As InStyle’s Senior Fashion Editor, Violet Gaynor oversees InStyle.com’s fashion and accessories stories. Every weekend in the summer, she escapes New York City and heads to the Hamptons to soak up the sunshine. Follow her on Twitter @VioletGaynor and on Instagram @theglowdotcom.

The Hamptons have been part of my life since I was born. I grew up going to Montauk in the summer, staying at the classic East Deck Motel overlooking Ditch Plains beach. Some of my favorite childhood memories are running around in my floaties, splashing in the waves.

Fast forward 30 years, and the East end of Long Island has a whole new meaning for me. As the Artistic Director for the Hamptons International Film Festival, my husband spends part of his year living out East, so a few years back we decided to look for a little house of our own. We ended up finding a little 1930s fisherman’s cottage that is one mile from the ocean. We spend every summer weekend there with our now one-year old daughter, Plum, and 15-year old terrier, Sadie.

Violet Gaynor and daughter Plum in the HamptonsCourtesy

My off-duty wardrobe is all about ease: swimsuits, denim cut-offs, and sun hats. For Plum, I’m taking full advantage of this phase where she lets me dress her up in whimsical outfits—think flower crowns, ruffled bloomers and feather headbands.

Each weekend when I pack a bag for Plum and myself, I have two rules in mind: stick to one oversize L.L. Bean canvas tote, and always be prepared with one fancy outfit for both of us. While summer weekends are meant to be casual and effortless, there’s nothing worse than not having a pretty dress and heels to throw on in a pinch.

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