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Resort wear is a clothing style as well as a year-round fashion "season". Sometimes known as "cruise wear", it used to be collections only for very affluent customers who were expected to spend the post-Christmas/New Year's weeks in warm-weather climates. However, due to the great increase in air travel and easy access to flights, Resort wear/ cruise fashion has become a more major clothing category.
Designers, store buyers, and the media are viewing "resort wear" as a specialized year-round clothing style and fashion season. 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. In tourist destinations like Dubai, South Africa, Thailand, the Spanish Coast, Costa Rica and the Greek Islands, resort wear is growing in popularity. 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. 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.
Though mainstream fashion houses like J. Crew, Banana Republic, Lilly Pulitzer, and Tommy Bahama have democratized and popularized the style, high-end houses and designers like Chanel, Oscar de la Renta, Michael Kors, Rachel Zoe, John Galliano, Matthew Williamson, Anna Sui, Prada, and Marc Jacobs have shown resort wear in their collections. Several upstarts like Devereux have created entire brands around relaxed, resort-style athletic motifs.
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