With summer getting closer every day, a long trip to the seaside is at the forefront of everybody's mind. And what's a trip to the seaside without long walks in sundresses and a pair of women's flip flops to let the sunshine hit those legs? Personally, though, I hate packing for a trip. When I take time to pick some things out, I always make a few small but crucially bad decisions so that when I get where I'm going, I'm never happy with what I packed and it's impossible to put a good combination together. This is how I've ended up spending the majority of my summer vacations in a swimsuit and flip flops and nothing else. Once or twice I've tried to remedy this character flaw by just leaving the whole process until the last minute and overloading the two large suitcases I own with literally every piece of summer clothing that I possess: hats and sunglasses; swimsuits and sandals; sundresses upon sundresses upon sundresses in every color and cut; flip-flops for the beach, flip-flops for the city, flip-flops for an evening out... I like flip-flops, ok? Later as I spread out that ungodly pile of clothing, accessories and shoes out in front of myself, I couldn't avoid a certain train of thought: "Good god, I packed a lot of stuff here.... look at all those flip-flops," quickly followed by "Can I even put an outfit together out of this...?" Besides, at a certain point, I have to start sympathizing with my long-suffering boyfriend as he lugs those monstrous things up and down the hotel staircases (what? I'm it's not my fault I'm tiny). So, in the interest of sparing boyfriends everywhere the slipped discs and ladies like myself the agony of choice, here's a list of a few choice items I discovered while being horrible at packing that might help you to keep your luggage light and yourself looking fabulous as you stroll by the sea... and with more than just flip-flops and sundresses to choose from.

Cute Shorts

a girl wearing a cute orange shorts

While maybe not as elegant or effortlessly breezy as a sundress, several cute pair of shorts - trust me on this - are absolutely something you want in your summer holiday arsenal. They're sexy and flattering on just about any woman, and these days you can find them in an overwhelming variety of prints and colors to match your own personal style. Make sure you adapt them nicely to your own height and body type: you want them to sit low on your waist and fit the curves of your body just right. Baggy shorts will look like loose elephant skin hanging off of you, and if you go too tight, they'll squeeze your thighs and make them puff out underneath the hem. And trust me on this one, the over-cooked sausage look is out this season. They go fantastic with a pair of flip-flops, too.

The Striped Shirt

No longer limited to 19th-century inmates to Russian sailors! A striped shirt (horizontally striped, mind you) is another great addition to the casual look for anyone. Keep it loose and leisurely, maybe hanging ever-so-carelessly off of one shoulder, but other than that your options are many: short sleeves or long sleeves, v-neck, scoop neck, even boat-neck... and they'll all offset your shorts and flip-flops nicely. Failing the shirt, why not try the same thing in a sundress? Striped sundresses are slowly but surely creeping into fashion as well, so be a trendsetter now and add a few to your collection.

a girl wearing striped outfit

Stylish Sunglasses

Not the ironic, thick-rimmed coke-bottle bottoms that plague the fashion world these days (when will people realize nobody's laughing?), but the original epitome of cool: a nice, tinted pair of shades. They can pleasantly accent anything from a casual look with shorts to a more formal sundress or a wide-brimmed hat. Take care to pick a pair that matches the shape of your face, though; almost anybody can pull off a pair of aviator Ray-Bans, but for the other styles like butterfly and wayfarer, a little more care needs to be taken. Shield type sunglasses should be avoided by anyone who doesn't want to look they just escaped from a late nineties pop music video. Besides, they'll clash horribly with your flip-flops.

A Fashionable Hat

a girl in white dress wearing a straw hat

An excellent accessory, not only for looking good but (if it's a wide-brimmed one) for keeping those age-intensifying UV rays off of your face. And the wide-brimmed hats are the ones that'll go best with the flip-flops, sundresses, and shorts that we've previously mentioned, meaning your fedora, your floppy-brimmed Casablanca types, even the humble straw Panama hat. Hats to be avoided: baseball and trucker hats (ugh), as well as beanies - the latter have their place, but it's definitely not in the summer heat making your forehead sweat and your make-up run. Also to be avoided: cowboy hats and Rastafarian-type beanies. Unless you're actually from Texas or Jamaica, there is absolutely no justification f<a data-cke-saved-href="http://or this particular crime against fashion... And even then, think carefully before actually putting it on your head; you may not be ready to live with the consequences.