By Courtney Murray
White sand, gulf breeze, clear waters, tropical drinks please. When you live in a beach town you need to look the part. The Emerald Coast is practically the capital for “Resort Casual”. Is it casual? Is it formal? It’s neither. It’s that seemingly unattainable middle ground; the perfect mix of beach chic where you look simultaneously put together and effortless. Think a morning at the country club, followed by sipping late afternoon cocktails under the canopy of a cabana while watching a magnificent Destin sunset close on another perfect day. Resort casual for men is comprised of anything with a collar, whether that is a polo shirt or a button up, make sure to always keep the cut and print classy. Men’s bottoms are usually neutral colors such as khakis or linen pants. Keep it simple when it comes to footwear; you can’t go wrong with boat shoes or leather loafers. Women don’t have it quite so easy because the guidelines are a little more blurred for women than men. Dresses or skirts are usually expected but you can get creative and have fun with colors and patterns. You can’t go wrong with a shift or A-line shape with an appropriate hemline that will have you looking effortlessly chic. Keep the neckline high and steer clear of strapless or spaghetti straps and you’ll be smooth sailing. Footwear can be tricky for women as well. While a flip-flop is too casual, you also don’t want to be strutting in stilettos. Again, you are aiming for that middle ground here. An on trend block heel is perfect and wedges or a cute ankle wrap espadrille are other great options.
Resort casual in the city can be interpreted as a little more fashion forward and you can get away with being more trendy or edgy than you would in more reserved settings. The key to the ideal resort wear is functionality and being transitional. You want to dress for your climate, which in a lot of cases is warm and balmy. Breathable fabrics like cotton and linen will keep you cool at beachside cocktail hour. Pastel colors are always popular for both men and women and you can never go wrong with a classic stripe. Floral prints have been popping up everywhere and men can join in this trend too with a bloom patterned tie or bowtie. This can be a fun way for guys to play with color and pattern and keep their look grounded with a classic khaki pant or navy chino. Resort wear is always appropriate for the country club, the golf course, a cruise, tropical resort, or in a beautiful beach town like Destin, Florida. Finding a resort casual look that can be worn in many settings is the Holy Grail. Search for an ensemble that can take you from boating along the Destin harbor to an al fresco dinner in Seaside. If you can meet your in laws for appetizers at the golf club and then head to meet your friends for drinks and impress both of them, you’ve achieved the highly sought after perfect Destin Resort Casual look.