Definition of Resort Wear


In the fashion world, resort is the season that fills in the gap between fall and spring collections. Designers first created this in-between collection to serve wealthy couples who would escape the sub-zero temperatures of the first quarter of the year for tropical locales. These items were available only by private sale, but with the growing demand for fresh looks from fashion houses, it is now a popular season to shop for transitional pieces.

Today resort collections are a must for any successful designer and include pieces like fashion-forward swimwear, linen suits, flowing maxi-dresses and luxurious sandals. No matter the destination, certain staples are required for men and women to build a fashionable and functional resort wardrobe.

Resort Wear Defined

A resort collection is shown on the runways some time in June or July, and released around late October or November. It is also referred to as pre-spring or cruise. Think of resort wear as offering the pieces you need to transition from winter coats and boots to cotton shorts and sandals. The items chosen for this type of collection are decided by individual designers. Some choose to show bikinis and caftans while others focus on linen coats and evening gowns.

His Resort Wear Staples

  • Linen Suits
  • Boat Shoes
  • Sandals
  • Swimsuits
  • Polo Shirts
  • Woven Shorts
  • Dress Shirts

His Elegant Resort Wear

Even if you're not going on a cruise or late winter getaway, resort collections offer pieces you can wear to events like weddings or a dressy weekend brunch. The linen suit is versatile in light gray or khaki, as it has the formality of a suit in an incredibly lightweight and breathable fabric. You can't go wrong with a cotton button-down dress shirt under your suit. A tie is typically optional, unless you're going to a fancy dinner on a cruise. Boat shoes are the easiest to pair with any resort look, but may be too casual for a wedding or elegant dinner. In that case, opt for a brown loafer or leather oxford.

His Casual Resort Wear

From grabbing lunch on a weekend to lounging on the sand, casual resort wear is pretty self-explanatory. It consists of a swimsuit or woven shorts and a polo or T-shirt. Cotton chino and linen shorts are woven options that are breathable and still look put-together. If you're just hitting the beach or pool, stick to sandals. Boat shoes are a functional choice for going straight from a lawn chair to lunch or happy hour.

Her Resort Wear Staples

  • Swimsuits
  • Cover-ups
  • Maxi-dresses
  • Sandals
  • Espadrille heels
  • Lightweight Sweaters
  • Capri Pants

Her Elegant Resort Wear

A woman's elegant resort wear is like dressy casual with a tropical twist. While formal dinners or galas may require black-tie dress codes, typically a maxi-dress with striking jewelry and sandals will do the trick. Opt for lined chiffon or silk over cotton jersey to add formality, and choose your espadrille wedge heels over a flat sandal. The espadrille was made to pair with resort looks due to its construction of a woven jute-wrapped wedge heel. You can even go right from the pool to a nice dinner by throwing a dress over your swimsuit and adding heels.

Her Casual Resort Wear

If you're actually on a cruise or island vacation, it's likely you'll spend most of your daytime hours in a swimsuit, cover-up and sandals. Sheer cover-ups like a caftan or gauze dress are comfortable and dry quickly if they get a little wet. The capri pant is a classic resort staple, as it has a hemline that hits at the mid-calf. Woven cotton styles add comfort and a breathable feel. An open-knit sweater not only pairs perfectly with a slim capri pant, but also offers just enough warmth for cool mornings and evenings. Flat sandals with embellishments like gems and beading add detail and style to any resort look.

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