ABC's of Resort Wear

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22 June 2012

Resort wear has long confused fashion mavens and novices alike. What exactly is this “fifth season” of clothing? Why do designers take the time to create a resort wear collection in the first place? Do people actually buy from these collections? And if so, do they really wear said garments to a resort?

Curious (naturally), The Stylish City grabbed a high fashion shovel and partook in bit of digging to answer those very questions. Below you’ll find a brief history of resort wear along with a few resort wear 2013 trends we’re loving.


Valentino Resort 2013. Photo by Giovanni Giannoni WWD.com

Norma Kamali Resort 2013. Photo by George Chinsee WWD.com

What is Resort Wear?

While the term seems pretty self-explanatory, resort wear is more than just clothing you wear to some fancy schmancy resort. It’s essentially a year-round “season” created for people going on vacation. It’s sometimes referred to as cruise wear or tropical wear.

The collections comprise a full scale of options, from casual walking shorts and caftans to evening gowns and light dinner jackets. Many designers utilize breathable, luggage-friendly materials for their collections. Think cotton, silk, microfiber, poplin and denim.

Resort wear is different from standard seasonal collections in the sense that it makes a distinct effort to fuse functionality with fashion. In short: the goal of resort wear is to make you look good while feeling great despite warmer temps.

Why Do Designers Create a Resort Wear Collection?

You’d think designers had enough on their plate with spring, summer, fall and winter, but many choose to make an additional resort wear collection. Why? Because the stuff is extremely profitable. Think about it. People vacation year round and are willing to spend extra money to look good in all those photographs that’ll be had.

Who Creates Resort Wear?

Designers and design houses such as Banana Republic, Tommy Bahama and J. Crew pioneered the whole resort wear fad, but many others have continued the trend. Almost all major designers showcase resort wear collections including Michael Kors, DVF, Prada, Chanel, Versace, Alexander Wang, Givenchy, Giorgio Armani and Valentino.

Who Buys Resort Wear?

Initially, resort wear was marketed to affluent shoppers who moseyed around upscale department stores. Today, resort wear is worn by people of all ages and incomes.


Ferragamo Resort 2013. Photo by Dominique Maitre WWD.com

Roberto Cavalli Resort 2013. Photo by Giovanna Pavesi WWD.com

Chanel Resort 2013, Photo by Giovanni Giannoni WWD.com

Valentino Cruise 2013 WWD.com

Three Resort Wear 2013 Trends We Adore:

Natural Nudes: There’s something about natural hues, especially when layered on top of each other, that whispers, “sophistication.” Designers such as Alexander Wang, Dior, Emporio Armani and Calvin Klein utilized creamy whites, soft browns, pale pinks and muted grays in their 2013 collections.

Flashy Colors: The opposite side of the color spectrum — flashy color pops — are also on trend for 2013 resort wear. Think deep purple paired with burnt orange, color blocked primaries and monochromatic reds, greens and pinks. Nanette Lepore, Marchesa, DKNY and Erin Fetherston made use of these colors in their collections.

 Native/Tribal Prints: It seems that native and tribal prints are never out of style. Probably because there’s a million different heritages to pull from. Resort wear 2013 is all about African, Navajo and Egyptian inspired prints. Alice by Temperly, BCBG Max Azria and Mara Hoffman all showcased the native/tribal trend in their collections.

By Wendy Rose Gould


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Posted by Wendy Rose Gould at 12:00 AM
Fashion: Trends, Style, and Business , Opinions , Trends , Trends |



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