What is Resort Casual Attire & How to Wear It
Last Updated on July 19, 2023 by Dana Berez
Resort Casual Attire
Packing for vacation is always a game of questions. What should I bring? What clothes will I actually wear? Will I go to the gym? Am I going on any excursions? How many swimsuits are enough? Uncertainty ensues.
Then on top of the questions you already have, the resort you’re going to has a resort casual attire dress code.
This exact scenario happened to me as I was packing for a trip to Hawaii. However, having the resort dress code was so helpful in guiding me on what exactly to pack! And it helped me not to overpack and bring the wrong things.
In this post, I’ll fully explain what is resort casual attire for women and men. Plus I’ll give outfit examples so you can be confident packing for your trip that requires this dress code!
If you want a glance at some even more outfit ideas, I have an Amazon Storefront folder of Resort Casual Attire for women to get the inspiration going.
What is resort casual attire?
So, what exactly is resort casual attire? Resort casual attire is a blend of relaxed and stylish clothing that is suitable for vacation destinations in tropical locations. It’s not as dressy as business formal attire, but a bit more dressy than casual attire.
Resort casual wear involves lightweight breathable fabrics such as linens and cotton, flowy lightweight dresses, collared shirts for men, swimwear, and coverups, and a light jacket for cooler evenings and air-conditioned spaces.
These items can be in neutral prints, but since you are on vacation you can play with bright colors and floral tropical patterns.
Resort casual attire is the perfect way of dressing for a leisurely getaway while still looking put together in a sophisticated setting.
My favorite ways to wear resort casual are wearing sundresses, chic cover-up sets that look sophisticated, and of course, adding in my favorite accessories including a sun hat.
When is Resort Casual required?
Resort casual wear is usually required on vacation resorts including onsite at restaurants, and outdoor formal events like weddings or cocktail receptions.
Some cruise lines also have a resort casual dress code during the day in specific restaurants and some special evenings.
To find out if you need to pack for resort casual dress codes, I’d look up where you are going to see if this is a requirement and if the establishment that you are visiting has dress code guidelines.
Some hotels may require this dress code throughout the day and might have a resort evening attire for the nighttime.
What is resort casual attire for women?
Resort Casual clothing for women consists of relaxed, yet stylish clothing worn on resorts usually in the heat. Think about loose-fitting lightweight tops, flowy sundresses, linen pants, casual shorts, swimsuit coverups, and wide-brimmed sunhats for sun protection.
Remember, the word casual is in resort casual, so no need to get worried about what to wear.
However, if you want to wear a dressier sundress or outfit, by all means, go ahead. I find that during the evening, I tend to dress up by wearing a maxi dress, elegant sandals, and accessories- even if I could have worn something a bit more casual.
You probably have plenty of items in your closet that are resort casual, but below I’ve listed some items that would work great for resort casual attire.
Resort Casual Clothing Items for Women
Maxi Dresses and Sundresses: Can be long or short, best in flowy lightweight materials to beat the heat. Dresses can be worn either dressed up or down for nighttime or daytime wear. Just add your favorite accessories to dress up your dresses for an evening look.
Dressy Sets: Sets are so versatile because you can dress them up or down. Plus you can wear the top or bottom separately for even more outfits.
Lightweight Top: All tops should be lightweight and breathable. Bring some T-shirts and tank tops for casual options, while a flowy blouse would work for the evening. This casual top from Amazon is made with Viscose- which is a breathable material perfect for hot weather days!
Casual Shorts: A pair of casual shorts work great during the day. You can opt for linen shorts that are breathable or a lightweight drawstring style that is extremely flowy and dries quickly!
Linen Pants: Great linen pants are the epitome of resort casual wear. A loose-fit linen pant can work great as a beach coverup!
White Pants: Great for daytime or evening with a dressy top.
Light Jackets or Cardigans: A must for cooler evenings or air-conditioned spaces.
Strappy Sandals: bring your favorite stylish slide sandals, flip flops for the pool or beach, and or strappy low-heel sandals or wedge sandals for the evening.
Flat Shoes: A nice pair of white flat shoes is great for daytime activities, or lots of walking around. My go-to daily white sneakers are affordable and so comfortable I wear them every time I travel and for my daily errands.
Bathing Suits: Essential for any beach vacation. I love this one-piece swimsuit from Summersalt! It’s sophisticated and fits like a glove!
Beach Cover-ups: If there is a beach or pool, a swimsuit is a must. Pack your favorite one-piece, or bikini and a stylish coverup to walk around in.
