What is resort wear? Resort wear refers to vacation wear that's worn at resorts or on cruises. More specifically, the term "elegant resort wear" may be used to discourage choices that are so casual as to be inappropriate. As a general rule, resort attire is geared toward warmer weather and walks the line between comfort and elegance. Typically cruise line and resort dress codes include both casual everyday wear, as well as guidelines for formal resort attire when it comes to cocktail parties or formal events. While dress codes can vary between resort elegant or a casual dress code, some general guidelines apply anywhere.

Daytime for Women

Even during the day, assume that standards of elegance apply. Though you may spend a lot of your vacation poolside in a bikini, your bathing suit isn't appropriate anywhere except the pool and beach. Maxi dresses are excellent for their versatility and can be used as a swimsuit cover-up for your swimwear or as a classy yet laid-back sundress for days in port or walks around town. As an alternative to shorts, wear cropped, fitted capri pants and a nice t-shirt. It's wise to err on the conservative side when the dress code calls for elegant resort casual; avoid risque or otherwise offensive clothing.

Daytime for Men

Khakis or casual slacks with a polo shirt are the rule of thumb when it comes to elegant casual daywear for men. If the resort or cruise is more upscale, your leisure wear need not be more formal, but perhaps of better design and quality. Ball caps, sleeveless shirts and tennis shoes are fine, as long as they stay outdoors. When you’re going to be staying inside, opt for slightly more formal dress attire. Think country club casual, something like boat shoes or dress sandals, comfortable linen pants and a nicer shirt or a blazer is a great starting point.

Evening Attire for Women

Red carpet-worthy, full length evening gowns are no longer the norm on cruises and in resorts. Since the early 2000s, when cruise lines such as Norwegian and Oceania introduced more casual guidelines for cruise wear, formal nights have become not only less frequent, but also less formal. Dressy pantsuits or cocktail dresses are usually appropriate resort outfits, and packing the right accessories can give you a wider range of options. Add glamour to a pantsuit with a pair of killer stilettos, or jazz up a basic dress with a well-matched feather accessory such as a boa or dangling feather earrings.

Evening Attire for Men

Make the distinction between night and day without donning a tuxedo. Dress suits and nice collared shirts are usually as formal as it gets for resort evening wear -- unless otherwise specified -- and sometimes a dress shirt, dress shoes and nice slacks are enough. Bring a jacket and tie in case. The GQ Style Guy recommends linen or seersucker suits for warmer climes, and warns that sneakers, sandals and flip-flops are never acceptable.