The beach is a summer favorite for many, especially those trying to escape the heat of the city or desert. But just because you’re hangin’ loose doesn’t mean you can forget about fashion and looking (or feeling) good.

Sure, you want to make the transition from the boardwalk to the ocean to dinner a simple one. But that goes beyond simply throwing a dress over your black one-piece and then feeling frumpy in a shapeless shift. Here’s how to pack for your beach vacation, without losing your sense of style.

Cool Beach Shoes You Can Wear

Hands-down, you’ll want to bring flip-flops. But those $5 rubber numbers aren’t good for your feet–or your style. Instead, experiment with a slip-on mule or a colorful sandal that gives you the support you need when walking yet allows you to duck into a restaurant or bar feeling perfectly dressed. 

Cover-ups That Go Beyond the Beach

Your cover-up is essentially your daytime outfit, so stay away from the baggy T-shirts or glorified board shorts. Instead, pack a few options and mix it up a bit. One day, an off-the-shoulder dress works great at a late brunch before the beach. The next day, cut-offs with a sheer top is a good option for walking the boardwalk. If you’re sticking by the water all day, a kimono is perfect over your swimsuit. Whatever you bring, make sure the fabrics air dry well and don’t need pressing–since it will likely sit on the beach towel while you’re enjoying the water.

Beach-friendly Evening Wear

You’re going to want to keep it casual and comfortable on your beach vacation, even for an evening out. But you can still dress in style. Summer dresses and dressy shorts are great picks for drinks and dinner or a stroll by the water. It can get cool, even after a warm day, so be sure to layer with a stylish, airy cardigan or a denim jacket. A light wrap is also a good option, especially if you’re looking to dress it up a bit.

The Right Swimsuit

You’re at the beach, so it’s all about the swimsuit! This is essentially the staple of your outfit while you’re away, so choose wisely. And they take up little space in your suitcase so pack a variety! That way you won’t get bored and you can pair different cover-ups with different styles of suits. I recommend mixing and matching bikini and tankini tops and bottoms–complementary patterns and styles–for even more variety. Experiment with solid colors, prints, one shoulder or even off-shoulder bathing suits.  

There are so many options when packing for the beach, and they can be flattering and fun–no matter your size or shape. And because beachwear isn’t bulky or heavy, you can pack more choices that you could if you were going on a winter vacation! That and the island cocktails. Beach getaway has my vote every time.