So the sales have started early. Because the weather has been bad there is a glut of clothing that retailers need to offload and temptation is everywhere. I’ve been through a number of stores and picked out what I think are the best bargains but before we start, let’s make sure we set off on the right track.
12 things to remember when you hit the summer sales
- Don’t forget that high summer clothing only needs to be a very small percentage of your wardrobe – certainly if you live in the UK – I would keep it to 10% or less. Don’t be tempted to overbuy on the dream of endless long sunny days, they just don’t happen.
- The best thing to focus on is the mid season stuff: layers, longer sleeves, shoes and boots.
- Remember that trouser shapes are changing fast – skinnies don’t have much more life in them, you’re better off aiming for a peg shape or at least a relaxed skinny / straight cut.
- Skirt lengths are on the move too – a midi will have most longevity
- Bodycon dresses are looking very tired – aim for a dress that skims rather than clings
- Accessories are always a good idea – jewellery; bags; scarves; ponchos and wraps
- Ditto cashmere – the sale is the time to buy it
- Coats – it’s too early to know what the coat of the season will be so stick to classic crombie shapes or a simple trench, both are perennially chic
- Check the online returns policy – most stores don’t offer free returns during sales periods which can get expensive. (Always save free returns labels when you keep items from websites you shop on regularly – hold onto them for the sales periods. It’s a bit naughty but not so bad if you’re a regular customer)
- Don’t just think about now – the summer sales are a great time to start your Christmas shopping – yes really!
- Whatever it is that catches your eye, don’t buy it unless you can instantly create 3 outfits from it using pieces you already have in your wardrobe
- And last of all ask yourself – “do I need it, can I afford it, can I find it cheaper elsewhere.” If you can’t answer yes to all 3, put it down and walk away!
The thing I like about Finery is that they don’t always work on a seasonal basis, instead they keep producing their bestsellers as core ranges. I met with them a few weeks ago and they explained that the reason they do this is to keep their prices low. They produce their ranges in optimum runs and reorder if they sell well.
So for example, the boots below that sold out in a few days are now back in stock. I have just bought them because they are such a great colour for the ‘summer’ weather we are having. It’s hard to predict what will be in the sale so 30% off everything is a good time to buy. My picks would be:
I’ve worn this top a lot this summer because it is a heavyweight satin so it is warmer than most short sleeved tops. It is now back in stock.
The Ashwin tops have been part of the core range since Finery first launched. I have them in every colour. They have the comfort factor of a jersey top but the cut and the sheen make them look much more expensive than they are.
Lots of you told me that you loved the metallic linen tops that I featured from Hush and The White Company but that they sold out before you could buy them. I’ve found some in the sale from Mint Velvet. Linen tops with a little lustre are a very chic micro trend this season.
Great Plains seem to have clothes from at least 3 past seasons on their site, they’re obviously having a huge clearout. This dress is less than half price.
As is this gilet – it’s a huge reduction at 70% off, I have no idea how good the faux effect is.
You may remember that I got this top at Christmas. I wear it a lot because it’s so easy to put on with jeans and heels if you’re going out. The sequins are shades of mid blue and pink which makes it much more flattering than the usual black. It’s currently half price.
Twinkle twinkle sequin top (half price)
Other than the Harbour bretons which I rave about, I don’t buy anything from Joules other than for Gary our dog. He loves their pet beds. They’re easy to wash and they’re all half price in the sale. There are other designs but these give you an idea:
Stanley pet bed (also available in tweed – half price)
Slumber oval quilted bed (half price)
And now I’m on my gift stocking up mission. These are great as teacher’s gifts, especially as they come in a lovely box – you can buy the full set of 4 or select them individually. There are lots of different designs.
Set of 4 mugs with gift box (half price)
Cake tins with a cake inside are always a good gift for Christmas – or for a friend’s birthday. People are always delighted when you tell them they can keep the tin.
Set of 3 cake tins (half price)
Tea towels are a small obsession of mine. I have lovely linen ones that I collect when we go to France but they’re too nice to use. Instead I stock up with these – again they’re great as little gifts for someone you don’t know very well.
Set of 2 tea towels (half price)
Hidden amongst the blowsy florals are some lovely home furnishings. This throw is half price
Marylebone throw (also available in pink – half price)
There are lots of chic feather filled cushions
Westminster feather filled cushion (half price)
When I do a piece on dresses people often write in to say how nice this one is. It is now half price in some colours.
