Wednesday, January 14, 2009

To Buy or Not to Buy: Resort Wear

This is not a pretty picture.

I don't care if you heart Marc Jacobs/love pinky salmon/think dressing head to toe in one color is fly. Unless you are the activities director for Norweigian Cruise Lines, this is not ok.

Resort wear is what designers put out between seasons to keep us interested and buying. Instead of buying clothes for your real life, you are buying for exotic places you'd like to visit and fabulous vacations you'd love to take. In short, it's a fantasy that designers are selling us- the idea that we all hopping from one sunny destination to another is hilarious given the current economic climate and the fact that it is still JANUARY.

I'm not saying that all between-season clothing lines are useless, but you should choose what you take home with care (unless you live in Miami, in which case, dive right in).

A few common traps:

White pants

I know you envision yourself lounging on your yacht, sipping mojitos in your crisp white pants. Unless you are meticulous, they will get dirty. And unless you actually own a yacht, you probably don't need these. Most women are really uncomfortable in white pants and unless they fit perfectly and are sparkly white, they won't do you any favors.

Straw purse

Sure they are roomy and summery. But do you really think it looks nice with work separates? Or even jeans in the city? This is a passable look on the weekend when it's warm, but trust me, you can do better.

If you are ACTUALLY going to the beach or pool, these are totally appropriate.


If pastels are a good color palette for you, then pre-Spring and Spring are your seasons to shop. If not, just don't do it. Know why it looks great on the fair-skinned blond model? Because she has the coloring for it or the makeup to make it seem that way.

Some good peices to look for:


If you love sandals, they are starting to get easier to find. And the Spring collections of high-heeled and platform sandels are awesome right now. I am loving a lot of what is showing these days.


A good choice for work or weekend because wearing a dress is an easy way to update your look without a lot of thought. I like what Banana Republic and Anthropologie are offering right now, and there are amazing sales online at retailers like Bluefly and Tobi.

In keeping with our resolutions, try one in a fun pattern.


Good for keeping sun AND strangers away. Check.


If you don't already have a trench coat, now is a great time to consider one. It is a good time of year for selection and prices are becoming increasingly reasonable. Grey, khaki, black, whatever- this is a must-have for all closets.

This is not my last word on the subject, my darlings...

1 comment:

Lucia said...

Thank you for your provocative thoughts on resort wear. In my mind’s eye, I am fabulous in a striped boatneck tee with a scarf around my neck, slim ankle length white pants and a strong cocktail in my hand as I trot around my yacht while it sails through Turks and Caicos. However, then MUNI goes by splashes my white pants with sludge and I’m woken from my reverie and I find myself cursing the fact that I was duped by resort wear for another year in a row!!!