You’ve done it: You’ve made it through the dredges of winter, what with its snow, sleet, and frigid temps, and now, you’re ready to jet set off on that vacation you’ve been looking forward to all season long. There’s just one teensy, tiny little problem: It practically requires a whole new wardrobe! As if that wasn’t daunting enough, the resort wear you’ll be needing, which can encompass anything from swimsuits and shorts to coverups and capris, can be some of the hardest clothing to shop for — particularly once you’ve reached a certain age. The best resort wear for women over 50 will be both flattering and comfortable, so all you’ll need to focus on is having fun in the sun.
What is resort wear?
Also known as “cruise wear,” resort wear is exactly what it sounds like: Summer-ready, lightweight, packable clothing that you can wear on vacation. Pieces are typically made from breathable materials, such as cotton, silk, straw, and microfiber, while patterns tend to be either bright and fun, like you’d see on a Hawaiian shirt, or classic, such as nautical print.
The Best Resort Wear for Women Over 50
Since resort wear shows off a lot more skin than, say, your winter sweats, you’ll want your selections to be supportive, comfortable, and of course, stylish.
While some women over 50 will be more than happy to show off their bodies in an itsy bitsy bikini and cut-offs, others may prefer pieces with a bit more coverage. One-piece swimsuits or tankinis, like this one from Venus ($54), which has an elongated, tank top-like cut, are slightly more conservative. You can also throw a cover-up ($118, Lilly Pulitzer) over your suit for a bit of added modesty and sun protection.
Regardless of your age, however, the best resort wear will consist of the pieces you feel the most attractive and confident in. We’ve chosen a wide selection of breezy finds that will be suitable for whatever activities your vacation may bring, whether you find yourself strolling the beach or laying in a hammock.
Ready to trade your winter boots in for flip-flops ($198, Nordstrom) and your sweaters in for tunics ($138, Lilly Pulitzer)? You’ve come to the right place. Keep reading for Woman’s World picks for the best resort wear for women over 50.
See more of our best product recommendations
We write about products we think our readers will like. If you buy them, we get a small share of the revenue from the supplier.
Best Beach Dress for Over 50
Gibson x Hi Sugarplum Amalfi Border Maxi Dress
Where to buy: $108, Nordstrom
No piece of resort wear is more essential than a chic sun dress, and this maxi-length pick from Gibson x Hi Sugarplum is as about as perfect as it gets. Not only does it feature a ruffled empire waist that’s sure to flatter nearly any body type, it has a fun, beach-ready print (choose from three colors) that’s ideal for all those vacation photos you're sure to be taking. It also comes in a plus-size version.
Best Straw Hat Over 50
Helen Kaminski Provence 10 Hat
Where to buy: $245, Bloomingdale’s
You won’t need to think twice about time spent in the sun with the shade of this classy sun hat, which has a 4-inch brim to keep your face under wraps. It folds down to better fit in a suitcase or travel bag and there’s a neoprene band for added comfort.
Best Beach Cover Up for Over 50
Lilly Pulitzer Payton Cover Up
Where to buy: $118, Lilly Pulitzer
If you need a little extra coverage in the swimwear department, look no further than this Lilly Pulitzer cover-up, which offers just a hint of what lies beneath without baring it all. Its intricate honeycomb dot lace is plenty intriguing, and it can be thrown in the wash (on delicate!) should it get sandy.
Best Capris for Women Over 50
Boston Proper Everyday Side-Zip Twill Capri
Where to buy: $29.98 (Originally $59.50), Boston Proper
We love the über-bold color of these hot pink four-way stretch capris, which practically scream “vacation.” Also nice? The ultra-wide waistband, which creates a smooth, slimming look, and the high-rise cut that flatters the waist.
Best Swimsuit for Over 50
Venus Long Tankini Top and Mid-Rise Full-Cut Bottom
Where to buy: $54 and $26, Venus
Modest is far from frumpy in this eye-catching Venus tankini, which covers your tummy without sacrificing an ounce of style. It’s got soft foam cups for shaping and support and grommet detailing at the neckline for a bit of added flair. Pair it with the bottom of your choosing — we like the featured mid-rise full bottoms featured below the top, which have a higher leg line and a more modest rear.
