Resort attire or resort wear is a dress code that is established around the globe. It’s even the basis for an annual collection of couture fashion designers who focus just on this segment because a lot of people want to look stylish even when they relax.
You’ll most likely find it in the country clubs or nice resorts or hotels that want to make sure that guests don’t show up in board shorts for dinner. Sometimes, the dress code resort wear can be ambiguous because different hotels or resorts define it differently. As a rule of thumb, keep in mind, the more posh or upscale an establishment is, the more formal the dress code is likely going to be.
What Exactly Is Resort Wear Or Resort Attire?
It indicates that a certain degree of formality is required even though you’re in a warmer climate. At the same time, it means that a dark suit or tuxedo would be inappropriate because it would be over-the-top.
What Not To Wear
- Athletic attire of any kind is always inappropriate. Your gym shorts, your t-shirts are not appropriate.
- No track pants, no sweatpants, no joggers and no workout shorts.
- Avoid wearing t-shirts or tank tops and always make sure your shirts have some kind of a collar such as a polo shirt with short sleeves or long sleeves or a dress shirt.
- It also means don’t wear shower slides, flip-flops or sandals unless you’re specifically at the beach or by the pool area.
- You definitely want to avoid any type of tennis shoes or trainers. When it comes to sneakers, always be cautious and rather err on the side of formality. Meaning a nice leather dress shoe in tan, maybe some suede in colors such as green, even dark brown. Definitely stay clear of black because that would be too formal.
- In some establishment, golf khakis or slacks with polo shirt are acceptable. In others, they aren’t so it pays to specifically ask or figure out what the proper dress code at your venue is.
- It goes without saying that your clothing shouldn’t have any holes or tears and also stay clear of any type of shorts for evening activities.
- Skip vests or any other heavy layers.
- Cufflinks are maybe a little over the top. A simple barrel cuff will do just fine.
Resort Casual Daywear
The first thing that probably comes to mind is the Hawaiian shirt. I’ve been to Hawaii recently and I hardly saw anybody wearing Hawaiian shirts. So they’re out there, they exist. They can be appropriate if you’re in the mood for it, go for it, but it’s definitely not something you have to have and sometimes it can also look a bit cheesy.
So in terms of slacks, you can go with linen pants or cotton pants. Things like seersucker is totally fine and you can also go with shorts as long as they are longer and made of cotton or linen or other interesting materials.
At the same time, skip any kind of swim trunks or board shorts because that would be too informal.
A polo shirt is just fine during the day, a t-shirt maybe a little too informal but if you’re at the beach or in the vicinity, that’s okay too. I say jackets are over-the-top and if you’re at a resort during offseason, you may want to have a thin sweater or something that keeps you at the ideal temperature. If you wear a lot of solid polo shirts, it can be interesting to mix it up a bit with patterned shorts. You could go with stripes, maybe dots, or classic patterns such as seersucker, checks or Madras. During the day, definitely stay clear of any form of jacket that would be over the top.
In terms of shoes, you can wear driving mocs, maybe boat shoes. If you’re at the beach and you go from your room to the pool, flip-flops are just fine. Otherwise, if you’re at the lobby or the restaurant, flip-flops would not quite be appropriate.
Resort Evening Wear
It means typically long sleeves, long pants, no shorts. It also requires closed toed shoes which can be derbies or oxfords in brown tones or tans. You can also be a little more playful, maybe you want to go with a pair of spectators, or maybe some white shoes; something that is more summery and more associated with tropics. Stay clear of black shoes even in the evening because it’s not quite suited to the tropics.
A jacket is not mandatory but definitely a good idea. Personally, I always like it because in the evening, it can get a little cooler and it’s also much more elegant and stylish. A navy blazer is very versatile and you can wear it. I think a cotton jacket with a slight check, maybe a fresco jacket in a lighter color is preferable. If you want to, you can wear a seersucker suit but in general, I’d stay clear of suits and rather go with combinations.
I suggest you match your belt with your shoes and if you want to, you can go with bolder colors in certain elements of your outfit because the resort is fun, it’s casual and it’s not business.
When it comes to accessories, you can be a little more playful as well. You can have madras patterns, maybe grenadine, maybe knit, something with a little more texture. Maybe you go with a bow tie just something that is unusual and not necessarily something you would wear with a three-piece business suit.
For shirts, you can opt for dress shirts with an open weave or alternatively if you like it more casual, you can go with long sleeved polo shirts just make sure they have a nice color and not those typical flimsy ones.