The following is an actual text message conversation I had this afternoon with one of my dear friends and fabulous fashion clients.
her - "Dear Style Guru . . . I have a reception to go to next week. Dress is Resort Attire. What would that mean exactly? Yours truly . . . Unprepared.
me - hahahaha! Resort attire is like business casual with a twist. It's a little more fun, and a little more flirt. Like a pretty Lilly Pulitzer dress with a St. Johns knit cardigan jacket. Or a vibrant Diane Von Furstenberg wrap dress with great shoes. But you don't have to look like a crayon box blew up either. A classic black dress with fabulous heels and big jewels is still resort, just as the perfect white linen pants, white blouse, and amazing accessories. What time is the reception? And where is it?
her - It's 6-8 PM and is being held at a home on (a prestigious) boulevard. Help me! You're my only hope!
me - I'd go with a vibrant colour - like aqua or corral. Or even all white. With tons of Yurman. (you see, I know she loves David Yurman - and has PLENTY to go around!). Even a floral or geometrical print skirt with a fabulous blouse is perfect for the occasion. Fashionable, fun, and not fussy.
her - Ok, we may need to meet in person next week. And what about (her husband)?
me - Khaki and Navy pants, a dress shirt. No tie. Jacket optional. He can play "resort attire" up. I always wear a small, fun, silk scarf instead of a tie with the collar and cuffs more relaxed whenever an invitation denotes "resort wear". Just remember, it's not business casual. And it's not tacky Hawaiian shirts and leis either. And I gurantee people will be in both. But you and your husband will be absolutely fabulous.
so my friends, remember these simple points when an invitation denotes "resort attire".
-- resort does NOT mean business casual or tacky Hawaiian wear.
-- think vibrant colours for the season. right now I'm loving aqua, bright yellows, and corral.
-- feel free to incorporate patterns or prints. just don't go overboard. pair a printed skirt with a solid jacket or blouse.
-- besides yourself, the only other person your attire must please is the hostess. After all, she's the one who picked the theme in the first place. And you don't want to draw attention for the wrong reasons (like wearing some tacky costume of a dress).
-- have fun. the best accessory a "resort attire" can include is a "resort attitude"...when you're on holiday, you're relaxed, feeling good, and loving life. So have a cocktail or two or ten and relax. Parties and receptions are always a good thing.