At heart, resort wear is fashion's vacation. It's still stylish and dapper, but unlike its more formal forebears, it's far more at home on a tropical island like those rebellious, wanderlust-enslaved rakes who've championed it over the years: think James Bond on his tropical jaunts, Bruce Wayne on his yacht, or Hemingway pounding his typewriter with the Cuban breeze crossing his brow. Here's our guide on how to unravel it and make it your own.
Resort wear calls entirely for a light-hearted and bright-coloured wardrobe that is casual and comfortable for warmer weather. You can wear it at the beach, by the pool and afterwards, to the bar. In all likelihood, resort wear will probably acquit you perfectly anywhere with palm trees, beach sand and coconut-based cocktails.
Navy shorts are perfect for swimming, and you'll need nothing but a white linen pair of stylish leather sandals or loafers to ready you for the bar.
Shirts, trousers and sport coats tend to lightweight fabrics like linen and soft cotton, and prefer the lighter spectrum of colours to dark. Polos are acceptable, but a button-up is always better. Likewise, jeans are a viable option, but more often than not a soft trouser is more easily worn.
Resort wear's casual and comfortable nature permit more relaxed shapes and designs. In fact, loose-fitting and unbuttoned shirts are more than acceptable. Trousers, too, can be more tubular and less shaped, especially when worn without a jacket. A suit should remain well-cut, but can be a little looser than normal to allow better airflow and keep you cooler through the humid night.
Formal Resort Wear
Despite being one of the more relaxed members of the House of Fashion, resort wear still has its serious side. Reserved for more consequential evening occasions, formal resort wear encourages you to make a stylish distinction from your daytime outfit.
Jackets are often worn, but seldom black. White is a safe choice (but fraught with danger around red wine), as are light blues and greens with contrasting chinos in complimenting colours: light green and aqua,
If in doubt, a white linen trouser and jacket combination will tick all the boxes, but a three-piece will see you take out best-dressed.
Patterns are the power move in the resort wear arsenal. Feel free to experiment more boldly than you normally would. Shirts can be floral, checked or nautical-themed. A jacket, too, can carry a pattern, but should never clash with your shirt. To be safe, keep one patterned and the other plain to.
Ties are less common as shirts are worn loosely and open for better ventilation. If the evening does cool down, though, a very lightweight scarf makes for a great necktie.
Brightly coloured pocket squares are a must for suit jackets and sport coats, and a brown-banded dive watches can peek from your cuff to hint at how you passed the day. Gold, too, can make an appearance, and matches well with tan-coloured shoes.
Sunglasses and hats are stylish and sun-safe. Experiment with your lens colour, and sport a bright-coloured trilby or panama.
And most importantly, don't overthink it. Avoid over-complicating things - you're on holiday, after all.