Resort Wear Trends For the Ultimate Beach Vacations

Ah, yes. Resort season. It is a tough one to pin down simply because it spans several months and includes everything from swimwear to coats and almost anything in-between. That was the case pre-pandemic. It seems to still be the case as the fashion world emerges from the restrictions of COVID-19 and looks beyond into a future that may still limit travel and social contact. Resort season continues to be a catchall time of the year for brands to feature items that are going to sell simply because of the length of the season and that it marks the beginning of the holidays.

A Confusing Mixture of Things

Confused yet? The early Resort 2022 Shows are not clarifying the situation any as they are showing what can only be described as a diverse and unpredictable spectrum of trends. Call it fashion chaos, but if you are comfortable wearing what appears to be a mismatch in styles, you are most certainly going to fit in with the current resort wear style. One thing is for sure, comfort is going to be one of the highlights where ease of movement and clothing that feels good are going to be the cornerstone of this season. That means everything from women’s shorts to coats is the in look.

Resort Wear Defined

Before we take a closer look at what the 2022 Resort Wear Season looks like, let’s learn a little bit more about what resort wear is all about and why it seems to be such an unusual time on the fashion calendar. Resort wear is clothing suitable for vacationing in warm-weather climates. Is that not the same as summer wear? Of course, not. You may know resort wear by another name: cruise wear.

That term should give you a better idea why it is not the same fashions as summer wear. A bit of history on cruise wear for you…it was originally launched as a fashion trend for elites and socialites. Resort wear was typically only available in high-end boutiques and department stores and featured clothing designed to be lightweight, easy to pack, and comfortable to wear in warm vacation climates. At the time, resort wear for women was light dresses, swimsuits, and linen separates. For men, resort wear meant colorful shirts, light pants, and walking shorts.

Women’s Resort Wear

Resort wear for women includes a lot of different clothing items, some of which, may not be considered traditional cruise wear. For example, there are sundresses in addition to flowing skirts. Light trousers, loose blouses, and tops all fall into the resort wear category for women. However, as these clothing items are meant for vacation, they can’t be heavy. The dresses and tops are normally without sleeves and low necklines are the norm. The odd thing about resort wear for women is that evening gowns are acceptable. That is as long as they are loose-fitting offering a relaxed look and casual style option from daytime wear.

Swimwear is a foundation of resort wear and this includes swimwear coverups. Suit designs can range from revealing bikini styles to strapless one-piece swimsuits, halter tops, and tanks. The cover-ups are typically light and sheer and either match the design of the swimsuit or have neutral colors or patterned fabric. Then there are the accessories that come with resort wear. As you would expect, this includes hats, beach bags, sunglasses, and jewelry. The beach bags are usually large to accommodate everything you would take to the beach and footwear would be open-toed such as sandals and thongs.

Men’s Resort Wear

Shorts are standard for men in resort wear. Only these shorts are not your typical cut-offs or athletic shorts. Instead, cruise wear shorts are longer and looser such as board shorts. These shorts that extend to just above the knee would be made from lightweight, breathable fabrics like cotton or linen. For dressing up, resort wear for men includes light dress shirts, comfy dress pants, and light sports coats. The most recognized piece of any man’s cruise wear wardrobe is the Hawaiian, or Aloha, shirt. It is a shirt that has short sleeves, is buttoned, and has been around since the 1930s. 

What makes this loose-fitting, lightweight, and breezy shirt so easy to spot is the patterns that adorn it. The patterns are brightly colored and usually have a tropical theme that includes graphics of birds, flowers, and other standard tropical images. What you may not know about this iconic shirt is that it is considered formal wear in Hawaii. As for resort wear footwear for men, closed-toe shoes are the standard. It is a mandated requirement in many resorts, so flip flops and sandals are out and boat shoes and casual loafers are in. 

The Colors And Fabrics of Resort Wear

The colors, prints, and fabrics used in resort wear are very different from regular seasonal clothing. With Hawaiin shirts in mind, it is easy to see that bright, natural colors dominate cruise wear collections. Expect to see bright yellows, deep blues, whites, light beige, and earthy khaki as the primary colors. One interesting aside regarding resort wear is that a nautical theme tends to appear frequently. This includes designs that feature anchors, rope, boats, shells, and sea life. It also means nautical colors of red, white, and blue are common. 

As for fabrics, because the clothing worn during resort season should be lightweight, breathable, easy to pack, and comfortable, cotton, silk, and poplin are the go-to fabrics. Linen is very popular because it is cool and feels nice when worn. Linen is also a popular choice because it lasts long, can take some abuse, and dries quickly. Another common fabric in use with resort wear is thin or sheer ones which are usually matched with swimwear or camisoles. Fabrics designers lean on for resort wear are also ones that are easy to wash and do not require ironing.

Final Thoughts

There you have it. Trends for resort wear are much the same as before. With resort season lasting so long during the year, and focusing on clothing that is suitable to wear in tropical climates, there are a lot of crossover possibilities. With standards that require the fashions to be light, bright, and comfortable, a lot of different things fall into what is now known as resort wear.


Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Russia - October 19-23, 2021


ELLE's 27th Annual Women In Hollywood Celebration Presented By Ralph Lauren And Lexus


About Author

New York Style Guide

New York Style Guide - Fashion Magazine, Beauty Tips, Fashion Trends, Entertainment and Celebrity News from around the world.

Check Also