Summertime means peak resort season. However, dressing for a resort can be tricky. Many resorts have dress codes, and if you’re only taking a carry-on, it can be hard to figure out what to take with you and what to leave behind. To help you out, we’ve created a list of 10 essentials that you can use to form the basis of your resort wear wardrobe. Here’s what should be in your suitcase when you leave for your next vacay:
If you’re planning to bring along a slimming swimsuit, then you absolutely need a beach cover-up as well. Most places won’t let you in if you’re only wearing a swimsuit. Cover-ups are available in a wide range of styles and fabrics, ranging from sheer to totally opaque. Dresses are often a popular cover-up design because they’re only one piece, but you can totally wear some wide-legged pants and a shirt as a cover-up as well. The nicer the resort dress code, the more coverage, and style your beach cover-up should offer.
A maxi dress is an absolute must for any vacation wardrobe. These one piece outfits look great, cover your legs, and can be dressed up or down to suit almost any occasion. Again, the more formal the resort dress code, the nicer your maxi dress should be. Make sure that the dress packs down well and won’t become wrinkled in transit. If you love wearing maxi dresses, feel free to pack more than one. It’s convenient to have a more casual one for the daytime and a nicer one for the night.
In addition to maxi dresses, we also love to pack along a couple of skirts. We recommend taking two different lengths — either ankle or calf length and then a shorter one that falls above the knee. Choose skirts that are a little more formal, but nothing that is so fancy that it won’t match the tops you are packing along (more on that in a minute). There’s no faster way to dress up your outfit than throwing on a skirt, making this the perfect way to comply with the resort dress code.
While you may be tempted to only pack shorts, it’s usually a good idea to have at least one pair of pants with you, even if you’re going somewhere hot. Pants can be dressed up more formally than shorts and keep your legs from sticking to seats (trust us, you’ll appreciate this if you get sunburned). If you’re going somewhere hot, then choose wide-legged, breezy pants in a breathable fabric such as linen or cotton. They will keep you cool and cute while providing the coverage you need. Plus, they’re the perfect item to throw over a women’s bathing suit.
Once you decide on what bottoms you are bringing, you can choose shirts to match. We recommend a combination of short-sleeve and long-sleeve tops that can be mixed and matched across your various bottoms for different looks. Try to bring shirts that have at least a little design detail on them, such as some lace or embroidery or a fun pattern. This will elevate your look and ensure that you are complying with the resort dress code.
Check the weather where you are going. If there’s a chance for it to be a little bit cooler, pack a jacket along with you. A jean jacket is always a solid choice that will go with practically anything, although it can be a little bit casual. If you think a jean jacket won’t be upscale enough, try a linen blazer or a jacket with a floral print. These layers will class up any outfit while also keeping you warm.
Sandals and Shoes
Shoes are often the bulkiest and heaviest part of any suitcase, which is why it’s essential to choose them wisely. Pick comfortable yet cute shoes that are very walkable — you don’t have room in your bag for beautiful yet painful shoes you can only wear for a few hours at a time. Choose shoes in neutral colors that can be worn with as many outfits as possible. Think versatile sandals and cute leather sneakers. If you can only wear the shoes with one of the outfits that you are taking, then you might need to leave that pair at home!
Hats are a must for keeping you safe from the sun, not to mention they can totally pull your outfit together. We recommend a wide-brimmed straw hat for both aesthetic and sun protection purposes. Choose a packable design that won’t get crushed or creased in your luggage. If you need help searching for styles, try looking for sun hats, panama hats, and boater hats. These hats will add a total summery vibe to your resort wear outfit while still looking sophisticated.
You have to bring a purse along anyways, so it might as well make a fashion statement, right? Handbags come in all shapes, sizes, and colors to complement literally any outfit. A super large tote bag can serve as a carry-on, while a small clutch packs away to next-to-nothing. Consider how much gear you’ll need to have on you and use that to narrow down your handbag option. Then, choose one in a color and style that will match with all of your outfits. Handbags can get bulky, so try to only take one if possible.
Whenever you travel, even if you’re not going to a resort, you should absolutely carry a pair of sunglasses with you. There are so many styles of sunglasses to suit every taste: sleek aviators, chunky retro frames, vintage cat eyes, classic tortoiseshell, and more. Choose a pair of sunglasses that will complement and elevate the clothes you are packing. For instance, if you’re going for more of a beachy, bohemian look, then aviators might not fit the vibe you’re going for. Don’t forget to pack a case to protect your sunglasses in transit!
Look cute and stay comfortable at your resort with these 10 outfit essentials. So long as you don’t forget to pack your underwear, you’ll be set for anything you decide to do!