Embarking on a Mississippi River cruise is not just a journey. It is an exploration of America's cultural richness, from the musical beats of Memphis to the historical allure of New Orleans.

As you traverse this iconic waterway, it is not just the breathtaking landscapes that should capture your attention but also the attire that ensures you sail through the experience in style and comfort. The warm and humid climate of the Mississippi demands a wardrobe that combines practicality, comfort, and style.

From breathable ensembles for daytime activities to elegant evening wear that complements the region's sophistication, here is your guide to dress smart and chic for a memorable Mississippi River cruise.

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Dos & Don'ts

Woman sitting on a suitcase under a bridge

Do pack lightweight and comfortable clothes.

Wear non-skid sole shoes, such as trekking shoes or sneakers, crocs, or espadrilles.

Do pack at least one elegant piece for evening dinners or more formal events. Ladies can pack a summer dress, while gents may opt for slacks and a classic button-up.

Man holding a map and looking over the river

Don’t overpack; master the art of layering and focus on versatile pieces. Weather can often be unpredictable, particularly on the upper stretch of the Mississippi River, so packing clothes that can be layered is essential.

Don't underestimate the importance of practical footwear. Avoid high heels or uncomfortable shoes that may hinder your ability to explore during shore excursions.

Don’t forget bug repellent, especially during warmer months.


Casual Comfort For Daytime Explorations

Woman in denim shorts and a satin top 

Blend comfort with a touch of sophistication and create a casual and comfortable ensemble for daytime explorations on a Mississippi River Cruise with denim shorts and a satin top.

The sheen of satin adds a touch of elegance to your ensemble, making it suitable for daytime explorations and potential casual onboard activities.

Pair the satin top with distressed denim shorts for a casual and relaxed vibe, and complete the look with polished white sneakers. Here is our selection of the best denim shorts for women and men.

Effortless Chic Style

 Woman posing with a striped jumpsuit and a wide-brimmed hat

Jumpsuits are comfortable and very easy to wear. Choose a lightweight jumpsuit and pack it in your luggage. It will be a great outfit option for your Mississippi River cruise, from exploring the ports of call to enjoying a casual evening on the deck.

Also, choosing a wide-legged lightweight jumpsuit is a smart and versatile choice. It will not take up much space in your luggage and can create different looks if paired with various footwear and accessories.

Linen Maxi Dress

 Woman posing with a lightweight maxi dress

Pack a linen maxi dress for the daytime activities on your Mississippi River cruise. The linen maxi dress offers a timeless and sophisticated silhouette, while thoughtful accessories enhance the overall aesthetic for a stylish and breezy riverside elegance.

Choose a linen maxi dress in a neutral tone, such as ivory, beige, or light grey. Enhance the silhouette of the linen maxi dress by cinching the waist with a stylish statement belt. Here is our selection of the best affordable maxi dresses made in the USA under high social and environmental standards.

Lastly, complete the ensemble with slip-on mules or espadrilles to comfortably explore the riverfront towns or enjoy casual strolls along the deck.

 Boho Chic Look

 Woman posing with a boho-inspired white blouse

Create a boho chic look for your Mississippi River adventure to wear while exploring scenic landscapes and charming towns. Pair a flowy skirt in a bohemian-inspired print or earthy tones with a white ruffled blouse or a loose top with ethnic embroidery.

Check out our selection of the best and cheapest boho clothing brands to create this chic look for your Mississippi River cruise.

Complete the look with a pair of comfortable woven sandals or ankle boots and a small crossbody bag with fringe or tassel details.

Classic Denim Look

Back photo of a woman wearing jeans and a white blouse 

Keep it casual yet stylish with a pair of well-fitted jeans and a crisp white tee.

If you want to make your outfit more interesting, choose an off-the-shoulder top. Remember that the perfect off-the-shoulder top will show off just the right amount of skin while still looking super chic and classy.

Here is our selection of the best affordable, ethical, and sustainable blouses made under the highest social and environmental standards.

Midi Skirt For A Romantic Look

 Black woman posing with a black linen midi skirt and a crop top

Pair a casual-style midi skirt with a crop top for a comfortable daytime outfit with a romantic touch. Because they mix casual and elegant, midi-length skirts are appropriate for both daytime activities and onboard events. Discover our selection of the best midi skirts for women made from sustainable and eco-friendly materials.

