resort casual

The Difference Between Resort Casual and Chic

If you’re planning a vacation, you’ve probably seen phrases like «resort casual» thrown around. But it can be hard to make sense of these dress codes and know what’s appropriate for your destination.

Resort casual is a step above shorts and a t-shirt, but below business attire. It requires breathable fabrics that look polished and comfortable.

Casual Elegance

When a resort or cruise restaurant has this dress code, it implies that the venue is slightly more elegant than the casual-dressing types of eateries. The difference is subtle, but it is there. This look is a step up from jeans and t-shirts, but it is also a step down from a formal suit or evening gown. The idea is to look like you are dressed up for a nice dinner out on the town with your S.O. instead of a weeknight dinner with friends or a weekend date night at the country club with your grandmother. A nice casual summer dress, a flowy skirt and blouse ensemble or a jumpsuit all fit this dress code nicely. Accessorize with a pretty silk wrap or heels and strappy sandals to complete your resort elegant outfit.

For men, khakis or linen pants are usually a safe choice for this dress code as long as they have a polo or collared shirt and aren’t ripped. For shoes, loafers and even lace-up tennis shoes are okay, but flip-flops should be avoided. The rule for women is a bit more flexible. As long as they don’t wear shorts and the top of their skirt or dress is not sleeveless, most restaurants will allow them to wear something similar to what men are wearing. A chiffon skirt with a flowing blouse or a pretty sundress all work well for this dress code, too.

While a tank top can often be worn during the day at resorts, it is best not to bring one to resort evenings, since this type of dress code is meant for more formal occasions. A long sleeve dress is more appropriate at resort evenings, particularly if the weather is hot. A sleeveless sundress can work at dinnertime, but it should be paired with a stylish cover-up, such as a soft gauzy beach cover-up or a cardigan sweater in the same color as the dress.

If you aren’t sure what to wear for a specific event, ask the resort or cruise line about the attire requirements before heading out. Many places will post this information online, or you can check out the venue’s social media to see what people are wearing in photos.

Casual Eveningwear

In the evening, most resorts swap out resort casual attire for something slightly more formal. This is a great way to elevate the atmosphere for romantic dinners under twinkling stars or intimate conversations around the pool bar. It’s the perfect dress code to keep you feeling comfortable and confident while giving off a sophisticated, polished vibe.

Resort casual eveningwear focuses on elegant silhouettes in beautiful fabrics that are both lightweight and flattering to your body. Flowing silk and linen dresses, skirts, and jumpers are all excellent choices. Pair them with flat sandals or espadrilles for the daytime, resort casual and swap in heels or kitten heel slides for nighttime dancing under the moonlit skies.

While some may confuse the term “resort casual” with being a dress code for swimwear, it actually refers to a more relaxed version of business casual or a slightly dressier form of semi-casual. It’s what you would wear on a cruise ship or a golf club for the day, but it’s not appropriate at all venues for the evening.

If you’re wondering what to wear for a night out on the town at your resort, consider a sundress or skirt and blouse combination. These pieces are a stylish and comfortable option to wear when you’re going out for drinks, dinner, or the resort’s “local” bar. A maxi dress or sundress with a simple jacket or sweater is also a nice choice. Jeans are a tough call because they tend to blur the line between resort casual and regular, casual clothing, but they’re fine if they’re in a dark wash or are high-end and crisp.

If you’re shopping for resort casual dresses or other styles to pack in your suitcase for a tropical getaway, check out Patchington’s selection of women’s cruise wear and beachwear. You’ll find tops, dresses, skirts, and pants in a range of beautiful patterns, fabrics and designs that are all designed for travel. Plus, the site offers a wide range of shoes and accessories to complement your new wardrobe. It’s the ultimate one-stop shop for everything you need to look and feel your best while vacationing.

Elegant Casual

When you hear the term resort casual, your first thought is probably not about a classy summer dress or a pair of heels. But that’s a good thing, because when it comes to resort casual attire you can actually mix and match lots of different pieces for comfortable, stylish looks that are suitable at a variety of venues. The key is that you need to be careful with the fabrics that you choose as the dress code rules can vary from place to place.

Generally, the best choice for a resort casual look is breathable cotton or linen pants. These will keep you cool and dry even in the hottest temperatures and they’re also light enough to wear when it starts getting cool in the evening. The same goes for sundresses and tee dresses. Both of these types of garments come in a wide range of colors and beautiful prints and they’re often paired with accessories like sandals or hats to give your outfit a more formal edge.

As with casual beachwear, you can dress up your resort casual looks with a light scarf wrap or hat and some fine gold jewelry for a nighttime look that is slightly more sophisticated than jeans and a t-shirt. This is the type of attire you’d wear for a dinner date with your S.O at a resort restaurant, rather than the sort of informal clothes you might wear for a weeknight dinner at your local diner.

This type of dress code is sometimes called “casual elegance” and it’s usually the dress code you’ll encounter at a country club or an upscale restaurant. It’s a step up from jeans and a t-shirt, but it’s still a far cry from business casual. For men, this means long-sleeved button-down shirts and slacks (no shorts or t-shirts) and for women it’s about skirts and dresses, with appropriate shoes.

Jeans are not recommended for this resort casual dress code, as they toe the line between casual and elegant, but you could wear them if you chose a dark wash or starch-white style that’s appropriate for resort casual. Other than that, you should avoid denim altogether and stick to linen styles instead, which are both lighter and more comfortable.

Chic Casual

In some resort venues and cruise ships, the dress code is referred to as “chic casual.” This type of attire falls between the categories of casual and business formal. Essentially, it is a step up from jeans and a tee shirt but down from a cocktail dress or suit and tie. Gentlemen can wear nice pants (like linen or cotton) and a collared shirt without a jacket or tie, while ladies may opt for a sundress or skirt. In most instances, hats and flip-flops are not appropriate.

Aim for a sophisticated look with resort chic casual apparel by pairing a breezy sundress or skirt with heels and fine jewelry for evenings out on the town. For example, a ruched silk or chiffon dress that ties at the waist and has a wide boat neck line pairs nicely with heeled strappy sandals and a wrap for a sexy yet relaxed beach night.

Resort casual attire can be a bit confusing, particularly when it comes to the definition of what is considered appropriate. Some hotels and resorts have specific dress guidelines while others have a general, unspoken understanding of what works and what doesn’t.

When deciding what to pack, consider whether your destination will have a dress code and what the activities on your itinerary will be. If you’ll be dining at upscale restaurants, for example, you should bring resort casual apparel that is appropriate to the occasion.

If you want to make sure you have the perfect resort casual outfit for your next vacation, set aside money in a dedicated fashion fund. Use the cash envelope method or a zero-based budget to create this sinking fund so that you can purchase clothing and accessories whenever necessary. This allows you to stay stylish even on a tight budget. In addition to keeping your wardrobe fresh, this practice will help you feel confident about dressing for any situation on your trip. This will make for an enjoyable and stress-free experience.