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.
Country clubs naturally conjure up visions of polo shirts, khaki pants and loafers, and these items are 100 percent appropriate for resort casual wear. Collared shirts are a must, whether polo shirts or button-downs. Although there is little limitation in terms of color or pattern, use your judgment and avoid oversized logos or text. Although khakis or linen pants are a nature resort casual choice for day wear, slacks are a smart choice for dinners and other evening events. Avoid sandals and other shoes that show more bare foot than a loafer or boat shoe would.
Determining what is and what is not appropriate resort casual wear for woman can actually be a more difficult endeavor. The basic tenets are fuzzier, consisting of more guidelines than rules. 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 and skirts are always a good way to go. Aim for crew neck or boat neck necklines and wide straps.
How Casual Is Resort Casual?
The "casual" in resort casual may seem formal or relaxed, depending on who you are speaking with. For a student, resort casual is essentially a type of formal dress, required nice, pressed garments not typically worn every day. Jeans are not typically appropriate, although expensive, on-trend pairs may be acceptable in certain fashion-forward settings. Women should exercise discretion in their hem and necklines, erring on the reserved side. If you are looking to spice up this seemingly bland type of attire, look to the runway resort or cruise lines. Many prominent designers from America and Europe show new looks each year.
When Is Resort Casual Required?
Resort casual is often lumped together with business casual or cruise wear, but there are things you can wear at a resort that wouldn't be appropriate for a casual business meeting, and cruise wear that you couldn't get away with at a resort. Although resort casual is the dress code on many cruise lines, there is a trend toward more relaxed cruise apparel. Check your cruise line's dress code specifically before packing to make sure resort casual dress is required. Resort wear is always appropriate at a country club, golf club or resort during the day, though you often need more formal attire for evening events.