You have no idea what a rollercoaster ride it has been in the world of retail this summer. As I mentioned last week, in my April meetings the brands that I work with had all scheduled a summer sale ‘pull forward’ because of the bad weather. Since then they’ve been playing chicken with the weather and delaying the start dates for as long as possible. This is when the ‘Ops’ teams send the marketing teams to the verge of a nervous breakdown with sale strategies having to be redesigned and rescheduled on an almost daily basis. In the meantime, the in-store merchandising teams live on adrenalin, not knowing quite when they will be required for the turnaround date which usually requires working late into the night to change the windows, turn the stock round and re-ticket everything. Being a retail nerd (and not working at the coalface any more), I’ve found this summer absolutely fascinating – it tells me so much about each retailer and their current standing.
Anyway, I digress. Rather than doing a post focusing on individual sales and picking out the best buys, I thought I’d look at retailers by ‘hero areas’ i.e. the categories that they excel in. Always remember that clothes in the sale are the ones that people haven’t wanted to pay full price for. Sometimes inclement weather depresses seasons that would otherwise have sold well and there are deals galore but that isn’t the case this year. So what we need to look for are the areas where a retailer shines but has simply over committed on particular items so that we can pick up a true bargain. That’s my plan for today and I’m looking for good quality pieces that won’t give you buyer’s remorse. Let’s get going because I started writing this post yesterday and stocks in some areas are getting low.
2018 summer sale edit – best sale for dresses
This is your opportunity to buy an on trend ruffle / asymmetric hem dress that you may not have wanted to pay full price for. They will still be strong next year so you will have at least one more season to wear them and the good weather is now back across the UK – remember, it’s going to be a great summer. These sale dresses will bring your look bang up to date.
2018 summer sale edit – best sale trousers
Apart from the own brand ranges at John lewis, I think this is the best collection of high quality trousers that fit beautifully on the high street. For anyone who is office based, the pair below look to be a particular bargain, just look at the cut and the trim. They even give specifications on how the length can be altered for a shorter cut.
Alternatively these are the best offers on casual trousers in good fabrics.
2018 summer sale edit – best sale tops
There are thousands of sale tops around at the moment and it’s easy to find your head turned by things that you just won’t wear. Ask yourself how many you really need and what your maximum budget would be then aim to buy something really good. For fabulous quality t-shirts you can’t beat these.
Pima cotton modal tee (other colours available)
2018 summer sale edit – high quality quirky shoes
I tried hard but I couldn’t narrow this down to a single retailer so I’m going to include two. Both of them offer high quality shoes that have the slight quirkiness that adds interest to a capsule wardrobe, making it work much harder.
Shoe edit #1
Having said quirky I’m now picking out a simple pair of espadrilles to show you. Espadrilles are odd – in trend terms they tend to have a year on and a year off. This year has been an off year for them so there are lots in the sales. Remember that they are a classic though and so a metallic pair like these is always good to have in your collection.
Espadrilles (also available in silver – 50% off)
There are lots of fabulous leather shoes and loafers in this sale, including the yellow ones that I’ve worn so much this season. You can see the full collection here.
Shoe edit #2
For more lovely leather shoes with unusual details, try here. These grey patent d’Orsay flats are a great buy and will serve you right through Autumn and into Christmas parties.
2018 summer sale edit – Accessories
Now this is where I break my own rule of trying only to buy top quality in the sales. This is the perfect time to pick up statement earrings that will work for maybe the next few seasons. After that they will probably go the way of statement necklaces. These two pairs would do a great job of lifting summer outfits.
Full sale collection of on trend summer jewellery
And should you be looking for an Instagram worthy hat, this is now a great buy.
2018 summer sale edit – miscellaneous sale buys
I couldn’t resist these Barbour dog collars – for your dog obviously, I’m not suggesting that they’re a new trend.
Barbour collar – other items available
There are lots of other ideas for four legged friends including leads, bowls, beds and Christmas treats – start early!
And I wanted to point out the offers on bathroom accessories because they are such annoying things to pay full price for and there are some great pieces here. My top pick is these towels – we have the small guest ones in our downstairs cloakroom and people always comment on how luxurious they are.
Other sales worth perusing
- Sézanne have done an interesting thing by opening their archives to clear back seasons of stock. They will be giving 10% of all sales to charity but you’ll have to be quick.
- Hush have included pieces from past summer collections here in their sale too. I have to say that I think some of the older stock is stronger than their summer range has been this year so it’s worth scrolling to the bottom to see what’s left.
And that’s my sale shortlist so far – Boden and M&S are keeping their powder dry which is interesting…
Recent outfits of the day
A couple of photos from this week. This is what I wore when I went down to London on Tuesday for a briefing on something that I’ll be covering in the Autumn. I’m testing a new product which is being monitored scientifically so it will take a few weeks before the results show whether it works or not.
This was last night when I was sitting chatting to my mum-in-law after work. She’s come over from Newcastle to stay with us for a while and she was entertaining me with her stories. She’s full of plans for our weekend so it’s going to be a busy one!
Bag and t-shirt update… and a brainteaser (with a prize)
All of the bags that were in stock have been dispatched unless the order included a t-shirt. The t-shirts have arrived today so, mother-in-law allowing, I will be spending some of the weekend packing and wrapping with the intention of catching the post on Monday morning. If you’ve ordered a t-shirt, you’ll be the first to see my new brand name which is printed inside, it’s very exciting to have my own registered trademark. So just for a bit of fun, I’ll send a nice prize to the first person who comments with a full and correct interpretation of my thinking behind it! Now you’re wondering aren’t you… (French speakers will have an advantage). I’ll give you a reminder on Tuesday and let you know which post to add your comment to so that everyone has a fair chance.
Enjoy the sunny weekend and your sales shopping and remember – if it doesn’t fit and doesn’t work with at least three other things in your wardrobe, don’t buy it!
Disclosure: 2018 summer sale edit is not a sponsored post
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