All-Inclusives Are The Chance to Wardrobe YOLO

Credits: Photo - Anonymous, Styling - Sarah G. Schmidt, Location - Riu Ocho Rios, Jamaica


Escaping for a week to the beach is one of my favourite things to do. It’s got everything I like: the ocean, the sun, and dressing however I damn well please. You get to run away to this strange, yet awesome, mini world that is the all-inclusive. This time, lovely Jamaica has welcomed my pasty ass. Ya mon!

All-inclusive resorts encourage “doing you” for as long as you are a paying guest, judgment free. It’s a bit like camp or on campus college dorm rooms where everything you need is all right there. Of course you can venture off and explore, but that’s up to you. However you choose to spend your day it’s a-okay.

Eat as much and as frequently as you like to, ya mon.

Drink until you are a fish, ya mon.

Don’t drink, ya mon.

Join in on the beach aerobics or sit out, ya mon.

Nap at the pool, the beach, in the lobby, in your room, in someone else’s room, if ya ‘ave permission mon!

Nearly anything goes.

With that flexibility and acceptance to do whatever the fuck you want, I am surprised that more guests don’t let their freak flag fly. I’m not talking about Uncle Jimmy playing volleyball and diving in the sand totally shitfaced at 4pm, I’m talking about the clothes.

As I look around the resort, I see typical all-inclusive wardrobe things. Workers of all types dressed in specific uniforms. Sand coloured Bermuda shorts and elbow length dress T shirts for the cleaning staff. White mock neck button ups with a colour trim denoting seniority behind the bar. Bright athletic tanks and short shorts for the entertainment staff. The uniform helps the guest know who the folks are and what they do. It also ensures that the brand has a consistent aesthetic that aligns with the brand. I get it.

Whereas, I don’t get why so many guests don’t take the opportunity to do them. We don’t have to wear a uniform. We are free to wear whatever we desire.

The simple answer to not dressing up is that when you are on vacation, no one else know you so who cares what you wear. To that I would say, “Exactly! Let’s have some fun then, shall we?”

Not sure about a loud sun hat you bought but afraid you have nowhere to wear it? Here’s your chance.

Want to show off your legs in a too short for the workplace dress? We’re at the hot, hot beach, silly goose. Channel Tina Turner and get it on.

Thinking about that sexy bathing suit that is in the back of your drawer? Pull it out, pack it, and put the damn thing on. Leave the excess baggage behind and know that everybody already has a beach body.

I’m a firm believer in dressing for oneself. To they self be true, or whatever. While I feel that way, I am human – shocking, right - and I can sympathize with those that can’t do that just yet. The world can feel cruel. But on vacation you’re away from your world. Whatever that may be. Why not try something new or different in a safe space where no one knows you? It's zero risk, hella high reward. I am certain of very few things but I’d bet $100 that no one cares what you wear at an all-inclusive.

Don’t believe me? I’ve had a lot of fun playing around while I’m somewhere playing around. I don’t worry that I might bump into someone or raise an eyebrow or two. In Jamaica? Nah mon. Over the years I have worn skirts as shirts, worn shirts as dresses, and am currently wearing a gold necklace with “YOLO” writing this.  Fellow guests have zero collective fucks given and I feel so damn good!

If you can’t let go a bit on holiday, when can you? Style challenge: the next time you are packing for a night, weekend, week, or longer (lucky!) away, have some fun with your wardrobe and pack some things you’re not bold enough to wear at home. You may just have a bit of fun. Ya mon.