How To Shop For Stylish + Affordable Resort Wear

Resort wear. The fancy name for the category of clothes that we all have for beach vacations, cruises, and poolside getaways!

This can be a tricky shopping category for some because it can be difficult to find the balance between disposable beach clothing and designer resort collections. It’s also difficult to find styles that are meant for adults when the majority of what you see is targeted for co-eds or those who are 50+.

Resort wear is one of my favorite ways to incorporate bold colors and prints into an otherwise neutral wardrobe. Vacations are fun, so why not have the wardrobe to match?!

Here is my advice for where to shop for cute, stylish, grown-up resort wear!

Nordstrom & Nordstrom Rack

Nordstrom is a great place to shop for resort wear! Some people are intimidated by higher end department stores for this kind of shopping because they think it will be really expensive. I like Nordstrom because of the variety of brands and price points that they carry.

Tip: Shop the sales – Nordstrom puts Spring and Summer styles on sale well-ahead of the season, so keep an eye out for those.

Still not convinced that this is a cost-effective place to shop? Try some of their house brands like BP., Halogen, and Treasure & Bond.

Tip: Filter by these brands or do a quick search on their website to shop them!

My Nordstrom Picks:

I shop Nordstrom Rack online for great deals on designer items – it’s also a lot less tedious than flipping through racks at one of their stores, which can be really daunting for a lot of people (my shopaholic self included). Nordstrom Rack sends emails with amazing flash sales and tons of outfit inspo. This is a great spot to pick up a pair of Tory Burch sandals or a Trina Turk beach wrap if you’re looking for something higher end at a good price!

My Nordstrom Rack Picks:


Target is one of my absolute favorite places to shop for beach wear. I think that 90% or more of my swimwear is from here. Their swimwear is really high quality (I have some suits from my early twenties that are still in fantastic condition) and I like that you can buy their tops and bottoms separately, too, and mix and match. Their house brands like A.N.D., Mossimo, WhoWhatWear and Universal Thread feature some really great items that could be worn as resort wear. This is also a great spot to pick up inexpensive basics like tanks and tees or cute beach totes and sun hats!

Target‘s collaboration with BaubleBar called SUGARFIX features some great jewelry pieces that are bright and perfect for a hot weather night out!

Tip: Don’t miss any of their great designer collabs – some of these feature amazing resort pieces, too! Previous collabs include: Calypso St.Barth, Marimekko and Missoni. 

My Target Picks:

Abercrombie & Fitch

Abercrombie & Fitch is one of my favorite places to shop for summer clothes in general, making them a great destination for resort-wear shopping. They carry really cute, good quality sundresses, adorable off-the-shoulder styles and great cotton shorts. Their tees and tanks are thin and breathable and are perfect for layering. They also feature really nice swimwear and cover ups and just plain easy styles. Their swimwear fits really well (true to size).

Tip: Order a size down for off-the-shoulder styles as they can fit a bit wide. Returns can be done in-store, which is hella convenient. 

My Abercrombie & Fitch Picks:


Abercrombie’s West Coast cousin! This is a brand that you may have to filter a bit online to sift through ‘teen styles’ to find something you’ll like, but they have great dresses, rompers, shorts and detailed tops. Their swimwear is ultra-trendy, but inexpensive so picking up a couple of suits won’t break the bank. Hollister’s styles are more casual and laid back than those at A&F and they often feature brighter color palettes.

Tip: I find that Hollister runs a bit smaller than A&F size wise, so be conscious of size charts when shopping here. Like A&F, they accept online returns in-store. 

My Hollister Picks:

J.Crew & J.Crew Factory

Ah, J.Crew. The preppy girl’s dream come to life. This might be my favorite place to shop for everything. I love the variety of neutrals, bright colors and patterns. Think of muted corals and bright cobalts! J.Crew carries shorts and skirts in a variety of lengths as well as a collection of tunics and pop-over tops perfect for the beach or with white denim. Their seasonal sweaters come in thin, loose knit, beachy styles and colors and their cardigans are the right fit for throwing over a sundress for dinner.

J.Crew is a great spot to pick up a fancier sundress (if there is such a thing) as well as the bright, statement jewelry pieces to accessorize them. J.Crew also carries cute linen blazers all in classic cuts so they’ll work in your resort wardrobe for years to come. I have a lot of J.Crew pieces in my closet and love to shop both J.Crew and J.Crew Factory, mostly online. I find that they carry a much wider selection online than in their stores.

Tip: Be sure to check size charts and read reviews of how things fit – they are usually spot on and quite helpful. Both ship to Canada with no problem.

My J.Crew + Factory Picks:

Banana Republic & Banana Republic Factory

Banana Republic and their Factory counterpart offer more than just stylish work wear. Their spring and summer collections feature some great linen tops like button ups and tanks as well as stylish tunics. Banana Republic also carries some of cutest skirts, sundresses and maxi dresses out there, as well as styles for a fancy dinner cruise or summer wedding. If you have a cute pair of espadrille wedges, then Banana Republic has a resort-ready outfit to go with them!

Tip: Keep an eye out for capsule collections and designer collaborations. They did one with Trina Turk a few years ago that was both stunning and affordable!

My Banana Republic + Factory Picks:

Gap & Gap Factory

Like Abercrombie’s casual cousin, Hollister, Gap and Gap Factory are a more casual version of the polished Banana Republic. Other than a great place to pick up basics like tees, tanks and cotton dresses, there are a few other things you should be looking for at these stores. Linen is one of the best fabrics for resort wear and each spring Gap releases a limited line of linen pieces – and they are often blended so they still breathe, but wrinkle less.

Their selection of patterned and woven shorts is also great. Pattern trends change from year to year, so picking up a pair or two under $25 is a great buy. Most of their shorts contain a bit of stretch, too, making them more comfortable. Trendy sunglasses, gauzy scarves and belts are also worth checking out at Gap – they’re perfect additions to your warm weather outfits and are great for a girl on a budget.

My Gap + Factory Picks:


DSW. Because you need shoes for your next vacation. My love of DSW for shoes is no secret, but that’s because of the massive selection of brands and price points. I like to shop there for cute designer sandals, inexpensive flip flops for the pool and fun slip-ons for a beach-side bike ride! You can also find a great variety of wedges and espadrilles. I’ve put a few of the pairs you can find in my wardrobe in my picks below.

My DSW Picks:

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Carlee Krtolica
Carlee Krtolica


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