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10 Must-Have Resort Wear Essentials for Your Dream Vacation

Updated: Jun 17, 2023

Don Cesar Hotel

Are you eagerly anticipating your upcoming dream vacation to a tropical paradise? Personally, I'm always looking for a way to have another dream vacation. I think I enjoy the planning as much as the vacation itself.

It's never too early to begin thinking about your resort wear as you plan your getaway. We must not forget to pack the perfect resort wear to make the most of our time in the sun.

In this blog post, we'll explore the top 10 resort wear essentials that will keep you stylish, comfortable, and ready for any adventure that awaits you.

This post contains affiliate links, meaning we receive a small commission if you decide to purchase through our links, at no cost to you.

Maxi Dress

woman sitting in chair at resort

A maxi dress is a quintessential resort wear piece that effortlessly combines style and comfort. Opt for lightweight, flowy fabrics in vibrant colors or floral prints. These dresses can take you from a relaxed day at the beach to a romantic sunset dinner.

I love a good maxi dress and this year maxi dresses have been available in high-end retailers and local retailers such as Walmart and Target. I do love a good buy when I see one.

I was not blessed with height but I do find that maxi dresses compliment every height, plus you can wear the maxi dress with wedges. I have a lot of wedges, because, again, I was not graced with supermodel height.


Let's not forget to make a splash at the pool or beach with stylish swimwear. Choose flattering swimsuits that suit your body type and reflect your personal style. From one-pieces to bikinis, there are endless options available to make you feel confident and fabulous.

I would say my swimwear wardrobe is all over the place. I have a mix of one-piece, two-piece, and cut-out one-piece swimwear. I love solid colors as well as a mix of bright swim pieces too.

This is truly a personal choice when it comes to choosing the perfect swimsuit for your next resort vacation.


white linen coverup

A stylish cover-up is essential for transitioning from the beach to a beachside café (or bar) or exploring local shops. Look for breathable materials like chiffon or linen that provide sun protection while keeping you cool. Kaftans, sarongs, or lightweight tunics are excellent choices.

I personally go for white linen coverups because the Florida sun can be quite harsh and I feel like I'm reflecting the sun when I wear white. Now I'm not sure how much sun I'm reflecting but at least it makes me feel better about my choices.

A cover-up is definitely needed when packing for your resort wear essentials.

Wide-Brim Hat

women wearing wide brim hat

Hats are my favorite! I love a good wide-brim hat that gives you the old-world Hollywood glamour feel.

Go ahead and wear that big hat! It's better to shield yourself from the sun. Not only does it protect your face and neck from harmful UV rays, but it also adds a sense of style (even mysteriousness) when wearing a hat that shields your face.

The only downside to bringing a wide-brim hat to your next resort vacation is packing it. I've actually looked on Youtube for the best packing ideas for large hats. I usually end up carrying them with me on the airplane because I'm almost positive that they will be ruined in my suitcase.

So my advice is to pack them delicately (at your own risk of course) or bring them with you while traveling.

Resort Wear Sandals

Moving on to footwear. Comfortable and fashionable sandals are a must for your resort vacation. You can choose flat or low-heeled options with cushioned soles for long walks along the beach or exploring local attractions.

You can choose sandals with colorful patterns or beaded designs. My resort sandals are more low-key. I prefer sandals in neutral colors that will go with multiple outfits. I have found that gold sandals complement a lot of bright designs which I tend to wear in the Sunshine State.

I'm also loving neutral slides which you can be dressed up or down with what you wearing.

Lightweight Tops

Pack a variety of lightweight tops that can be mixed and matched with different bottoms. Choose breathable fabrics like cotton or linen in bright colors or tropical prints.

Off-the-shoulder styles or flowy blouses can add a touch of resort chic to your vacation wardrobe.

I tend to bring athletic tops that are made out of breathable material for daytime activities. Choosing tops with a collar is a good choice too since most resort clubs have a dress code for court activities.

Linen Pants

Linen pants are a staple for resort wear. They are comfortable, breathable, and versatile. Opt for wide-leg or palazzo-style pants in neutral tones or vibrant shades.

Pair them with a breezy blouse or a tank top for an effortlessly chic look. I've found really good deals on linen pants here.

Beach Bag

A spacious and stylish beach bag is essential for carrying your essentials to the pool or beach. Look for a bag made of durable materials like canvas or waterproof material, with enough room to hold your sunscreen, towel, book, and other beach necessities.

I tend to differentiate between beach bags versus pool bags. I like to carry a durable bag to the beach like this one here and a cute straw bag like this one here to the pool.

Don't forget to choose a design that complements your resort style.


wearing sunglasses

Protect your eyes from the bright sun while adding a touch of glamour with a chic pair of sunglasses.

Opt for oversized frames, aviators, or cat-eye styles that suit your face shape. Consider polarized lenses for added protection and clarity.

I'm a big fan of Costas. My family boats a lot and Costas are great when out on the water plus Costa Del Mar is a local Florida company that we like to support. I have this pair and love them.

I've enjoyed watching their designs improve (become more fashionable) over the years and now my kids are hooked on the Costa brand too.

Statement Jewelry

Complete your resort wear essentials looks with eye-catching statement jewelry. Think colorful bracelets or hoop earrings.

These accessories can instantly elevate even the simplest of outfits, allowing you to express your personal style. Plus it's a good excuse to go shopping for new jewelry.

By packing these 10 resort wear essentials, you'll be prepared to embrace the sun, sand, and relaxation on your dream vacation. Remember, resort wear is all about being comfortable, stylish, and enjoying your time in paradise. So, go ahead, start planning your outfits, and get ready for a memorable and fashionable getaway!

Here are four tips for wearing resort wear

  1. Embrace vibrant colors and prints: Resort wear is all about embracing a laid-back, vacation vibe, so don't shy away from bold colors and playful prints. Opt for vibrant hues like turquoise, coral, or tropical prints that reflect the spirit of the resort destination.

  2. Choose lightweight and breathable fabrics: Since resort wear is typically worn in warm climates, it's essential to select fabrics that are lightweight and breathable. Look for materials like cotton, linen, or silk, as they allow air to circulate and keep you comfortable in the heat.

  3. Prioritize comfort and versatility: Resort wear should be comfortable and easy to wear. Choose relaxed silhouettes, such as maxi dresses, flowy skirts, or loose-fitting shirts, that allow you to move freely. Additionally, opt for versatile pieces that can be mixed and matched, creating multiple outfit options with fewer items.

  4. Pay attention to accessories: Accessories can elevate your resort wear ensemble and add a touch of glamour to your look. Consider adding a wide-brimmed hat, a straw tote bag, statement sunglasses, or colorful sandals to enhance your outfit. These accessories not only serve a practical purpose but also complement the relaxed and stylish nature of resort wear.

Remember, resort wear is all about embracing a relaxed and carefree style while still looking chic and put-together. Enjoy your vacation!

Read more articles from Florida Family + Lifestyle


Hello! I'm Tiffany, a creative travel writer, mother to three awesome kids, and Floridian. We like to visit beautiful Florida resorts and beaches, Florida State Parks, and explore destinations by boat. I like to write about our travel adventures and provide Florida lifestyle tips to other families traveling or living in the Sunshine State.


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