Sundresses with Tropical Punch

Dear Deborah,

I’m going on vacation to the Caribbean and would love to see a post about cute and age appropriate sun dresses. Usually I am not a dress person, but I would like something fun and tropical that I would be able to wear on my trip as well as at home in the summer. Thanks, Nicole

Hi Nicole,

A cheery little sundress with some tropical punch is the perfect outfit to make you look hot, hot , hot! Here are a few cute sundresses for women over 40 with a laid back island feel and some tips on how to wear them.

A Sunny Shift

Love the tropical colors in this Calypso print shift dress. The shift is such a comfy, casual style to wear because it gives you a bit of breathing room and the keyhole neckline and 3/4 length sleeves give it pretty femininity. Loose, laid back and lovely…just what you want in a sundress.
This model is tall but if this is too short for you, just go to the sew it place at the mall and get them to take down the hem. I do that often.
Tip: Nude, gold or white sandals are neutrals that won’t take away from the busy island lifestyle print.
 calypso print sheath dress
Tahitian Temptation 

Have you tried a maxi yet? It’s the perfect summer dress vacation or not. This black and white  Karen Kane Tahitian palm leaf print maxi is a great choice for gals who want to have some fun with the tropical theme but not in a bright, loud Hawaiian punch kind of way.
Tip: White sundresses can be stark if you don’t take the sun, so get yourself a good self-tanner.
black and white maxi
Tropical goes Graphic 

Mix tropical colors with a geometric print and you get a tropical sundress with a modern twist. This bold graphic sundress  is powerful, but pretty.

Tip: A dress like this that flares at the waist will camouflage large hips and thighs beautifully.
 graphic sundress
Picture Paradise

This artistic sundress sets the scene for a great vacation with what looks like a handpainted scene!

Tip: With a dress like this there is so much going on you don’t need much jewelry. Maybe a pair of earrings and that is it.
 painted sundress
Looking Fresh and Cool!

Here is a photo of one of my readers, Donna from N.J. (looking fabulous) in her version of the tropical sundress. Wow, she looks terrific! Just goes to show, that if you have great legs that you can and should show them off!
blue tropical dress

Shipshape Ideas for What to Wear on a Cruise

Deborah BolandAre you one of the lucky ones who plan to escape this frigid winter weather on a glamorous cruise? Soon you’ll be soaking up some sun, island hopping, and eating gourmet meals every single night.

But if you’re scratching your head about what to pack, don’t worry! Fabulous After 40 stylist Morgan Mullin has put together some ideas for what to take to look fabulous onboard.


what to wear on a cruise

Some of the cutest clothes to wear on a cruise are nautical themed. They’re a classic.

For Daytime:

If you have been struggling with what to wear on a cruise vacation remember this – You have limited suitcase space, so it’s best to pack separates for daywear. This way you can mix and match to get more outfits. Cropped pants, Bermuda shorts and simple v-neck tees are great options to pack. A while back we talked about the nautical look being hot for spring and nowhere is it more appropriate than on a cruise. You can never go wrong with navy, white, blue, red. This combo always looks crisp, classy and casual.

Finish off day wear looks with practical sandals, a watch (to make sure you don’t miss timed activities) and fun necklace. If you’re looking to really fit the theme of your vacation, try playing around with tropical prints. This season designers such as Marc Jacobs have re-invented classic floral Hawaiian print in dark colors, creating a beautiful, moody effect.


Pretty, light frocks like this are best dresses to wear on a cruise because they are dressy, but relaxed.

For  Dinner

A cruise is one of the few places left in the world where people still dress up for a meal, even for informal dinners.

With that in mind, make sure to stash a few lightweight sundresses in your bag. Paired with a heeled sandal and some fun jewelry, a sundress is super comfortable, yet still dressy. And choosing a fun print is a great way to pack an extra fashion punch! If dresses aren’t you thing, light khaki pants with a floaty blouse will fit the bill.


swimsuits and coverups for a cruise

Don’t forget a chic cover-up for your swimsuit.

Poolside Perfection:

At some point on your cruise, you’ll want to sip cocktails on deck (preferably near a pool). This means one thing: Swimsuits. Don’t panic, though. Finding a flattering suit isn’t as impossible as it seems. If you’re self-conscious, choose a one piece suit in a solid color. (Try to not fall back on black though. Have fun with color!).

To make it modern (and flattering on a fuller tummy) choose a bathing suit with some ruching through the midsection. A deep V- neckline or one-shouldered neckline will make your look fashion forward. Don’t forget a gauzy tunic to wear as a cover-up and a great straw hat to keep your face out of the sun.

Do you have other ideas for how to dress on a cruise? I’d love to read about them. Please comment below or send in a photos.

Here’s hoping your cruise is as fabulous as the suitcase you packed! Have fun, and don’t forget the sunscreen!


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