Best Beach Tote Over 50
Large Canvas Shoulder Bag
Where to buy: From $24.86 (Originally $28.99), Amazon
Between your sunscreen, lip balm, poolside snacks, towel, and beach reads, you’ll be needing plenty of room in your vacation tote, and this large canvas bag affords it — and then some. Two exterior and three interior pockets allow you to find what you need in a jiff, while nautical-rope straps and a striped pattern lend themselves to the laid-back atmosphere.
Best Sunglasses for Women Over 50
Longchamp Le Pliage 55mm Cat Eye Sunglasses
Where to buy: $139, Nordstrom
Dark and alluring, Longchamp’s upscale Le Pliage sunglasses speak to the affluent lifestyle resort wear was originally created to accommodate while remaining relatively reasonable in the price department. Old Hollywood glamour, anyone?
Best Beach Shirt Dress Over 50
Melissa Odabash Alesha Shirtdress
Where to buy: $198, Neiman Marcus
If you prefer a more understated style, you can’t go wrong with this Alesha shirtdress from Melissa Odabash. Designed like your favorite button-down on top with a billowy, sheer bodice that drapes past your knees, it's comfortable, versatile, and plenty fashion-forward, making it your new vacation secret weapon.
Best Beach Tunic Over 50
Lilly Pulitzer Angelika Ruffle Top
Where to buy: $138, Lilly Pulitzer
If this ruffle tunic doesn’t make you want to jet set away to the tropics, we don’t know what will! Its blouson sleeves, smocked cuffs, and a look-at-me print are just what the doctor ordered for sipping mai tais and taking in the local fare at your vacation destination.
Best Beach Pants for Women Over 50
Chelsea 28 Ana Smocked Split-Leg Pants
Where to buy: $59, Nordstrom
Flowy and ventilated with an extra-wide leg and a calf-high slit on either side, these smocked gauzy pants are exactly what we want to be wearing on our next seaside venture. There’s a drawstring waist for a custom fit and a bit of intricate detailing at the edges.
Best Flip Flops for Women Over 50
Tory Burch Miller Flip Flop
Where to buy: From $198, Nordstrom
Comfort is key when you’re trying to relax — particularly when it comes to footwear. Invest in a pair of luxe flip flops, like this leather pair from Tory Burch, that will get you through every activity on your itinerary. Their clean, minimalist aesthetic will pair well with the rest of your resort wardrobe, wacky patterns included.
Best Cover Up Sweater
La Blanca Slouchy Hooded Sweater Cover Up Tunic
Where to buy: $69, Nordstrom
Even paradise can get a little chilly from time to time! Cover up with this oversized sweater from La Blanca, which has a drawstring hood for added warmth and a summer-ready nautical print. Choose from black or midnight blue.
Best Beach Skirt Over 50
Phagun Long Maxi Skirt
Where to buy: From $14.99, Amazon
With its easy tiered design and its cotton fabric, this skirt was made for kicking up your heels. It has a comfortable, elastic waistband and reaches down to your feet, covering up any lower body imperfections. Nine vibrant hues are available, and at just $15, you can easily choose more than one.
Best Beach Top Over 50
Free People Moonlight Minidress
Where to buy: $108, Nordstrom
Though it’s technically a minidress, we think this boho garment from Free People, which comes in three stunning shades, could easily double as the perfect beach top. Loose with frilly details, you’ll feel light and free, and the brightly-colored floral pattern is sure to turn heads.
Best Shorts for Women Over 50
Tommy Bahama Boracay 5-Inch Shorts
Where to buy: $79.50, Tommy Bahama
For a breezy pair of shorts with a longer cut, we love these Boracay bottoms from Tommy Bahama. Not only do they hit at the mid-thigh, thanks to a comfortable 5-inch cut, they’re made of a mostly cotton fabric with a hint of stretch for added ease. A khaki color, like the pictured pair, will also go with just about anything you happen to pack.