Hats: Protect your head and face with a wide-brimmed stylish hat for sun protection. One of my go-to hats is from Lack of Color, which is handmade with 100% palm-leaf material. While on the more expensive side, it goes with all my outfits and adds a luxe look to everything.
What not to wear
This dress code is pretty relaxed, but I would avoid a head-to-toe athletic wear outfit, leggings, workout shorts, tank tops, or sports bras unless you are headed to the gym.
I would also avoid showing too much skin- like walking around in just a swimsuit.
What is resort casual attire for men?
Resort Casual attire for men takes classic men’s style but adds a fun relaxed punch to the mix. During the day, a pair of chino shorts, or swim shorts paired with a button-down linen is the perfect blend of resort casual.
For evenings, it’s best to err on the dressier side. Some resorts or dining venues won’t allow dining in shorts or non-collared tops. Also, also plan on wearing closed-toe shoes for a more dressed-up look, especially in the evenings.
But here are some resort casual items for men that work for daytime and evening.
Resort Casual Items for Men
Polo shirts: Made in breathable fabric like cotton, a polo shirt is a great option for the evening as it has a collar and it has a classic look. This U.S. Polo is a classic fit and is under $30 on Amazon.
Short sleeve Button Down Shirts: This is where you can add your fun patterns and color. Think Hawaiian-style shirts, which work perfectly at a tropical resort. This pattern has a modern spin on your typical Hawaiian shirt. It’s 100% cotton and is under $25 on Amazon!
Linen Shirts: Lightweight breathable linen shirts can be either short or long sleeves and can be worn during the day or night.
Khaki Shorts: Classic Khaki shorts in a neutral color is a classic staple that goes well with all shirts.
Linen pants: Breathable pants that can be dressed up or down. These 100% linen pants from Perry Ellis on Amazon are customer favorites and the fit is comfortable and stylish.
Chino Pants: Chino Pants always have a dressed-up, yet comfortable look for the evening. These Chino pants from Amazon have over 10,000 positive reviews and are under $30!
Nice Jeans: Another option for the evening, dark jean always looks dressier than a light wash.
Lightweight Dinner Jacket: If you want to dress up even more, you can add a dinner blazer. Or if your resort calls for Resort Evening Attire, this would be a nice touch.
Boat Shoes: A classic comfortable shoe that usually has a leather upper and rubber soles perfect for plenty of walking. These Sperry Billfish 3-Eye Boat Shoes are fan favorites and top-rated.
Loafers: A loafer is a great option to dress up your outfit. These loafer sneakers add a modern twist to your average loafer but err on the casual side.
Sneakers: A white stylish sneaker is perfect for day-time activities that are comfortable to wear all day long. These Cole Haan sneakers come in different colors and add a modern feel to a basic white sneaker.
Swim Shorts: If heading to a resort or pool, swim trunks are essential for fun in the sun. Plus they can be worn with linen shirts or T-Shirts for a casual day look.
What not to wear
It’s the same for men as women. Unless you are headed to the gym, avoid gym clothing including gym shorts, athletic tank tops, etc.
Resort Casual Attire vs Resort Evening Attire
The difference between “resort casual attire”’ and “resort evening attire” is the difference in clothing you’d wear during the day vs the evening.
Usually at a resort or cruise ship, resort evening wear is the dress code of choice for dinner. But I’d double-check as some hotel resorts keep “resort casual” all day long.
Resort evening wear for women is a little bit easier because the “guidelines” are a bit more lax.
For example, if you wore a nice dress during the day, you can accessorize and wear the same item during the evening. Just add your favorite accessories to dress up your outfit.
Women can also wear dressy separates or vacation dresses with open-toed sandals, and accessories. Just think about what you’d wear to a nice dinner, and add your vacation spin to it.
For men, there’s a bit more that needs to be edited when dressing for “resort evening attire”.
Most resorts & cruise ships require men to wear long pants, which can be dark dressy jeans or a chino. A collared shirt is a must for evening attire, but you don’t have to bring a sports coat or tie.
Men should also ditch open-toed shoes and instead wear a closed-toe loafer or dressy sneaker.
Overall, ditch your swimsuit and cover-up during the evening!
Resort Casual Attire Women’s Outfits
Resort Casual Attire Men’s Outfits
I hope you enjoyed this post about finding out what resort casual attire is all about and found the resort wear outfit ideas helpful for your next trip!
Be sure to pin this post so you can refer back later!