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What Does Resort Attire Mean


Modified: December 28, 2023

by Jane Hutchens



Welcome to the world of resort attire, where fashion meets vacation vibes. Whether you’re planning a tropical getaway, attending a beach wedding, or simply enjoying a day by the pool, knowing what to wear and how to dress appropriately is essential. Resort attire is a dress code that is commonly followed in resort destinations, beach resorts, cruise ships, and upscale vacation events.


Resort attire is all about striking a balance between comfort and style, allowing you to look fashionable while maintaining a relaxed and laid-back feel. It gives you the freedom to express your personal style while following the guidelines of the dress code. Understanding the different elements of resort attire and when it is appropriate to wear can help you navigate any vacation or event with confidence and ease.


In this article, we will delve into the world of resort attire, exploring its definition, historical background, purpose, and types. We will also provide you with guidelines and examples to help you create the perfect resort-inspired look for any occasion. So, get ready to pack your bags and upgrade your vacation wardrobe as we dive into the fascinating world of resort attire.


Definition of Resort Attire

Resort attire is a dress code that is commonly associated with vacation destinations, beach resorts, and upscale outdoor events. It is a relaxed yet stylish dress code that allows individuals to showcase their fashion sense while still maintaining a comfortable and casual look.


When it comes to resort attire, the key is to strike a balance between being dressed up and being relaxed. It is all about embracing the laid-back vibe of a vacation destination while looking sophisticated and put together. Resort attire is often characterized by a blend of lightweight fabrics, vibrant colors, and fun patterns.


Resort attire can vary depending on the specific occasion and location. In general, resort attire can be described as a step up from casual wear while still being less formal than evening or cocktail attire. It may include items such as sundresses, linen pants, shorts, collared shirts, maxi dresses, sandals, and statement accessories.


It is important to note that resort attire can differ slightly based on cultural norms and fashion trends in different parts of the world. For example, resort attire in a tropical beach destination may include flowy, colorful garments, while resort attire in a mountain resort may include cozy sweaters and boots.


Ultimately, resort attire is about embracing the spirit of a vacation while still maintaining a sense of style. It allows individuals to feel comfortable and confident in their clothing choices while enjoying their time in a resort setting. So, whether you’re lounging by the pool, attending a beachside soiree, or exploring a seaside town, resort attire is designed to help you look and feel your best.


Historical Background of Resort Attire

The roots of resort attire can be traced back to the early 20th century when leisure travel and vacations became more accessible to the general population. As people began to take holidays to seaside resorts and beach destinations, the need for appropriate vacation attire arose.


In the earlier days, resort attire was primarily influenced by the fashion trends of the wealthy elite who would frequent exclusive resort destinations. The idea was to create a sense of elegance and sophistication while still being comfortable in the tropical or beach environment.


During the 1920s and 1930s, resort attire was characterized by loose-fitting garments made from lightweight fabrics such as linen and cotton. The style embraced elements of the Art Deco movement, with geometric patterns and bold colors being popular choices. Women often wore flowing dresses or pantsuits, while men would opt for light-colored suits or tailored trousers paired with casual shirts.


In the mid-20th century, resort wear took on a more glamorous and glamorous tone as the popularity of beach vacations soared. Hollywood icons like Audrey Hepburn and Grace Kelly popularized resort attire in the 1950s and 1960s, portraying a sense of elegance and luxury in their vacation outfits.


Resort wear continued to evolve in the following decades, incorporating elements of bohemian fashion, vintage-inspired silhouettes, and modern trends. The 1970s saw the rise of boho-chic resort wear, with flowing maxi dresses, floppy hats, and oversized sunglasses becoming iconic symbols of vacation fashion.


Today, resort attire reflects the diverse fashion landscape of different times and cultures. It blends the timeless elegance of the past with modern influences, offering a wide range of styles and options for individuals to express themselves during their vacation or resort experience.


From tropical prints to nautical themes, resort attire continues to evolve, adapting to the changing desires and preferences of travelers. It remains synonymous with relaxation, style, and the carefree spirit of a vacation, allowing individuals to make a fashion statement while enjoying their time in a resort setting.


Purpose and Importance of Resort Attire

Resort attire serves several purposes and holds significant importance in the world of fashion and vacation culture. Understanding the purpose and importance of resort attire can help you make informed choices when it comes to your vacation wardrobe.


1. Reflecting the Destination: Resort attire allows individuals to embrace the atmosphere and culture of the destination they are visiting. It helps create a sense of harmony with the surroundings and showcases an appreciation for the local style and customs. Whether it’s the vibrant colors of a tropical beach or the relaxed elegance of a mountain resort, resort attire brings the spirit of the location to life through fashion.


