You’ve made your flight and hotel reservations, and now you just need to equip yourself with some gorgeous, resort wear clothing for that upcoming trip to Antigua. Whatever you call the look—resort wear, cruise wear, vacation wear—it’s all the same: beautiful, effortlessly elegant pieces that look dynamite on your warm-weather getaway. Once you buy that first special swimsuit, cover-up, or dress you’ll wonder how you ever made do with run-of-the-mill T-shirts and shorts. Plus, some of us live in Florida, LA, and other year-round warm climes and wear these clothes day in, day out, so it’s truly imperative to have access to gorgeous tropical-inspired clothes and swim wear all year round. Our editors have culled some favorite pieces from JCrew and Tory Burch, two of the very best retailers who stock beautiful resort wear:
JCrew is a trusted source for reliably stylish, minimalist clothes that will look great on vacation, whether you’re scaling a pyramid at Chichen Itza or snorkeling on the beach at Tulum. This perennial favorite offers a standout selected of sophisticated yet sexy swimsuits, in particular. Bestsetters include the swimwear featured in the Luxe Tulle Collection, which features a retro, ‘40s-pinup style with ruched tops, bottoms, and one-pieces in colors like bright navy (this season’s black), deep violet, and dark rosewood. Priced at $60 and up, these pieces make it simple to look relaxed yet chic without putting too much effort into it. And JCrew created their own tulle blend, which means that the swimwear retains its shape and dries quickly, as you can dive in without a care, then toss a summery tunic on top for lunch at a restaurant.
Later on, for evening wear it’s hard to top the Maisie Dress in Abstract Floral ($178), which updates this season’s must-have shirtdress in a floaty, crinkled-silk abstract floral design. According to the company, the print is based on a 1940s-era pattern found at an Italian flea market, so you know you’re stepping out in true cosmopolitan style. The psychedelic pattern blends deep, rich purple—perhaps Fall/Winter 2011’s trendiest color—with hints of camel and leaf green that keep the overall effect light and ethereal. The style itself features a swingy, A-line skirt, shirring at the waist and neck, a buttoned front, versatile long sleeves, and slight fraying around the peasant-style neckline. Add some cute flat leather sandals, toss a chunky cardigan in your bag for when it gets cool, and set out for that luau.
If Tory Burch isn’t already one of your coveted resort-wear designers, well, by all means stop by the label’s online shop and check out her American-chic creations perfect for that coastal Malibu hike or beach picnic with the kids. Blake Lively, Isla Fisher, and Mad Men’s Elizabeth Banks are just three of the always elegantly attired celebrities who love Tory’s preppy bohemian style, which emphasizes bold caftans, embroidered tunics, and sequined cardigans, as well as gorgeous swimwear, T-shirts, jewelry, sandals, and sunglasses.
First, make sure you have a great embellished T-shirt that can dress up your capris or be thrown on over swimgear. For instance, the Pernille Tee ($95, on sale for $66.50) is a cute, boxy T that’s been given an edgier look thanks to cool graphics, including kissing birds, hearts, and Tory’s iconic logo on the front. It’s all rendered in a soft, all-cotton knit in a mélange of smoky gray and black.
Next, check out her tunics, which include the floaty Brigitte Tunic ($265, on sale for $132.50), available in three adorable combinations, including Golden Sud, a mustard-and purple vintage abstract-floral print. Team it with flax-colored cuffed shorts and beaded sandals and head to breakfast on the terrace.