• Kaylie

Packing for A TROPICAL Resort

#packing #packingformexico #packingforresort #resortcasual #resortformal #packingforvacation #whattoweartoresort

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I consider myself a packing expert. I thought I had everything together for my trip to Fairmont Maya-Koba until I read my itinerary which stated I had 5 dinners which require "resort formal" attire. As I fantasized about all of the resort runway shows I have seen, I realize I need clarity on the guidelines and rules for resort formal attire. Google and Pinterest are usually great resources for finding obscure topics like this, but both let me down. I could easily find the rules for men, but not for women.


Gone are the days when women galivant around in ballgown dresses at cruise and resort dinners, so what exactly is resort formal? Would a cocktail dress do? Can I wear a sleeveless silk maxi? WHAT CAN PEOPLE WEAR?


After a few surveys and polls I conducted with people who regularly attend resort formal environments, I discovered the following trends:

1. Sleeveless is not recommended or anything that shows too much cleavage

2. No dresses above the knee and shorts are rarely ever acceptable unless styled immaculately, which honestly, most people cannot pull off

3. Dress pants are acceptable, but you will look a bit dressed down compared to others

4. Jump suits might look better in this environment when dressed up than dress pants

4. Wear makeup and style your hair

5. Bring a nice clutch

6. Wear dressy sandals or heels

7. Common fabrics are patterned silk, chiffon, and viscose

8. Bringing a semi sheer pashmina is recommended





Here is the dress I am wearing to the resort formal dinner on the beach - This dress caught my eye at an unexpected store and I saw many dresses by this brand of decent design and quality for the price! I picked this up for $16! It has iridescent printed magnolia flowers and the fabric is durable. The brand is Enfocus Studio. I could not find a website online for this, but I found several dresses at Ross and TJ Maxx stores.




For the other dinners, I have dresses from Calvin Klein, Ted Baker London, and BHLDN by Anthopologie. If you have any dresses you had to buy when you were a bridesmaid or if you have a bridal store near you with a sale going on; bridesmaid dresses are a perfect fit for resort formal attire. For the awards dinner (the most formal of them all), I have chosen a bridesmaid dress in cream from BHLDN and I am accessorizing it with mother of pearl earrings for my statement focal piece as well as a gorgeous Kate Spade clutch I have been waiting to use.





Aside from formal dinner attire, there is a secondary dress code at the resort: resort casual. Although you need to pack a few swimsuits (obviously), you cannot trot around in them anywhere at the resort. Swimsuits should only be worn to spa, pool, and beach areas. Cute cover ups are also a must, but do not walk around in them either inside the resort away from the pool, beach, or spa.

Here are some reccomondations for what to wear around the resort:

1. Maxi dresses

2. Knee length dresses

3. Linen pants with a pretty top

4. Crop top with high waisted pants (not jeans) or highwaisted skirt

5. Jumpsuit with tropical pattern, striped design, or a solid color

6. Linen shorts with a cute top

7. Accessorize with bright colored statement jewelry or with metallic accessories


Here are things to avoid:

1. Jeans (yes including jean shorts and skirts)

2. Bodycon anything (I too love a great bodycon that is not short, but I just do not suggest it for an upscale resort)

3. Overly revealing cloting

4. Shirts with tourist phrases and pictures (think of a cotton tee-shirt that says MEXICO on it. NO!)

5. Patterns and fabrics that are not tropical- plaids are difficult to pull off for women at a tropical resort, tweed in dark colors, velour, etc

6. Flip flops





If you want to take an easy minimalist approach, black on black is the way to go. Bring everything in the color lack and then change your look up with statement accessories and by changing your hairstyles and makeup.


Here is my minimalism packing list for one week at a resort:

1. Multiway black dress - you realistically could get away wearing this everyday if you wash it every night!

2. Black jumpsuit

3. 2 Black swimsuits that you can mix and match

4. 2 Black top

5. Black bottoms

6. Black sandals

7. Black or gold heel sandals for formal

8. Gold jewelry and accessories

9. Colorful jewelry and accessories

10. Necessaries - undies, one set PJ/sleepwear

11. Black water shoes

12. Sunglasses





Here is my actual packing list that I brought:

1. The Flexx Black sandals (seriously THE best walking sandals ever. I have them in 5 colors)

2. Gold Sandal Heels from Just Fab

3. 4 formal dresses for dinners

4. 3 tanks/strapless tops

5. 2 short sleeve tops

6. 2 linen pants - 1 black, 1 white

7. 4 swim suits

8. Gold jewelry and accessories

9. Colorful jewelry and accessories

10. Necessaries - undies, 2 bras, 1 main sleep gown from Desigual (which is actually a casual cotton dress)

11. 2 casual dresses

12. 3 cover ups

13. Water shoes

14. SLR camera

15. Lots and lots of sunscreen

16. Hand sanitizers

17. Medicine - for headaches, Pepto-Bismol, allergy medicine

18. 2 sun hats

19. 2 pairs of sunglasses

20. Kate Spade dressy clutch

21. Casual tropical leather small wallet

22. Foldable water resistant bag

23. Small crossbody

24. Waterproof Too Faced Better than Sex mascara

25. RMS beauty uncoverup


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