· By Scarlett Poppies

How to dress comfortably and sensibly at a tropical resort

Resort wear, cruise attire or a vacation wear wardrobe is becoming a common term used for clothes, dresses or looks when one is on a holiday or on a vacation at a resort or on a cruise.

Resort wear refers to and includes relaxed, sometimes brightly colored, beautiful tropical patterned tops, shorts, capris, pants, dresses, skirts, coverups, swimwear, big tote bags and more.

Resort wear or Vacation fashion has become an important part of our wardrobes. For each of us the most important thing in life has become gaining new experiences and now, so many people have started traveling to different destinations around the world.

When you are on a tropical vacation, we know you will want to be able to spend time in your favourite swimsuit, lounging poolside, soaking up on the sun on the beach, and out on the town seeing the sights. However, when you are at the resort, you will have to be aware of what type of dress code is in place and how that can shift during different times of the day and in different areas of the hotel. For example, the hotel staff would not want guests to be walking around in their bathing suits through the lobby. It’s always a good idea to wear shoes or sandals as well as a cover-up any time you are inside.

There are different dress codes depending on the hotel and resort policies:

Resort Casual 

"Resort casual" is an "anything goes" mentality, typically appropriate for daytime wear. These are the outfits you wear while lounging by the pool or on the beach, or perhaps while grabbing a midday lunch at the beach bar. Comprised of maxi dresses, beach cover-ups, and strappy sandals, this dress code is a break from the stylish, put-together, well-thought-out outfits we fashion girls concoct on a daily basis. That doesn't mean there isn't a place in this dress code for fashion, in fact; some of your favourite pieces make an appearance here in the form of cool and different sunhats, caftans and a statement beach bag.

Resort Elegant Casual

This dress code usually refers to a casual dress code, but for eveningwear. It's what you would wear when you are going for a weeknight dinner with girlfriends or a weekend brunch: light, airy, and fun. It's sophisticated without feeling stuffy. The ideal "elegant casual" look consists of a casual summer dress, paired with a light scarf wrap and a pair of slingback mules. This dress code usually comes into play when dining at the resort or sipping on a fresh gin and tonic at the resort bar pre-dinner.

Resort Eveningwear

While the difference between "eveningwear" and "elegant casual" can be understated, it is real. Instead of a weeknight dinner, think a weekend date night with your S.O. Rather than a casual summer dress, opt for slightly more formal attire like a ruched silk dress or a flowing midi skirt paired with a blouse. Accessorize your look with fine gold jewelry, heeled strappy sandals, and a wrap for a chic evening on the resort.

Formal Resort Attire

This is the showstopping outfit your inner fashion girl has been waiting for. Don't be afraid to pull out all the stops when you see "formal attire" in the dress code. Though less dressy than this standard may be on the mainland, cocktail-party attire is entirely appropriate. Typically reserved for holidays such as New Year's Eve, as well as destination weddings, anything ranging from a maxi dress to an evening gown or pant suit will suffice. Don't be afraid to get creative. Vacations are the time to experiment!

Now that you know the basics on different types of resort dress codes, we wanted to introduce you to a few of our top tips for how to dress at a tropical resort to make your packing more efficient and keep you ready for any adventure.

  • Bring a cute Cover Up: beach cover ups are a tropical vacation must-have because they will give you effortless style and a way to cover up your swimsuit at the resort as you walk around the common areas, while also being versatile and stylish for a variety of other occasions. Bonus: they are also lightweight and won’t take up much space in your suitcase!
  • Pack versatile options: one of the key strategies to be prepared for any resort dress code is packing items that are versatile and can be styled in a variety of ways to dress them up or down as needed. For example, a stylish yet comfortable, cotton dress can be dressed down for a day at the beach by pairing it with slip-on sandals, a pair of sunglasses, and a hat, but can also be dressed up for an evening out at dinner with friends by pairing it with a light jacket and a pair of fashionable flats. Thinking through the different ways you can mix and match what you pack will help guide different outfits to wear during your resort vacation and keep your bag lighter. And remember to pack some gorgeous earrings that adds extra glow to an already sun kissed face!
  • Prioritize comfort: have you ever packed a bag full of clothes you think are going to be great only to arrive on your vacation and find that you don’t feel truly comfortable wearing many of the items you packed? Just because you are on a tropical vacation, don’t stray too far outside of the clothing and footwear that you will feel comfortable and confident wearing. We want to make sure you look and feel your best and can enjoy your time on vacation. We recommend trying on various outfits at home as you pack to make sure you feel confident wearing them on your vacation and they will function well for the activities you have planned.

  • Remember to have fun: vacation is a time to have fun! You can incorporate more light, bright, fun patterns and styles into your wardrobe to accommodate your tropical vibes. Don’t get too caught up in dress codes and packing lists that you forget to have fun and embrace your opportunity to travel, explore, and enjoy. If you pack a suitcase full of clothes that you feel fun, flirty, and confident in and can wear for a variety of occasions, you will be set to have a great vacation at an amazing resort and make memories that you will cherish long after you have returned home.