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    I'm a member of the unfortunate community of individuals who absolutely cannot properly pack for vacation. At a minimum, I spend nearly three months of the year traveling, yet I haven't mastered the art of curating a mini wardrobe that's weather-appropriate, event appropriate, and full of all the essentials. Without fail, I either pack too little (and find myself with only three pairs of underwear and no toothbrush for a two-week trip) or too much (and am left with a suitcase five kilos over the limit).

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    The worst-case scenario? Arriving at my destination and realizing I've failed to pack stylish outfits that suit the dress code of the resort I'm staying at. I once packed my most fashionable assortment of items for a trip to Dubai, only to find out that none of my pieces suited the strict dress code. That being said, resort dress codes can be difficult to interpret, thanks to confusing categories like "elegant casual" (a total oxymoron, IMO). Thus, today I thought it would be useful to curate a guide to resort dress codes.

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    The hope is that it’ll serve as a reminder not only to pack underwear and a toothbrush (very important), but perhaps a wrap and evening dress as well, given the dress code. Read on…

    Resort Casual 

    "Resort casual" is my favorite dress code—this 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, however; some of my favorite pieces make an appearance here in the form of giant floppy sun hats, caftans, and a Loewe tote.

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    Resort Casual Clothing for Vacations, Tropical Holidays and Cruise ship Dressing

    Resort casual or Casual resort attire normally refers to women's resort wear that is more on casual side or casual beach dresses or even semi formal beach dresses. One can imagine polo style shirts, sundresses, linen pants, skorts, shorts, skirts, button up tops, and dresses. Nothing fancy, but not just t-shirts and jeans either. Resort casual attire is exactly as it sounds - clothing you would be wearing at a resort. This clothing should usually include something such as a nice khaki pant or shorts with a crisp, clean top. The phrase "resort casual wear" causes anxiety in many a cruise attendee with its seemingly oxymoronic nature. Is it casual? Is it formal? What kind of shoes can I wear? How long should my skirt be? While the exact rules may vary by specific resort or cruise, simply imagine that you are going to a country club with your grandmother. As you pack for your upcoming honeymoon or romantic getaway to a good hotel or resort, make sure that you bring along a proper wardrobe for the anticipated weather that includes a few items that fall into the category of "resort casual" clothing. Here's why: the management at some hotels, golf resorts, and cruise lines may have specific guidelines on what guests can wear to participate in certain activities, such as dining in their better on-site restaurants. In order to be able to participate, it's advisable to adhere to those guidelines and select clothing accordingly. During the day, casual wear typically prevails when you're on vacation. At torrid spots by a beach, for example, it makes sense to wear as little as possible. But requirements can change once the sun goes down.

    Women's Resort casual Clothing

    Determining what is and what is not appropriate resort casual wear for woman can actually be a more difficult endeavor. Women can, of course, wear khakis, linen pants, slacks and collared shirts like their male counterparts, but they are typically expected to wear dresses or skirts in situations that call for resort casual apparel. Classy, knee-length summer dresses, bright colored dresses, prints/patterns and skirts are always a good way to go.

    Adding the term, "resort" to the call for "casual" indicates attire that is a sophisticated cut above daywear. Come dinner time, resort casual are bywords that describe a look that's more covered up and conservative than beachwear. There's something nice about dressing up a little for a special night, especially if it's your honeymoon or a romantic occasion. That said, it's time for some of these places to update the rules. Resort is a “Season”, Despite the fact that few people are wealthy enough to purchase an entirely new wardrobe before they go away on vacation, fashion designers forge ahead and release styles intended for a resort “lifestyle.” For women that usually means colorful cotton shifts and similar tops with white slacks. If you're concerned about dressing appropriately when resort casual is the rule, see the guidelines below.

    Resort Casual for Women can be defined as a breezy summer dress, cotton dress, linen dress or a matching skirt/blouse combination. If you wear denim, it should be on the high-end, dressy side of the scale, and as long as they're made of nice fabric, you can probably even get away with capris.The rules for footwear are a little more lax for ladies than for men; almost anything dressy works, including sandals. You should avoid flip-flops unless you're going to and from the beach or pool. A lot of the "don't wear" options are the same for ladies as for the men: Skip evening gowns (the female equivalent to a suit jacket), athletic wear, tank tops and anything with a big logo on it. However, in the more relaxed venues – or if you're lingering near the beach or pool – women can sometimes get away with wearing a swimsuit coverup, as long as it's reasonably decorous. Aim for crew neck or boat neck necklines and wide straps. Women have several options when dressing to fit the resort casual dress code. A clean and pressed blouse can be paired with a nice pair of pants or a skirt. Bold colors and prints are fine as long as they coordinate nicely with the rest of the ensemble. A casual dress or sundress is also a popular choice, as long as the dress is tasteful--not too short or low-cut. 

    Resort Casual in the Daytime- What to wear at a resort can be easily deciphered. Most resorts and cruise ships have a “resort casual” or a “smart beach casual” dress code, if any dress code at all, in the daytime. Guests at hotels with a resort casual dress code should avoid wearing T-shirts with advertising or slogans on them and restrict athletic clothing to the gym. Otherwise, there's lots of flexibility in resort attire. A bathing suit is perfectly fine for the beach. When walking around the resort, or, for daytime meals at resort restaurants, women should toss a dress-like cover-up over their swimwear. Men should wear a shirt, and, if their bathing suit is small, add a pair of shorts. Restaurants require shoes for health and safety reasons, and flip-flops meet the definition of resort casual during the day. Swimwear with a beach cover-up is also fine for leaving the resort for water excursions

    Men's Resort Casual Clothing- Men should wear a clean and pressed button-down shirt or a nice polo shirt. Paired with khakis or other quality pants, this creates a classic resort casual look. Light- and bold-colored shirts are acceptable as are subtle patterns. Jackets and sport coats are not needed.


    Resort casual means ditching the bathing suit for land-based excursions, though. For one thing, it’s likely too hot. Shorts and T-shirts are OK for shopping on the spice isle of Grenada or visiting the marketplace at Fisherman’s Village at Resorts World Bimini in the Bahamas. Dressing up a little, perhaps with a skirt or collared shirt, is welcome when you're exploring the capitals of the Caribbean islands, as many islanders tend to dress a touch more formally. When packing resort casual wear for your holiday, remember to pack clothes that breathe, especially if you’re not used to the heat and humidity. Natural fibers like cotton and linen and loose-fitting clothing are best. People who wear tight-fitting clothing soon realize how sweaty they get in the heat while they explore Barbados, Honduras or Costa Rica.

    Resort Casual at Night

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