2. Setting the Mood: Resort attire sets the tone and mood for a vacation experience. It evokes a sense of relaxation, freedom, and enjoyment. By choosing appropriate resort attire, individuals can mentally transition from their everyday routine to a more carefree and leisurely state of mind. The clothing choices contribute to making the vacation feel special and different from regular daily life.


3. Enhancing Self-Expression: Resort attire offers an opportunity for individuals to express their personal style and creativity. It allows you to experiment with colors, patterns, and accessories that you may not typically wear in your everyday life. Resort wear is often associated with vibrancy, playfulness, and a sense of adventure, giving you the freedom to showcase your unique fashion preferences.


4. Comfort and Practicality: Resort attire is designed to be comfortable and practical, allowing individuals to enjoy their vacation activities with ease. It often incorporates lightweight and breathable fabrics to combat the heat and humidity of resort destinations. Resort wear is typically more relaxed and forgiving in terms of fit, enabling freedom of movement while engaging in various recreational activities, such as swimming, sightseeing, or lounging by the pool.


5. Social Etiquette: Resort attire helps individuals adhere to social conventions and dress codes at various vacation events. Whether it’s a beachside wedding, a poolside cocktail party, or a formal dinner at a resort restaurant, resort attire ensures that everyone is appropriately dressed for the occasion. It demonstrates respect for the event organizers and fellow attendees while contributing to a cohesive and visually pleasing ambiance.


The purpose and importance of resort attire lie in its ability to create a unique and enjoyable vacation experience. It allows individuals to connect with their destination, express their personal style, and navigate social obligations with ease. By embracing resort attire, you can enhance your vacation enjoyment and make lasting fashion memories in the process.


Types of Resort Attire

Resort attire encompasses a wide range of styles that cater to different vacation destinations and events. Understanding the various types of resort attire can help you choose the perfect outfit for your specific occasion. Here are some of the most common types:


1. Beachwear: This type of resort attire is specifically designed for beach destinations. It typically includes bikinis, one-piece swimsuits, cover-ups, sarongs, board shorts, and flip-flops. Beachwear allows you to feel comfortable and look stylish while lounging on the sand, taking a dip in the ocean, or enjoying beachside activities.


2. Casual Resort Wear: Casual resort wear is ideal for casual daytime activities like sightseeing, exploring the local area, or relaxing by the pool. It includes items like shorts, sundresses, maxi dresses, lightweight trousers, polo shirts, tank tops, and sandals. The emphasis is on comfort, breathable fabrics, and effortless style.


3. Resort Evening Wear: For more formal or evening events at resorts, you may opt for resort evening wear. This can include elegant maxi dresses, jumpsuits, linen suits, cocktail dresses, wedge sandals, and statement accessories. Resort evening wear strikes a balance between sophistication and comfort, allowing you to look polished while enjoying the resort’s nightlife or attending a special dinner.


4. Resort Sportswear: If you’re planning on engaging in sports or recreational activities during your resort stay, resort sportswear is a must. This can include athletic wear such as joggers, leggings, sports bras, tank tops, and sneakers. Sportswear is designed to be functional, allowing you to move freely while engaging in activities like yoga, tennis, or golf.


5. Resort Sleepwear: Resort sleepwear refers to pajamas and loungewear that are suitable for a resort environment. This can include lightweight cotton or silk pajama sets, robes, or comfy lounge pants. Resort sleepwear ensures you stay comfortable and stylish even when relaxing in your room or enjoying a lazy morning by the pool.


These are just a few examples of the different types of resort attire available. It’s important to consider the specific activities and events you will be participating in during your vacation to select the appropriate type of resort wear. Remember, resort attire is all about feeling at ease while expressing your personal style in a vacation setting.


Common Elements of Resort Attire

Resort attire is characterized by various common elements that help create a cohesive and stylish vacation look. These elements can be mixed and matched to suit individual preferences and the specific destination or event. Here are some of the common elements you can find in resort attire:


1. Lightweight Fabrics: Resort attire often features lightweight and breathable fabrics such as linen, cotton, chiffon, and silk. These fabrics keep you cool and comfortable in warm weather while providing a relaxed and effortless look.


2. Bright Colors and Prints: Vibrant colors and playful prints are popular in resort attire. Think bold tropical prints, floral patterns, nautical stripes, or tie-dye designs. These lively colors and prints add a fun and cheerful touch to your vacation wardrobe.


3. Flowy Silhouettes: Resort attire is known for its relaxed and flowy silhouettes that allow for movement and comfort. Flowy maxi dresses, wide-leg pants, A-line skirts, and kaftans are all common choices. These loose-fitting garments create an elegant and breezy look.


4. Casual and Effortless Style: Resort attire embraces a casual and effortless style that reflects the laid-back vacation atmosphere. The emphasis is on comfort, ease, and simplicity, allowing you to create stylish looks without sacrificing comfort.


