Ever had that moment of staring blankly at your closet, trying to de-code the resort dress code for your beach getaway? Since 2021, Zuzu & I have visited 16 beach resorts so we know the feeling!
Cracking the resort dress code can sometimes feel like you’re trying to solve a complex puzzle. If Daytime Casual sounds a little too much like Resort Casual, don’t worry.
We’re here to demystify the seven (yes, seven!) beach resort dress code levels for you.
Pro Tip: While there is overlap between these dress codes, we’ve listed them in order of most casual dress code to most formal dress code.
Kicking Back in Beach Casual
Here we are on a free trip to Hyatt Place PCB in Beach Casual attire!
When you envision letting loose on the beach, soaking up some sun, and frolicking in the waves, ‘Beach Casual’ is your best friend. Fellas, your swim trunks will serve you well. Ladies, it’s time to rock that bathing suit.
And for your feet? Flip-flops, of course.
Pool Casual Dress Code
From Pool Dips to Sun Loungers
When we’re spending the day by the pools like we did on our free trip to Secrets Moxche, ‘Pool Casual’ is what to wear.
Whether you’re making a splash or simply unwinding with a book, bathing suits are what to wear! But when you step out of the water, a cover-up and some flip-flops or sandals would be perfect.
They’re about the same but pool casual includes a wrap or coverup once you’re out of the water or your lounge chair.
Daytime Casual Dress Code
Soak Up the Sun
When you venture from the beach to grab a bite at the resort’s restaurant (like we did here with Theogene on our free trip to Secrets St Martin), ‘Daytime Casual’ is what you should aim for.
This could be a bathing suit cover-up or a pair of shorts paired with a simple top or t-shirt. And for your feet, definitely sandals.
Remember, you’re on vacation, not attending a corporate event.
Casual Dress Code
Blending Cozy and Chic
When you’re not in the pool or on the beach, the most common resort dress code is ‘Casual’. Like how we’re dressed at Hyatt Ziva Riviera Cancun in this picture, ‘Casual Dress Code’ translates to wearing clothes that are comfy yet fitting for a resort.
Casual Dress Code includes Bermudas (long shorts) or Capri pants, worn with sneakers or tennis shoes. Ladies, it’s important to pair your bathing suit with a wrap or a cover-up. And guys, it’s best to avoid sleeveless shirts.
At Secrets Maroma (Zuzu’s favorite All Inclusive Resort), the buffet would regularly turn away men who wanted to ignore the “No Sleeveless Shirt” part of ‘Casual’ dress code.
Don’t be that guy!
Resort Casual Dress Code
The Staple Resort Attire
While Zuzu is taking dozens of steps at the Andaz Maui Resort in this picture (our $6k stay was free on Hyatt points), ‘Resort Casual’ is barely one step up from ‘Casual.’ The essentials are Bermudas or Capri pants, sneakers or tennis shoes.
Ladies, the cover-up over your bathing suit is still in vogue. And guys, the rule still stands – no sleeveless shirts.
If you’re at an All Inclusive resort, keep in mind that different restaurants might have different dress codes.
According to Tomiko at Passports & Grub, some restaurants at Beaches in Turks and Caicos have a Casual dress code and some are Resort Casual. Similarly, Karee at Our Woven Journey details a resort where 2 of 5 restaurants require men to wear long pants.
Almost no difference. Resort casual is a little bit more dressy than regular casual but you’re still dressing to enjoy yourself in a casual resort setting.
While jeans might technically match the resort casual dress code, denim is a poor choice for warm weather. Go with linen pants or chinos instead of jeans.
Resort casual is way more relaxed. Shorts and sandals are perfect for Resort Casual but could get you fired if you’re supposed to be wearing Business Casual.
Casual Elegance Dress Code
Bringing Some Sophistication
Resort events in the evening or a fancy dinner at the resort’s exclusive restaurant often call for a ‘Casual Elegance’ dress code.
Gents, your best pick would be long pants, collared shirts, and either sneakers or dress sandals. Ladies, a dress shirt with short sleeves would work wonders.
Just remember, leave the flip-flops and sleeveless shirts behind for these occasions.
When a beach resort’s dress code says Casual Elegance, you need to look pretty nice. Don’t break out your formal attire but long pants for men and a casual dress for ladies is preferred.
Formal Dress Code
Time to Dress to the Nines
For those extraordinary events or swanky dining experiences at the resort, you’ll need to adhere to the ‘Formal’ dress code.
For men, it’s time to don long pants, collared shirts, and dress shoes. Ladies, you have an array of options: blouses, skirts, slacks or dresses, paired with dress shoes. These are the moments to showcase your elegance.
What’s the biggest difference in a beach resort formal dress code and a ‘Regular Formal Dress Code?’ Since you’ve got sun sand and heat, go for fabrics that will keep you cool.
Beach Wedding Attire
If you’re part of a destination wedding at a beach resort, you’re probably going for a dressy casual look.
While it’s possible that men might need a suit for a formal beach wedding, don’t bring your tuxedo to a beach resort. Unless you’re James Bond and jetted in on your private G6, there no such thing as a black tie dress code at a beach resort.
No. Even if you’re attending a wedding, it’s unlikely that men will be be expected to wear a tie at a beach resort.
Beach Resort Dress Codes
Now that we’ve broken down the variety of beach resort dress codes, packing for your next getaway should be a breeze. Remember, the key is to find the perfect balance between comfort and style, depending on the occasion.
Take the advice of Lanie at Trend-Able.com: Don’t stress too much over dress codes!
So, the next time you’re faced with the challenge of figuring out what to wear at a beach resort, just refer back to this guide. Whether you’re lounging by the pool, catching some rays on the beach, or dining at an exclusive resort restaurant, you’ll now be confident in your outfit choices.
How We Get To Travel for Free
Want to learn how Zuzu & I have been able to stay at so many beach resorts for free since 2021? Check out these blog post:
- How We Stay at Luxury Resorts for Free
- Best Travel Rewards Credit Cards
- Everything You Need to Know about Hyatt Points