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What should you wear for the trip to the hotel pool?

While vacationing at a historic hotel in Switzerland, J. Morgan and his fiancé decided to take a dip in the ground floor pool.

“We weren't sure if it would be appropriate to walk down in a robe and slippers with a swimsuit underneath,” said Morgan, who lives in Paris. So the couple debated whether to do what Morgan called “the robe thing” or wear their street clothes, carry swimsuits and assume there was a locker room at the pool.

“We picked street clothing, not robes,” said Morgan, who was later told by a staff member at the hotel spa that “a robe is fine if you can avoid the lobby by taking a side elevator.”

But Morgan still isn’t confident about cover-ups, especially when no locker rooms are available. So he asked Overhead Bin if there’s a “what to wear from your room to the pool” rule.

For advice, we turned to Jodi R. R. Smith, president of Mannersmith Etiquette Consulting and author of “The Etiquette Book.” She said doing “the robe thing” for the trip to the pool depends on where you are.

“Generally, when you are visiting a resort or vacation hotel, robes would be used to visit the pool,” Smith said. “But when you are visiting a metropolitan or business hotel, the robes would stay in the room. In that case, you would wear a cover-up.” 

Young kids may scoot to the pool in just a swimsuit, Smith said, but “if you are over the age of 11, you should be wearing some sort of cover-up in the elevator and the hallways when heading to the pool. An ‘official’ fashion cover-up is great; otherwise, shorts and a T-shirt will work. I do not recommend a trench coat!” 

When in doubt, “you can always call guest services and ask,” Smith said.

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