Resortwear was not a distinct category for men until very recently. We packed our summer clothes in a suitcase, along with some swim shorts, and put on a straw hat before we headed to the airport.
We are more conscious of what we want and value feeling good while on vacation. We’ve highlighted the essential elements of a compact and stylish holiday wardrobe to help you relax while lounging by the poolside or at the restaurant.
This set of resortwear will ensure you have everything you need, whether it’s horizontal days at the beach or post-dinner drinks.
Swim shorts tailored
You can find great inspiration for swim shorts by going back to the 50s and 1960s when Cary Grant was gracing Cannes’ promenade in To Catch a Thief. Dustan Hoffman, wearing a similar pair of swim shorts in The Graduate’s iconic image, is seen reading on a poolfloat.
This elegantly tailored style with a straight leg is chic and timeless. It can be worn with a linen shirt to go from beach to restaurant without feeling overdressed. Orlebar Brown’s Bulldog short was the first to introduce modern styles in 2007. However, you will find many resortwear brands that offer sleek, tailored styles today.
Terry Cloth Polo
Terry towelling is enjoying a revival now. The only thing that surprises is why it fell out of favor. It is made with a loop yarn in a pick and normal chain. The looped ends are strong and create a soft, absorbent fabric.
It’s perfect for lounging by the pool, and it’s also a lightweight, tactile fabric that will add a unique texture to holiday outfits. It works well with polo shirts, tees and tees. However, you also have softly tailored options such as terry jackets from Armor Lux and Oliver Spencer.
Cuban Collar Shirt
The iconic Cuban collar shirt, just like the guayabera shirt, has been part the Caribbean’s menswear culture for ages, but only recently has it seen a revival in the West.
It’s an essential piece of summer kit and the structureless collar that gently opens at the chest makes it non-negotiable. There are plenty of lightweight linen and cotton styles, as well as some silk options. You can wear it with loafers or tailored shorts for a professional look, or with casual chinos and sandals.
Plain styles can be paired with interesting textures such as seersucker or waffle knits. On the patterned side, you have endless options to add Caribbean cool to your seasonal wardrobe.
Resort Collar Polo
The resort collar is an addition to the traditional two- or three button placket polo, which is very useful. A resort collar is a collar that has a medium spread with no stand. It naturally sits flat to the chest and looks more like a bowling shirt.
Its absence of buttons confirms its informality. You can wear it with tailored swim trunks at day or with a pair of loafers and tapered chinos for an elegant summer evening look. The polo can be dressed up in textures such as linen and terry cloth, while smooth cotton jersey gives it a more sophisticated look.
Since the 14th century, peasant footwear, espadrilles, were made in the Basque region of Spain and Occitania (France). The espadrille is known for its soft canvas upper and esparto-rope sole. It has been reimagined as a stylish, casual summer shoe, and an alternative to open-toe sandals.
These peasants would not be surprised to learn that the modern-day Espadrille is the best shoe for casual, smart summer style. You can wear it on the beach or in the evening to dress up a smart look.
Linen is the best for summer trousers because of its lightweight breathability. Flax crops are more sustainable than cotton, and linen cloth has natural slubs that give it a subtle texture.
It is a dynamic fabric that can be cut in wide-leg trousers, but it also looks great as a separate suit. It can be easily dressed up or down with sandals and loafers, so opt for neutral colors to create a sophisticated background for brighter resort polos, tops, and tees.
The linen shirt, much like the linen trousers mentioned above, is an essential part of a sophisticated resort wardrobe. This shirt, aside from its already-lauded qualities of linen, has a more relaxed soft roll collar than its cotton counterpart.
Its versatility is its strength. You can either wear it with a jacket for a sophisticated summer look or over your swimsuits and espadrilles to give it a more bohemian vibe. While the most classic option is white, pastels and rich blues work well as well.
The Perfect Plain Tee
The simple white T-shirt, an essential part of resort fashion, is hard to miss. The T-shirt can be worn as both a casual layer for the pool and as an underlayer for evening tailoring.
However, any white tee is acceptable. For a more polished look, choose a heavyweight cotton jersey with a relaxed fit. Knitted merino Tees can also be worn with tailoring in evenings but are not practical during the day.
Another great choice is linen and linen blends. However, the slubby texture of linen does not make it as neat as traditional cotton.
You don’t need to be a celebrity when it comes resortwear sneakers. Instead, opt for sleek, minimalist pumps that are more versatile. They can be worn with shorts or a polo during the day and chinos or a linen shirt in warm evenings.
Choose pared-back leather styles from Uniform Standard and the excellent French brand Zespa.
The choice between the linen blazer or the seersucker style was difficult. However, the winner got the nod because of its relaxed textural qualities. Joseph Haspel, a haberdasher, created the seersucker suit in New Orleans in 1909. Its name comes from Persian words shyr-shir and shkhr Shakar. This literally means’milk and sugar’.
If you are looking for a blazer to wear, stick with unstructured styles that have a natural drape. For a resort wardrobe, you can consider ivory, pastel, and navy tones, along with the traditional pinstripe style.