed.

Thankfully, I’d just purchased a pair of Jessica Simpson wedge sandals that are extremely comfortable. Double check that your strappy sandals can hold up for the excursions you’ll take off of the ship.



Instead of buying a new brand outfit consider adding jewelry, belts, sweaters to your current summer wardrobe to make it feel fresh and new.

I wore some fun hoop earrings last summer when I cut my hair shorter. I’ll bring them on the cruise, but I’m also looking for a smaller hoop to wear when we’re doing more on board activities.


 Tech Tip

Ask your spouse, children or friends to take a few photos of you trying on your cruise clothes selections after you’ve shopped your closet. It will help you keep track of the variety of looks you can create while you’re on board your cruise.

There’s something comfortable about wearing clothes that are a little “worn in” when you’re on vacation too. I can’t wait to slip into my comfortable shoes when we take excursions off of the Carnival cruise ship or running around the deck keeping our 5-year-old son, A.J., busy on board.

Talk back to me in the comments: What are some of the gems you’ve found when you dug deep into your closet? What’s the most essential clothing item to bring on a cruise?

I only have one bathing suit that fits my post-baby body. In other words, I’m buying at least one new item to bring on our December cruise.

I’ll be tweeting and sharing images on the Mommy Talk Show Facebook page while we’re on board. Follow along in the travel section of Mommy Talk Show as we share our Carnival cruise experience. Stay connected with Carnival Cruise Line on Facebook.

This post was created for Away We Go with Carnival, the destination for getting in the getaway state of mind. Head on over.

About Joyce Brewer

Creator & Host of Mommy Talk Show. Emmy award-winning TV journalist.Wife & Mommy; Mom Blogger; Social Media Coach; Long Island, New York transplant living in Atlanta, GA. Follow Joyce on Twitter @MommyTalkShow Author of Use What You Know: A Business Idea Guide for Moms featuring interviews with mompreneurs who created businesses using their skills & backgrounds.

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  1. Great tips, dear! I love shopping my own closet but I will love going on a cruise better (I haven’t been yet, lol).

  2. These are some great tips. I’m doing my first cruise in years next year,so this information will be very helpful. I will definitely utilize taking pre-photos in the swimwear before deciding which swimsuit to take.

  3. Great tips. Adding accessories can make anything like new. I haven’t been on a cruise yet but that is something I really want to experience.

  4. The weather is so crazy I still have summer clothes out mixed with winter clothes. Just yesterday in New York it was 67 degrees. Capris are usually my go to.

  5. Shoping your closet is a great way to save money. This is really helpful when you are putting out money for vacation.

    P.S. it looked like you guys had a great time 🙂

  6. I need to shop my closet more often. Actually, I need to shop my closet…period! You gave some great tips that I can use not only on a cruise but any vacation. Thanks!!

  7. I have never been on a cruise and I sure would like to go. I know I need to get my closet in order cruise or no cruise *sigh*

  8. Amazing tips! I love shopping my own closet for items I haven’t worn in a while. You definitely have to check your inventory and work with what you already own for a wintertime back trip – it can be tricky to find summer apparel since everyone is on winter mode. Enjoy your cruise.

    All the Best,
    Allison |

  9. I’ve been shopping my closet more and more lately. These are great tips. It really saves you money and sometimes you find pieces you haven’t worn in years. I loved that scene from SATC.

  10. I’m all about shopping my own closet for special occasions. Now I just need to book a cruise!

  11. These are great tips! I am trying to convince my husband to go on one with me. I have a hard time packing for any trip and this definitely helps!

  12. Christine @MomsNCharge

    I am the worst when it comes to shopping my own closet. I need to do better and these are great tips. Thanks for sharing!

  13. Great ideas! For my most recent trip I didn’t even have to buy anything because I went through my closet. And it is a great time to donate things we don’t need or use to those less fortunate. Great tips.

  14. Stacie @ Divine Lifestyle

    I love these tips! I have almost as much fun shopping my closet as I do hitting the mall.

  15. Thanks for the great tips. I will keep them in mind for my cruise next year. Hope you have a great time.

  16. We leave in a few days for our Carnival cruise! Can’t wait for warm weather. I was able to snag a few discounted summer items to take on my cruise!

  17. Lindsey @ Redhead Baby Mama

    Those wedges are CUUUUUTE. We’re going on a cruise next December, and I’m in MORE than desperate need of a closet purge. Especially after the last bambino.

  18. I love the idea of shopping my closet. What a great way to come up with new outfit ideas for cruises or other fun vacations.

  19. Great tips! It’s a great idea to look for what to wear in what you already have. It makes a cruise a lot more pricey if you buy all new clothes!

  20. I know this sounds silly, but I have a section for my “resort wear” so all those exotic vacations and clothing all sit there and I can easily see what I have too much of or need!

  21. This is good advice. I should definitely take a have a good long look through my closet this year. You’re totally right about sticking with “worn in” clothes on a vacation.

  22. Robin (Masshole Mommy)

    I wish I had seen this sooner. I am leaving for a cruise Saturday. I will have to bookmark this for next time!

  23. Great tips! We are planning our first cruise this year, so this is PERFECT timing!

  24. I need to be mindfull of what’s already in my closet before my next cruise, or any vacation for that matter. Picking up a new accessory to freshen up a look is a lot more affordable.

  25. Toni | BoulderLocavore

    Having not cruised I appreciate your advice! Staying on top of one’s wardrobe state is key to be ready for any unexpected or planned travel.

  26. These are great tips. I think that adding accessories is a great tip. It can make an old outfit seem brand new.

  27. So funny to have to take a sweater and a swimsuit. You’re right though, you’d want both!

  28. I have always wanted to go on a cruise. These are great things to bring with you.

  29. All great tips. I love to go shopping in my own closet – I always find things in there that I forgot I had and love to wear!

  30. Shopping your closet is a great way to save money and sometimes you find things you didn’t even know where back there! When it comes to vacations, shopping your closet is a great idea.