If you haven’t jumped onto the Bardot trend this is a flattering colour for most skin tones and it’s 30% off
Jack Wills often has some surprising items. Playsuits can be great for holidays, an easy way to wear shorts without any extra fabric to tuck in.
Broderie playsuit (half price – also available in white)
With its long sleeves this one is good for a breezy holiday by the seaside
Chambray playsuit (40% off)
Simple elasticated shorts with a flattering scalloped leg
Broderie shorts with elasticated waist (30% off – also available in white or red)
A simple blouse to wear with jeans at 60% off
Bobby blouse less than half price (also available in pink or white)
LK Bennett isn’t somewhere I often shop but the accessories are always great quality. There are pages and pages of sale items but these are the best buys that I saw.
This belt is slightly deeper at the back than the front so it would be much more flattering than a skinny belt when worn around the waist and it would avoid fabric bunching in the centre of your back. I much prefer snake to leopard, it’s just a little more understated.
I’m not sure why this has such a big reduction but if you’re looking for a workhorse of a belt with a beautiful buckle, this is the one – it’s all in the detail.
Statement shoes are the easy way to add va va voom to an otherwise dull outfit. These have a good reduction but are selling fast.
Statement shoes, also available in blue – less than half price
Links of London
Links of London are clearing their 2015 pieces. You often see me wearing this very simple necklace.
18kt rose gold vermeil necklace – almost half price
And also these earrings
18kt rose gold vermeil hoop earrings – half price
I’m thinking of great gifts again here too – a 21st birthday present…
Sterling silver ring – half price
– and a graduation or a going off to uni present…
The White Company
There are lots of things in The White Company sale but my top pick is the Havaianas which are 30% off and available in most sizes.
Slim Havaianas available in gold, silver, black, white and navy
I’ve had a very busy week – I’m doing a short university course which is taking up a lot of my time. A TV station came to visit us at home last night because they might be featuring the middle son in a documentary but it’s all top secret so I can’t say any more until October. One more week of exams (and revision hell) in our house and then the summer can officially start.
I haven’t taken any pictures this week but this is what I’m wearing today – it’s cold here so I’m wrapped up in the lovely poncho that Hope gave to everyone who attended the 30/40 blogger meet a few weeks ago – thank you Hope!
Father’s Day Thoughts
It’s Father’s Day in the UK this weekend and this year it will be 10 years since my dad died. I don’t talk about him often, not because he wasn’t wonderful but because I can’t forget the last, very painful weeks of his life caused by an underfunded and understaffed NHS. He really suffered and I still feel very knotted up inside when I think about it.
He was the kindest, gentlest man I have ever known, even though he was a war hero, having flown Lancaster Bombers as part of Bomber Command in World War II. My parents were older than those of my friends but the benefit was that my dad always had time for me.
He was a quiet man but he could always sense when I just needed a hug. There were so many times when he was right behind me, ready to pick me up when life had knocked me down. That is one of the things I miss most about having parents, the fact that they are ‘always there.’
The very last Father’s Day that I spent with him was in hospital and although my boys did a lovely job of tying balloons all around his bed, it isn’t the one I want to remember. Instead I’m going to think about the one before that in 2005.
Father’s Day that year coincided with the VE day anniversary celebrations so Mr MC and I took my mum and dad for an evening in the grounds of a local castle. A Big Band was playing Glenn Miller songs and even though my dad had difficulty walking, he got up with my mum and danced the quickstep, leaving us for dust. As I watched them I could see the light in their eyes and I had a brief glimpse of the teenagers that they once were.
I’m very lucky to have had a wonderful dad, not everyone does. We’ll go to his grave on Sunday and say a few words. After that I will celebrate the other wonderful dad I know, the one I chose to be the father of my sons. In a lot of ways he’s very like my own dad and in fact when he met him, the first thing my dad said to me was “yes, he feels like one of us.” That was high praise indeed.
So, given that all Mr MC says when I ask him what he would like to do on Father’s Day is “nothing,” we’re popping out to a local farm that makes its own ice cream in many glorious flavours. And when we get back we will do “nothing.”
I hope you all have a wonderful day on Sunday and if you still have a dad of your own, whether it’s Father’s Day where you are or not, don’t forget to treasure him. Keep in touch.
With love on Father’s Day – Fred Sowerby, 1923 – 2006 x
Other sales posts
Other summer fashion posts