5. Beach-Inspired Accessories: Straw hats, floppy sun hats, oversized sunglasses, woven beach bags, and statement jewelry are popular accessories in resort attire. These accessories not only provide sun protection but also add a touch of personality and style to your vacation ensemble.


6. Resort Footwear: Comfortable and stylish footwear options play a crucial role in resort attire. Sandals, flip-flops, espadrilles, wedges, and canvas sneakers are common choices. They are designed to be easy to slip on and off, perfect for casual beach strolls or poolside relaxation.


7. Versatile Layering Pieces: Resort attire often includes versatile layering pieces like lightweight cardigans, kimono cover-ups, or cropped jackets. These pieces can be easily added or removed to adapt to changing weather conditions or to transition from day to night.


By incorporating these common elements into your resort attire, you can create a cohesive and stylish vacation wardrobe. Remember to have fun and embrace the carefree spirit of resort wear while expressing your personal style and enjoying your time in a vacation setting.


Appropriate Occasions for Resort Attire

Resort attire is suitable for a variety of occasions and events that take place in vacation destinations or resort settings. Understanding the appropriate occasions for resort attire can help you dress appropriately and confidently. Here are some occasions where resort attire is commonly worn:


1. Beach Vacations: Resort attire is a perfect choice for beach vacations, where you can enjoy sun, sand, and surf. Whether you’re relaxing on a lounge chair, participating in water sports, or sipping cocktails by the shore, resort attire keeps you comfortable without compromising your style.


2. Resort Weddings: Many couples choose to have their wedding in a picturesque resort setting. Resort attire is often recommended for guests attending these weddings, as it strikes a balance between formal and casual. Opt for flowy dresses, linen suits, or stylish jumpsuits that are appropriate for the occasion and the resort atmosphere.


3. Poolside Parties: Resort attire is perfect for attending poolside parties or poolside bars, where you can socialize and have fun under the sun. It’s important to choose swimwear cover-ups, like lightweight kaftans or sarongs, along with your bikini or swimsuit. Don’t forget to accessorize with a wide-brimmed hat and oversized sunglasses.


4. Resort Restaurants and Bars: When dining at resort restaurants or enjoying cocktails at resort bars, it’s essential to dress appropriately. Resort attire, such as elegant maxi dresses, linen pants with a stylish blouse, or tailored shirts with dress shorts, is suitable for these more upscale and relaxed dining experiences.


5. Cruise Ship Vacations: Cruise ships often have a dress code for various events and dining experiences onboard. Resort attire is perfect for casual evenings or daytime activities on the ship. From lounging by the pool to exploring ports of call, resort wear keeps you stylish and comfortable throughout your cruise vacation.


6. Resort Activities: Many resorts offer a range of activities, such as golfing, tennis, hiking, or yoga classes. Resort attire that is appropriate for these activities includes sports attire like leggings, athletic tops, and sneakers. This ensures you can comfortably participate while still looking stylish.


7. Tropical Destination Events: If you’re attending a destination event in a tropical location, resort attire is often recommended. This can include casual beachside events, sunset cruises, or outdoor concerts. Look for lightweight and colorful dresses, shorts, or jumpsuits that reflect the festive and relaxed atmosphere.


When it comes to resort attire, it’s essential to consider the specific occasion and location. Understanding the appropriate occasions for resort attire allows you to dress appropriately while enjoying all the fun and relaxation that come with vacationing in a resort setting.


Etiquette and Guidelines for Resort Attire

While resort attire is generally more relaxed and casual compared to formal dress codes, there are still some etiquette and guidelines to consider to ensure you are appropriately dressed for the occasion. Here are some key principles to keep in mind:


1. Respect the Dress Code: Be mindful of any specific dress codes provided by the resort or event organizers. Some resorts may have specific guidelines regarding dress attire for certain areas or activities, such as formal dress codes for fine dining restaurants or restrictions on swimwear in common areas. It is important to respect and adhere to these guidelines.


2. Appropriate Coverage: When selecting resort attire, keep in mind the level of coverage appropriate for the occasion. Ensure that your clothing is not overly revealing or inappropriate for the setting. Opt for clothing that is comfortable and stylish while still providing appropriate coverage for the specific event or location.


3. Consider the Climate: Take into account the climate and weather conditions of your vacation destination. Choose lightweight, breathable fabrics that will keep you comfortable in hot and humid environments. Consider layering options for cool evenings or areas with fluctuating temperatures.


4. Mind Cultural Sensitivities: If you are traveling to a destination with different cultural norms, be respectful of their customs and traditions. Research any cultural sensitivities regarding dress before you go. For example, some cultures may have modesty requirements or may expect specific attire in certain religious or cultural sites.


