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What is Resort Casual?

What is Resort Casual?

Ready for your next tropical getaway? The resort is booked, the countdown is on, and now it’s time to decide what to wear while on vacation. Certain resorts and hotels have dress guidelines to follow when on the property like a resort casual dress code, so make sure you’re prepared. But wait, what is resort casual and how will it affect how you pack? Don’t worry, it’s not as strict as you might imagine. Think of it as a sophisticated spin on your everyday warm-weather wear. Keep it light and laid-back, but tastefully sexy and polished at the same time.

For example, at home you may don sexy designer swimwear and a pair of cutoffs, which is perfectly fine for a day spent by the pool. However, at a resort or on a cruise ship, the attire tends to call for a little more conservative. Shorts are still an option, but keep it covered up with an appropriate length and fit. Common resort wear also includes summer beach dresses, pants, or maxi skirts, and flowy blouses(leave your well-worn t-shirts at home this time).

To sum up resort casual clothing, it’s comfort meets classy. Some resorts will have specific details about their dress code, while others will have a general unspoken rule about what works and what doesn’t. Consider your options as you plan for your next beach adventure. Where are you going and what activities will you have on your agenda? This makes a difference in what ends up in your suitcase and what can be left behind. You might even find that the dress code calls for resort elegant attire at certain times or in certain parts of the resort. Let’s explain all there is to know about a resort casual dress code so you can best prepare for your next vacation.

When to Wear Resort Casual Attire

Resort casual attire is best suited for beachfront properties where most of your days will be spent by the pool or on the beach, but with shopping and dining close by. It also applies if you’re on a cruise or in a destination with tropical weather where you want to stay cool but still be respectful of the culture. Comfort is key, but some areas call for a more conservative dress than others.

Resort Casual for the Pool, Beach, and Spa

When relaxing by the pool or getting ready for a pampering treatment, you need little else than your swimsuit, beach sandals, and a colorful cover up to take you through the day. This makes sense for the location and activity since you’ll be spending time in the water, sunning on the sand, or setting in for a massage. 

Beach cover ups like the Watermelon Embroidery Kimono and Ocean Embroidery Kimono are ideal selections to slip on and off as you switch from time spent at the pool, to the beach, and back at the spa. The deep hues, flowy sleeves, and embroidery detailing will amp up the elegance for this casual daytime look.

Resort Casual for Shopping and Dining

If you decide to stop and enjoy a seaside lunch or shop from local vendors during the day, you can still stick with resort casual wear. Opt for a cover up that’s not as sheer or short in length. Two beautiful choices are the Hermosa Celina Caftan and the Ava Vintage Tunic

The Hermosa Celina Caftan hits below the knee but has a front slit to allow for comfortable movement. The elastic band provides shape to this beautiful one-piece cover up and the subtle sleeves leave the arms bare but the shoulders covered. The modern mix of designs and lightweight fabric have a feminine appeal that’s perfect for dining al fresco or walking the sidewalks of a new city. 

Offering an easy-to-wear silhouette, the Ava Vintage Tunic is perfect for the resort life, as well. The butterfly sleeves and tied waistline offer a classic look for any activity, whether you’re walking along the beaches or grabbing lunch at the resort. Meanwhile, the brushed copper and black stripe print bring a level of sophistication to resort casual, making it a great piece for transitioning to night. The best part about this cover up is that it’s lightweight and sure to keep you cool in hotter temperatures, but covered enough to check out what a destination has to offer in addition to its beach life.

Resort Casual Attire Based on a Beach-Friendly Itinerary

Now knowing more of what resort casual dress code attire is, pack according to what your vacation will entail. If it’s mostly days at the beach or spa only, then you may only need one or two nicer outfits for dinners or experiencing the nightlife. However, if it’s an even mix of oceanfront activities and in-town events, you’ll want to make sure you have the right clothing to match. 

