How to get your summer look in the sales

How to get your summer look in the sales: We’ve all tightened our belts when it comes to spending on clothes, so this year prices are being slashed even earlier

  • Report found a quarter of UK shoppers are cutting back on new summer outfits
  • READ MORE: Holey grail of the heatwave — crochet!

With summer now in full swing, your mind would usually be turning to the annual hunt for that goes-with-everything sundress or fits-just-right swimsuit.

But the cost of living crisis has left many of us feeling we can’t treat ourselves to a holiday wardrobe refresh. A recent report from Barclaycard found a quarter of UK shoppers are cutting back on new summer outfits.

Luckily, there is good news. While you’d typically have to wait until the end of June, or even July, to find a bargain, this year the price-slashing began weeks ago. 

Amid household penny-pinching and a colder-than-usual spring, online clothes sales have fallen 6.4 per cent year on year, according to retail analyst IMRG.

In response, brands are making their sales bigger than ever — and up to four weeks longer — to entice customers back to the till.

Dress, now £189, was £270, 70% off, Essentiel Antwerp at feather

And they’re using some particularly attention-grabbing tactics.

‘High Street retailers may adopt a less uniform approach to sales, with flash online sales or higher reductions on in-store stock,’ says Jack Stratten, of retail consultancy Insider Trends. ‘We could also see heavy discounts on in-demand items to drive traffic.’

In other words, be prepared for reductions on popular holiday heroes as brands react to what’s selling well. As a case in point, at Zara, swimwear has already been discounted by 40 per cent.

French Connection has 50 per cent off dresses; Warehouse and Karen Millen have up to 40 per cent off their new collections. The John Lewis sale is under way, with 30 per cent off statement accessories. And changes are being seen at retailers of all price points.

Sunglasses, now £140, were £200, 30% off, Velvet Canyon at

Swimming costume, now £48, was £80, 40% off,

Dress, now £87.50, was £125, 30% off, monsoon.

Sandals, now £55, were £95, 42% off,

‘More cautious spending is affecting all sociodemographic groups, including ours,’ says Beth Butterwick, CEO of Jigsaw. Its sale launches on Monday with up to half price on more than 150 pieces, and Beth tips chic, printed cotton and linen dresses to be their sales bestsellers, having already seen an uptick in demand.

Likewise, from next Thursday, you’ll find 50 per cent off at Ghost — more than enough for race-day frocks, or something new for the wedding season.

Keen to get a designer bargain? Net-a-Porter kicked off its hotly anticipated sale at the start of June, with up to 50 per cent off a roster of designer brands including Stella McCartney, Isabel Marant and Zimmermann.

I’ve got my eye on a Maison Essential hot pink slip dress, which has a whopping 60 per cent off (now £130, was £325) and is just the ticket for a glamorous summer wedding.

Gone are the days of sale rails full of dodgy styles the shops can’t shift. Now, the savviest shoppers know it’s the time to hunt out those wear-forever pieces.

Fedora hat, now £12.50, was £25, 50% off, monsoon.

Dress, now £262.50, was £525, 50% off, Proenza Schouler at fenwick.

Bag, now £60, was £75, 20% off, dune

Shirt, now £85, was £170, 50% off,

The trick to making sales purchases you won’t regret is to avoid panic buying. A stylist friend of mine builds an online wishlist at the start of the sale season, then keeps tabs on it to see how much each piece gets discounted by.

Keep an eye out for perennial holiday favourites: broderie anglaise blouses, white shirts, denim shorts and basket bags.

It’s worth biding your time. If there are plenty of sizes available in your chosen piece, the chances are it has a high stock level so will go into further markdown.

And if your favourite brand is not yet on sale, don’t despair; by July, they’ll have joined the throng. But given the amount of choice now on offer, you may well find you’ve already snapped up everything you need!

Dress, now £69, was £99, 30% off,

Earrings, now £29.40, were £42, 30% off,

Crochet trousers, now £21, were £39.99, 47% off,

Skirt, now £63, was £125, 50% off, everlane. com

Dress, now £87.50, was £125, 30% off, monsoon.

Jacket, now £185, was £265, 30% off, tedbaker. com

Kaftan dress, now £22.99, was £49.99, 54% off, zara. com

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