Coastal Chic a.k.a Resort Wear

After writing about the coastal grandmother, I’m ready to write about upgrading the neutral looks to a look I call coastal chic (or resort wear). There are things I like about the coastal grandmother look, but I prefer jazzing up my coastal styles with bright colors, big hats, and flowing garments.

Coastal Chic, a.k.a, resort wear

My love for resort wear intensifies during the spring, with warmer temperatures and vacations close on the horizon. Then, finally, I can start planning my fun summer outfits.

Here is the history of resort wear: How Resort Wear Came to Be by Stuart Dyer

Grace Kelly wearing a caftan and turban in 1972

As seen on television:

The White Lotus, on HBOmax in 2021, provided a lot of great examples of resort wear outfits. The characters on this show were over-the-top and a little annoying, but I loved the fashion in this show.

Murray Bartlett, Steve Zahn and Connie Britton in The White Lotus.Courtesy of Mario Perez / HBO.

Shopping the looks: I will include some links to key pieces of resort wear for both men and women, but if you prefer a different style, do a google or amazon search. There are many options available to buy from your favorite retailers. 

Coastal wear for women: outfits would include caftans, fancy cover-ups, robes, giant hats, big pieces of jewelry, and heeled sandals or fancy slides.

Mrs. Roper in Three’s Company

Inspired by Mrs. Roper, NPR published an article about the housedress in 2020:

The maxi dress:

I’ve always been a fan of flowy garments, and the maxi dress has been a summer staple for me.

Dana (my stylish sister-in-law) and I are vacationing in Florida, wearing resort wear trends in 2018.

Shop the maxi dress:

The Somerset Maxi Dress The Somerset Collection by Anthropologie $168

The caftan/kaftan:

I got into wearing caftans during the pandemic. It’s flowy, comfy, and in my opinion, stylish.

This was my first kaftan purchase in 2020.

The caftan cover-up dress is easy to find when shopping for this style. In addition, most brands carry some flowy, sheer dresses that would be considered resort wear.

Ink Emerson Caftan $188

I have found some caftan styles that you can wear around town and at the beach. Here’s one example:

$39.95 at Uniqlo

Fancy Robes/Kimonos

A robe can be worn as a robe around the house, or it can be worn as a light jacket/outer piece.

Deborah Vance (Jean Smart) in Hacks. Photo: Courtesy of HBO Max

I love all of these!

Kimonos at Anthropology:


I predict you will see many of these visors on the beach this summer.

San Diego Hat Company Classic Packable Visor $30 Bloomingdale’s

Or go really big with a sun hat:

Ultrabraid XL Brim Sun Hat SAN DIEGO HAT $53.00
review: “Beautiful hat and fancy, very big the way I like all my hats”

For men: outfits would include Hawaiian shirts, shorts, boat shoes, slip-on sneakers, sandals, and sun hats.

Tom Selleck in Magnum, P.I., 1984.CBS / Getty Images, Magnum P.I. Is the Style Icon You Never Knew You Needed

The tropical shirt: Magnum’s key fashion piece still rules men’s resort wear.

Tommy Bahama Men’s Lush Palms Printed Shirt, Created for Macy’s $88.50
Tommy Bahama Men’s Jungle Jubilee Mickey & Minnie Mouse Tropical-Print Camp Shirt $115.99


Once you find the perfect pair of shorts, find the shoes to complete the look.

Shorts Season Is Here! 30 Men’s Shoes to Wear With Shorts 

Men’s Grandpro Rally Canvas Loafer Shoes $100 at Macy’s

I love the retro white shoe look. Remind me of my grandfather.

Grandma and grandpa in Key West in resort chic in the ’80s. (white shoes and socks on grandpa)

Lastly, protect your head from the sun with a hat:

Quiksilver Men’s Pierside Lifeguard Beach Sun Straw HAT $18

4 responses to “Coastal Chic a.k.a Resort Wear”

  1. Love this post! I think my style is somewhere between coastal grandmother (which I totally am!) and coastal chic…which I strive to attain! Family photos are great!

  2. […] The White Lotus (and Hacks) featured fun resort wear; read about some trends in my post: Coastal Chic a.k.a Resort Wear […]

  3. […] The next trend I wrote about is one of my favorites, coastal chic and resort wear. I love a caftan and a big hat. […]

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