As you decide what goes in the suitcase, assign the outfits to different days and activities. That way you’ll make sure you have everything you need without overpacking. Do what works best for you. Some like to make an itemized list before getting started and others like to visualize as they go. Here are a few ideas for resort casual outfits that should simplify the packing process.

Boat Excursion Mixed with Beach Time

When the occasion calls for a morning or afternoon outing on the ocean plus a few hours of beach time, you want an outfit that can easily adapt to both. Go casual with a tunic cover up or versatile skirt to wear over your favorite designer bikini and pair with sandals for when you’re on the boat. If the boat is docking somewhere to snorkel or swim, that’s the only clothing you’ll need. 

However, if it’s docking at a nearby island or town with time to roam around, you’ll want to pack a cover up with a slightly thicker fabric that’s appropriate to wear indoors and provides enough protection from the sun when walking outside. Choose from a pair of loose pants, a maxi dress, or sarong wrap that will fit easily into your bag. 

Suggested items to pack: Tamarindo Bandeau Bikini, Tamarindo Lee Pareo Skirt or Calala Braid Caftan, Gold Flip Flops

Hiking or Biking During the Day

If you want to explore hiking trails near the beach or bike to different areas, you’ll want clothing that provides easy movement. Wearing tailored shorts and tennis shoes with a one-piece swimsuit may feel the most comfortable, but there are cover ups that work well for more athletic activities. 

A button-down chemise, like the Black Dani Chemise, is lightweight, breathable, and provides ample coverage on the legs and shoulders to help with sun protection. Even when the fabric is more transparent, when paired with one-piece swimwear, it keeps the look tastefully sexy to hit the mark for resort casual wear.

Opt for neutral colors to add to the sophisticated appeal and keep things as cool as possible when exploring winding roads, ocean caves, and other secret spots on your beach excursions. The term “casual” doesn’t have to mean sloppy or completely worn. You can achieve a polished look without too much effort involved.

Suggested items to pack: Smoke Blue Diane Knot One Piece, White Ada Short Chemise, White Sneakers

Day-to-Evening Look for Dinner and Drinks

Being on “vacation time” means there’s no separation between spending time on the beach and when it’s time to get more dressed up for dinner and drinks. If you need to get ready in a hurry or are stopping by a seaside spot for local cuisine, you’ll want a look that works for both day and evening. A chic resort dress is your best bet to achieve a stylish look that’s cool, classy, and versatile. 

The Guana Strapless Dress makes for an easy day-to-evening switch. The vibrant color and print is elegant, fun,  and transitions easily from sunbathing on the beach to drinking cocktails at sunset. The flowy fabric feels good against the skin after a day spent in the sun. It’s a modern spin on a simplified strapless look.

When you can take your time to shower and change before heading out for the evening, the Black Lina Short Dress makes a chic statement. The unique halter neckline means you don't even have to worry about accessorizing with a necklace- just throw on your favorite sandals and a pair of earrings to complete a look that'll be perfect for wherever the night takes you. 

Suggested items to pack: Indigo Cutout Bandeau Bikini, Guana Strapless Dress, Tkees Heat Wave Thong Sandal

Keepin’ It (Resort) Casual

Now that you’re savvy about what resort casual is, take your fashion up a notch when on vacation by bringing along resort outfits that simultaneously look pulled together and are still comfortable to wear. When you factor in both to the clothing equation, you’ll achieve the ideal resort casual look that many destinations require. Likely, you already have several pieces in your wardrobe that will work. Just remember that when you make your selections, choose clothing that moves with you for all of your beach-friendly activities and fits your personal style. 

Whether you lean more toward shorts, skirts, dresses, or pants, choose quality fabrics, special design details, and longer lengths to fit this type of dress code. Fortunately, these options pack well because they don’t take up too much space in the suitcase. When planning your vacation wardrobe for your next weekend resort getaway, the clothing you pack doesn’t have to be fancy or fussy but it also shouldn’t be overly laid-back. Resort casual attire hits the sweet spot in between and makes dressing for a vacation feel fun and special.