Death of the Dinner Jacket

 Resort wear is a style.  As more companies have adopted casual work days and cruise lines have somewhat loosened up with formal wear attire there is a new line of fashion that is emerging.  Resort causal has always existed.  However, its popularity has significantly increased over the last two decades.  Thread adaptation in this category is expanding.

In 1960 resort wear for men blended a mixture of Bermuda shorts and front contrast stitched shirts.   Women usually had checkered skorts, high waisted Bermuda shorts and comfy frilly top.  However, at night it was an expectation to dress for dinner.   Dresses for women and suits for men was a formality of the resorts in this era. This protocol didn’t waiver on cruise lines or supper clubs, as well.


In the 1960s a new form of entertainment garnered steam thus promoting dressing for dinner.  The superclub was a cultural form of entertainment.  Today they still exist but have declined tremendously.  A superclub was a nightclub.  Superclubs often had themes, different rooms, offered dancing, full-service restaurants, different bars, and houses specialty acts such as comedians or musicians. Most offered memberships.  Think of them as like a country club with a nightlife.  The superclub along with resorts and cruise lines keep dressing for a dinner an upscale event.  The height of the superclubs was the late 1950’s to the early 1970s.  As disco scene emerged the decline of the superclubs started.


Two things happened to change the style. The late 1960’s with the mod movement along with the dropping out hippie movement. This is the era the famous sign “No Shirt-No Shoes-No Service” was born.  A decade later the 1970’s brought disco (think Studio54) and the failing cruise industry was resurging as the newest tourist fanfare (think Love Boat).  The 1980s brought new fabrics that were blended and breathable and typically require less ironing and fuss.  Malls with restaurants, movies, and entertainment replaced most nightclubs (think Mallrats).


All of this changed the way America (and beyond) dressed.  Casual wear became more the norm.  More businesses let workers ditch the suit and tie and pantsuit for business casual.   Dressing for dinner became more casual as jeans and even shorts were acceptable at most places unless it was an exceptional venue.  If you walked into a Church 50 years ago most people wore suit/ties and dresses.  You dressed up for worship.  Nowadays it’s a mixture of everything with comfort casual leading as the standard style.


The most current sector of fashion that is expanding is resort casual.  Today’s resort casual not only evokes ideas of traveling to lush beaches and sandy shores. You will often see swimsuits with coverups as standard day wear.  You don’t need to change for lunch out of your swimsuit because now you can swim up to the bar.  Nightlife includes more a business casual vibe with fashionable sundresses and khaki pants with a polo shirt for men. 


Society’s entertainment and lifestyle changes along with the way we relax and celebrate has influenced fashion more than any other entities throughout the decades.


It will be interesting what the future decades hold.


The Mod Vogue M.I.S. (model in style)