The summer sales are in full swing and it's a time of joy for many who love a good rummage, me included! However I've been in enough ladies wardrobes to know that sale shopping quite often doesn't pay off - why is that? Here are my tips for sale shopping safely and a few items I have found in the sales that I consider decent investments!
Go forth and be careful and remember if it doesn't work, if your first reaction is MEHHH send it back!
SHOP TO A LIST
Before you click on any of those delightfully tempting SALE links in your email inbox, go to your wardrobe and really look hard at what you have. Look for gaps, what's stopping you pulling outfits together? In my experience most ladies lack a stock of basics to pull outfits together but
these are never the sexy items on the shopping list. A good white tee, a blazer, decent jeans, a trench are wardrobe staples but not really the first things that tempt us in sales, its typically the more outlandish items we look at and think of as bargains. Well reverse your thinking - sales are the time for BASIC buying not wardrobe filler.
GO FOR QUALITY NOT QUANTITY
But before you buy anything - do I need it, will I wear it more than 30 times, does it suit me, would I buy it full price? I think lots of us fall into this trap, me included I mean how many black graphic tees does a girl need? Don't over replicate on clothing, if you have lots of similar items you will only use your favourite few not the 4th or 5th ones, so don't over replicate similar items in your wardrobe, I think 3 or 4 versions of a similar item should be enough.
DON'T SHOP TRENDS IN SALES
There is a reason the 'trend' piece is on sale - the trend is over and the retailers are getting ready to sell you the next trend. Unless it is something you love to absolute death and would buy full price don't buy trends. Keep in mind these are the items everyone has, you will be sick of seeing it after a while and it will date so quickly!
So here are my list of core staples I believe everyone should have in their wardrobes and I have searched for the first few and linked them below:
A Classic Blazer
Quality White & Black T-Shirts
High Waist Jeans
A Wool Coat
A Classic White Shirt
Black High Waist Trousers
A Slip Skirt
A Slip Dress
A Classic White Trainer
THROW A BLAZER ON AND GO
I know many of you might have a blazer but you keep it in the 'workwear' category in your head and don't think of it as an easy throw on over jeans and a tee for pretty much anything. A good quality blazer can take you anywhere and it can be layered with trenches as the weather cools.
I have a few but think everyone should have at least a black or a navy blazer to suit their wardrobe colour palette. Once you have the black/blue nailed you can add a check to spice it up!
These are my best sale finds. Look for classic shapes and cuts, nothing too fussy or detailed unless its good check/tweed and nothing that is the 'trend of the moment' because it will date. Try different sizes to get the fit you like and ignore the size, if it says oversized try sizing down if you prefer it neater or sizing up in a regular fit if you want it oversized. Ignore the size on the label and the rules!
PS: Zara do great inexpensive blazers, stay away from the ones with the pre-rolled sleeves they are a bit naff and limiting - you cant layer these with longer sleeve jumpers, you can roll up your own sleeves your a big girl! They are also in the category of things we buy that 'age' us prematurely. That is a blog on its own!
Other Stories Linen Blazer - £120 to £71 - not many sizes but a lovely piece.
Max Mara Navy Blazer - £380 to £152 - a few sizes, but OMG lovely.
King & Tuckfield Black Blazer - £425 to £212.50 A classic black blazer.
Zara Ecru Blazer - £80 to £40
COS Wool Check Blazer - £150 to £75 - a statement piece, but a good one!
Zara Check Oversized Blazer - £50 to £30
Zara Oversized Navy Blazer - £70 to £30
LVIR Beige Linen Blazer - £305 to £212
NOTHING SAYS SCOTTISH SUMMER LIKE KNITWEAR!!
A great time again to get quality knitwear. Nothing says UK summer like knitwear! You can wear now with shorts and linen on the cooler days and then all year round really. A v-neck is the best shape if your busty, crew for flatter chests. Look for cashmere if you can find it, check in-store rather than online as that will be sold out and I would always look at the mens rails in places like H&M and M&S specifically because their cashmere is amazing!
Other Stories Relaxed VNeck Knit - £65 to £35 - comes in black too, not many sizes.
COS Oversized Cardigan - £79 to £40 Love a cardi on its own as a sweater with a french tuck.
COS Alpaca Knit - £80 to £40 great for layering over slip dresses/skirts in winter.
TEES TEES TEES!
The one thing everyone needs to pull an outfit together and no-one has! You should have at least two or more white and black crew neck tees for under blazers and basically a million other uses. If you are larger chested I would suggest v-neck tees to wear on their own as it gives a better shape and breaks up the wall of boob, I would still suggest crew necks for under blazers as the blazer breaks up the silhouette and makes the v shape. You can still wear crew necks but wear with necklaces or ones with detail, to break up the wall of boob! I'd suggest you size up in a white tee, no matter what bra your wearing you will see it if they are form fitting. If your flatter chested you can really wear either, but if you're conscious of if crew is best.
Arket White Pima Cotton Tee - £25 to £13
Other Stories Black Tee - £35 to £30. Not a great saving, but its a good item
Bella Freud Printed Tee - £95 to £66 - I am a huge fan of graphic tees, only time to buy a white one is on sale!
TRENCHES ARE FOREVER!
An absolute wardrobe staple, make sure they are big enough to layer knitwear or a jacket such as a leather or liner under. This way you can maximise the use from season too season. You really only really need one trench. Check vintage stores for classic cuts on Burberrys or bag a high street bargain.
Arket Oversized Trench - £175 to £88
Zara Oversized Trench - £90 to £40
Zara Camel Trench - £80 to £40
WINTER COATS - YES WINTER!
Sounds controversial but summer sales are a great time to bag a bargain on a winter coat. Again, look for classic shapes and colours that wont date. A camel coat is a great start, a black or navy or a good check are all great additions. I would go for the longest length wool coat you can get, they look more expensive.
Other Stories Light Beige Coat - £205 to £143 Comes in black too
Arket Grey Wool Coat - £250 to £125
Arket Down Puffer - £225 to £113 - remember in January when everyone was buying down puffers and they were sold out... well they are available now on sale!
Zara Masculine Wool Coat - £70 to £30 Hardly any sizes but if this is your size it is a bargain! I have tried this coat in many colours, its a damn good coat!
Zara Black Wool Blend Coat - £120 to £40
JEANS JEANS JEANS
If you want more advice on jeans I have linked the blog from a few weeks back on jeans specifically but again look for classic cuts. High waist straight leg, black or blue! Check the designer ones you've had your eye on for ages, but don't compromise on the fit, if it's not great send them back whether they are a bargain or not. I have linked a few below, but also check the blog links those might be on sale now too!
Madewell Cropped High Rise Jeans - £160 to £112
RE/done Ultra High Rise - £220 to £154
Arket Black Barrel Leg Jeans - £59 to £30
Zara High Rise Vintage - £28 to £20
Reformation Cynthia High Waist - £140 to £98
So that is all for this week! Go forth and enjoy the sales but try to remember - do I need it, will I wear it more than 30 times, in 30 different ways, do I LOVE it and feel GREAT in it? If the answer to these is no then it goes back.