It’s all too easy during the sales to impulse buy, ending up with pieces you wear once or twice while the sun shines then pack away come autumn and are so over by the time next summer comes around. Fear not, I have trawled the sales to find 10 key buys which not are not only bargains – because a bargain is only a bargain if you actually need it!- but they will also see you through well into autumn/winter thanks to their cross-seasonal cuts, prints and versatility to neatly fit into both summer and autumn trends. Bear in mind some of the points below while sale-shopping and what to look for when adding to your wardrobe to ensure you spend wisely – even if it is just a £10 pair of trousers, make that £10 count!
£75 £20, River Island
Embellishment is a key trend this autumn/winter and this beaded jacquard jacket will fit right in while the cocoon-shaped sleeves bring this jacket’s silhouette right into 2014. With a camo-style pattern in neutral tones it’s perfect for luxe-ing up some slouchy trousers or khaki skinnies and a tee for an Isabel Marant-esque look later in the year. Right now wear over a plain tank maxi dress for a summer date night or team with boyfriend jeans, flat chunky sandals and a cami for daytime sparkle.
Printed tunic dress,
£45.99 £19.99, Zara
Pack this printed number in your suitcase now and it’ll take you from beach to site-seeing and beyond, just add a pair of chunky-soled footbed sandals (think two-strap Birkenstocks). The retro-inspired print in muted tones of grey and black with mustard and brown will fit right in with the seventies look championed at Louis Vuitton for the coming season. Add a black leather belt long enough to knot then tuck through (men’s are ideal!), slip on some black ankle boots and a leather jacket or classic camel coat. If you’re feeling the chill later in the season, just add paneled leggings underneath.
Black and white printed dress,
£44.99 £19.99, Mango
Print clashing continues to top many easy ways to update your look lists and this dress does it without any effort from you. The lightweight fabric, simple cut and fresh, white base make it perfect for sunny days now and the baroque detailing nods to this perennial print trend for the darker months. Wear now with slider sandals and in a couple of months with black opaques and patent brogues for day and heels for night.
Lightweight summer parka,
£32 £15.77, Vila
Shield from the occasional rain shower and work classic festival chic by throwing this over a floaty dress and team with wellies during British Summer Time. Come autumn you’ll be ready to rock the Isabel Marant-style sequins-meet-military combo in shades of khaki (see also Embellished jacket above) with a jewelled knit – a key piece this coming season.
Grey striped jersey tube skirt,
£29.95 £19.95, Joules
Take inspiration from Jonathan Saunders’ A/W14 catwalk and this skirt ticks several boxes: grey, stripes, perfect with an oversized cocoon knit with a streak of red or mustard; but remains totally wearable thanks to its stretch nature and versatile colour and print. Wear it now with a white shell top for work or floral blouse for a seasonal print-clash. Bonus fashion points for braving this skirt with sporty trainers.
Red sleeveless lace front top,
£35 £28, Oasis
Red is a key colour this autumn/winter and will bring a welcome lift to the darker tones usually seen. Wear it now with pretty much anything from shorts to jeans for work, weekend, a mummy lunch or date night. Next season the lace detail will subtly point to the folksy trend without going all the way if you’re a novice.
Embroidered, shirred waist dress,
£79 £39.50, Monsoon
If boho is so your thing and you love a bit of folk-style embroidery then this dress is a winner for you. If not, the dark background will ease you into updating a black dress for A/W14 as well as bridging the summer-autumn gap. Best of all, this shape will enhance an hourglass and flatter a pear-shape no end.
£18 £12, Oasis
Well, it would be rude not to include a striped top in here somewhere, while you’re sale-shopping, wouldn’t it! Most mums’ wardrobe staple, we know we can throw on a striped tee and wear with anything, any season. The colour-blocking on this Oasis top adds interest (so it’s really not the same as all your other striped t-shirts, honest!) and has a smarter feel perfect for dressing up or wearing for work.
Loose fit crepe trousers,
£14.99 £10, H&M
Another great basic for year-round style are these loose, drawstring trousers. Dress up, dress down and everywhere in between and for just £10 in the sale you’ll certainly get your cost per wear down in the pence. Need I say more?
£59.95 £19.95, Joules
Flashes of colour are always welcome for lifting our look and our mood as a ray of sunshine on a rainy summer day leading neatly into autumn where Issey Miyake, Bottega Veneta and Max Mara showed mustard tones on the catwalk. This simply cut blouse should skim a mum-tum and offers easy access if you’re breastfeeding. Wear now with shorts, skirts, jeans, tucked in or out to suit your shape.