Additionally, the harmonious hourglass silhouette that is created by pairing a crop top with a midi skirt exudes feminity and elegance.

Mini Summer Dress

 Woman posing with a white mini summer dress

Lounge on the summer dech and enjoy the scenic views of the Mississippi River with a summer mini dress. Choose a light and breathable fabric to stay comfortable as you unwind.

Find beautiful summer dresses made under high standards here.

Wear it with comfortable sneakers or walking sandals if you plan on participating in guided excursions and other land-based activities.

Layer Up With A Cardigan

 Woman posing with a cardigan

Being practical is crucial when packing for a trip or cruise. To avoid having too much luggage, you need smart and versatile pieces, enough to mix and match to create different looks.

Cardigans are your best friend when you need an extra layer and want to match different outfits. They can effortlessly transition your outfit from day to night and provide coziness without sacrificing style.

Stay warm during your river cruise and buy sustainable chunky knit cardigans made under high social and environmental standards here.

Effortless Sophistication

 Close photo of a man in a black turtleneck

Another favorite versatile piece that you will love is a soft and tailored-fit turtleneck. Once more, the main characteristics of this ensemble are elegance and practicality, as turtlenecks go well with a variety of clothes, such as dresses, skirts, pants, and even shorts.

From casual daytime excursions to evening dinners, a well-fitted turtleneck can be versatile enough to suit various occasions. It is a staple piece that complements a range of styles and activities.

Here are the best ethically made and affordable turtlenecks.

Elegant Dinner Ensemble 

Woman posing in a black polished evening dress

Craft an elegant and stylish evening ensemble with a black dress. Pick a black dress with a sophisticated cut and style, such as a knee-length gown with jazzy details, a maxi dress, or a cocktail dress.

While elegance is essential, prioritize comfort. Make sure your dress fits comfortably, especially if you have activities or dancing scheduled for after dinner on board.

Woman posing with an elegant white blouse and suit pants

You can create a chic and elegant dinner look for your Mississippi River cruise without opting for a traditional dress with suit pants and a beautiful blouse.

Choose well-fitted suit pants in a luxurious fabric like crepe or satin, and pair it with a blouse enhanced with embellishments, lace, or a unique neckline.

Nautical Stripes For A Cruise Vibe

 Young man posing with a nautical striped polo

Embrace the nautical theme with a striped top and white jeans. Wear a navy and white striped tee for an authentic maritime feel. Pair it with white jeans to enhance the nautical theme and create a visually appealing ensemble.

Here are the best affordable and sustainable white denim jeans to help you create this unique ensemble.

Cute And Sporty Look

 Woman posing with leggings and a crop top

Wear Leggings to create a cute and sporty look that is perfect for exploring the cruise ship, participating in onboard activities, or enjoying casual excursions along the Mississippi River.

Choose leggings with unique patterns, mesh details, or color-blocking to add a trendy touch to your sporty look. High-waisted leggings can be both comfortable and flattering.

Pair the leggings with an athletic tank or crop top, and layer with a lightweight jacket or hoodie.

Warm Jacket

 Young woman posing with a winter jacket and black skinny jeans

For a Mississippi River Cruise during the cooler months, particularly in the upper part of the river, where temperatures can be colder, it is essential to pack outerwear and footwear that will keep you warm and comfortable.

Bring a warm coat suitable for colder temperatures. Consider options like a cruelty-free parka, a warm winter coat, or a waterproof jacket with insulation. Ensure it provides sufficient protection against wind and possible rain.

Lastly, opt for cozy walking shoes or trekking boots for excursions and onshore exploration. A non-slip sole is also essential for walking on potentially slippery surfaces.


 Close photo of a woman wearing red wide-brimmed hat

Accessorizing is crucial to remaining fashionable and adjusting to the warm weather when taking a summer Mississippi River cruise, especially when sailing on the south part of the river where temperatures can get quite high.

Wear a wide-brimmed for good sun protection, choose stylish sunglasses to add a touch of glamour and shield your eyes from harmful rays, and apply sunscreen when necessary on your skin.

Additionally, it can be handy to bring along a foldable umbrella, which can provide additional shade, sun protection, and shelter from unexpected rainfall.

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About the Author: Iana Jekova

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