What Is the Dress Code for Elegant 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 style is geared toward warmer weather and walks the line between comfort and elegance. Typically cruise lines and resorts have dress codes for both casual everyday wear, as well as guidelines for evening formal events. While dress codes vary, 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, the bikini isn't appropriate anywhere except the pool and beach. Maxi dresses are excellent for their versatility and can be used as a cover-up or as a classy yet laid-back dress for days in port or walks around town. As an alternative to shorts, wear cropped, fitted capri pants. 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 day wear 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 and sneakers are fine, as long as they stay outdoors.
Evening Attire for Women
Red carpet-worthy 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, 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 are usually as formal as it gets for cruises and resorts -- unless otherwise specified -- and sometimes a dress shirt 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.