Resort wear is a specialized clothing style, as well as a year-round fashion "season". Sometimes known as "cruise wear", it was originally marketed by "upscale" stores and collections only to very affluent customers who were expected to spend the post-Christmas/New Year's weeks in warm-weather climates.
More recently, designers, store buyers, and the media are viewing "resort wear" as a specialized year-round clothing style and fashion season. There are some important reasons for this. Areas such as Las Vegas, Marbella, Bahamas, Palm Beach, San Juan, and the San Barth and the Mustique Islands were holiday destinations, but they are now places of year-round living for more affluent customers. From the spectacular resort destinations of Dubai, South Africa and Thailand, to the Spanish Coast, Costa Rica and the Greek Islands, resort wear popularity is growing and it is not surprising to see Hawaiian shirts being worn on the Mexican Riviera. It has become a cross-cultural style that signifies relaxation, affluence, and appreciation of nature which displays a sense of style to the wearer.
From walking shorts, caftans and sandals, to full-length evening dresses for women and light dinner jackets for men, resort wear is unique in its design and function. Resort wear is generally made from cotton, silk, denim, microfiber, straw and poplin that are easy to pack, lightweight and breathable. They are easy to clean and look great without ironing or fuss, much like the new hair styles that are casual, yet very fashionable.
It is characterized by the "nautical" style, inspired by sailor and yachting themes, classic Hawaiian prints of palm trees and hula girls, brushed denim from San Francisco, bright floral prints from South America, minty greens, yellows, blues and whites from the Mediterranean and natural materials and glove-weight leathers from the Caribbean. Large hats, sunglasses, open-toed shoes and innovative waistlines complete the look of sun-soaked destinations. The style has already been the subject of small runway shows in New York, Paris and Milan.
Though designers and design houses as J. Crew, Banana Republic, Lilly Pulitzer, and Tommy Bahama have pioneered the style, other leading designers are now creating resort wear. Chanel, Oscar de la Renta, Michael Kors, John Galliano, Matthew Williamson, Anna Sui, Prada and many other designers have shown resort wear in their collections.
- Cruise collection
- List of fashion designers
- List of grands couturiers
- Fashion Week
- Haute couture