5. Choose Comfortable Footwear: Opt for footwear that is comfortable and appropriate for the occasion. Sandals, wedges, or loafers are popular choices for resort attire. Avoid overly casual footwear like flip-flops or athletic shoes in more formal settings unless specifically indicated as acceptable.


6. Accessories: Enhance your resort attire with appropriate accessories. Choose items that complement your outfit and reflect the vacation spirit, such as oversized sunglasses, statement jewelry, or stylish hats. However, avoid excessive or noisy accessories that may detract from the overall look or become a distraction.


7. Personal Hygiene and Grooming: While resort attire is often more relaxed, personal hygiene and grooming are still important. Ensure your clothing is clean, pressed, and in good condition. Pay attention to personal grooming, such as neat hair, trimmed nails, and appropriate hygiene practices to present yourself well.


Following these etiquette and guidelines for resort attire will ensure that you are not only appropriately dressed but also respectful of the resort environment, cultural sensitivities, and the expectations of the occasion. By doing so, you can fully enjoy your vacation while looking stylish and confident.


Examples of Resort Attire

Resort attire offers a versatile and stylish range of options for various occasions in vacation settings. Here are some examples of resort attire to inspire your vacation wardrobe:


1. Beach Day: For a day at the beach, opt for a flowy maxi dress in a vibrant tropical print, paired with a wide-brimmed straw hat and oversized sunglasses. Complete the look with strappy sandals or flip-flops and a stylish beach tote to carry your essentials.


2. Poolside Party: Dress up for a poolside party with a stylish one-piece swimsuit or a bikini paired with a breezy cover-up like a colorful kaftan. Add some flair with statement earrings, a wide-brimmed floppy hat, and comfortable wedge sandals.


3. Resort Dinner: For a resort dinner, opt for an elegant maxi dress in a sophisticated fabric like chiffon or silk. Pair it with strappy heels, a clutch bag, and accessorize with delicate jewelry. Choose a dress in a bold color or a classic black for an effortlessly chic look.


4. Resort Evening Event: If you’re attending a resort evening event, go for a tailored jumpsuit in a luxe fabric like satin or velvet. Pair it with sleek heels, statement earrings, and a clutch bag. Opt for a jumpsuit with a wide-leg silhouette for added elegance.


5. Resort Activities: For resort activities like golfing or tennis, choose athletic wear that is both functional and stylish. Opt for moisture-wicking leggings or shorts paired with a fitted performance top. Complete the look with comfortable sneakers and a visor or a sporty cap.


6. Resort Sightseeing: Dress comfortably for resort sightseeing with a pair of linen pants or shorts paired with a lightweight blouse or a casual T-shirt. Slip on comfortable sneakers or walking sandals, and don’t forget to bring a stylish backpack or crossbody bag to carry your essentials.


7. Cruise Ship Formal Night: If you’re on a cruise vacation with a formal night, opt for a sophisticated cocktail dress or a tailored suit. Add a touch of glam with statement heels, a clutch bag, and elegant jewelry. Choose rich fabrics like lace or silk for a more formal look.


These are just a few examples of resort attire for different occasions during your vacation. Remember to customize your outfits based on your personal style, the specific event or location, and any dress code guidelines provided. Resort attire gives you the freedom to express yourself while staying comfortable and stylish in your vacation destination.



Resort attire is the perfect blend of style and comfort, designed to enhance your vacation experience and reflect the relaxed yet fashionable ambiance of resort destinations. From beach vacations to poolside parties, and resort weddings to cruise ship adventures, resort attire provides a versatile range of options for every occasion.


By understanding the definition, historical background, and purpose of resort attire, as well as the appropriate occasions and etiquette associated with it, you can confidently navigate the fashion landscape of vacation destinations and resort settings.


Whether you’re lounging on the sand, exploring a seaside town, or indulging in the vibrant nightlife of a resort, resort attire allows you to express your personal style while respecting the social and cultural norms of the location. With its lightweight fabrics, bright colors, and flowy silhouettes, resort attire strikes the perfect balance between elegance and relaxation.


Remember to consider the climate, cultural sensitivities, and specific dress codes when selecting your resort attire. By choosing comfortable footwear, appropriate coverage, and adding the right accessories, you can elevate your resort look and create a memorable fashion statement.


So, pack your bags with a carefully curated collection of resort attire and enjoy your vacation with style, confidence, and a touch of vacation vibes. Whether you’re walking along the shoreline, sipping drinks by the pool, or dancing the night away at a beachside party, resort attire ensures that you are perfectly dressed for any vacation moment.


Embrace the carefree spirit of resort wear, explore different styles and destinations, and let your fashion choices reflect the joy and relaxation that come with being in a resort setting. With resort attire, you can look and feel your best while creating lasting memories of your fabulous vacation experiences.