Stacey Duguid's smart summer buys include a maxi dress, utility pants and a jazzy top (Photo: Zara, Gap and Finery)

FASHION HONESTLY

The 10 smartest buys on the high street 

They won’t change your life, but you can wear them from now until January. Buy one, buy all, buy none, but at least take a look, says Stacey Duguid 

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By Stacey Duguid on

God knows I love a good old rummage in a sale bin – I might have mentioned that last week. But having snaked the best bits, even I’m bored of the cut-price sale-mayhem strewn across my favourite high street floors. Yup, tried it all on, bought some of it, returned a lot of it, don’t really want to have to look at it for another 4 weeks thank you very much.

I received three emails last week telling me how to “update my look”, which would be dead nice, if I had one million English pounds in the bank. Although unable to afford the entire new Gucci collection, the emails caught my attention. How did they know I’m a mess in summer? Like so many women in the UK last week, my daily wardrobe malfunction was epic. I struggled to look “stylish” (boil in the bag rice about to explode in an almighty sweaty mess in the microwave had nothing on me), as for what to wear to work in the hottest week since T-Rex walked the planet? No clue. The sweltering heat twisted my mind and I began fantasising about the “perfect” black dress to wear with low-key flat sandals or wedges, a throw on thing I won’t need to think about too much. Surely something smart as a starting point would counter the dishevelled-by-noon situation? 

I won’t be 'updating my look' with stuff I can only wear for a month. No way. I’m looking for things with longevity that can be worn with tights and ankle boots at a later date

About to melt on a tube so hot it was borderline illegal, I clung to the rail above my head praying my sweaty palms wouldn’t give way. I fantasised about a breeze blowing up my skirt (sorry, TMI), but as usual I was wearing trousers. A skirt appeared before my eyes like a sick mirage – ok, actually it didn’t – I went home and eyed up the one I’d seen in Whistles the week before. Pleated and full, I can imagine wearing it with a casual t-shirt and slides now and tights and loafers come October. Click, add to basket, whoops. At least I can blame the heat.

As we know, it won’t always be warm, hell, it’s probably cold and raining today. But being bored of the sales is no longer an issue in August, because unlike the olden days the shops aren’t jammed packed full of wintry fayre now retailers have finally figured out we can’t face buying thick knits in August.  The shiny new things taking centre stage as sale stuff is swept into the corners of Zara are to be worn now (music to my ears). Still, I won’t be “updating my look” with stuff I can only wear for a month. No way. I’m looking for things with longevity that can be worn with tights and ankle boots at a later date. Things to be mixed and matched with t-shirts, jumpers and jeans. Things like printed dresses, which you’ll see loads of in winter.  

Unlike the emails I received last week, I can’t promise new clothes will change your life (if I did I’d be certifiable), but how about ten things to update your style now until January instead? You could argue it’s a thrifty way to shop, but then again thanks to a wardrobe bursting with sale stuff you could also argue there’s no need to shop at all. Even so, it’s nice to look. Go on, have a look, if you click you can always blame the weather, the politicians, Brexit or, um, me. 

Click here for the smart summer shopping edit

@StaceyDuguid

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Stacey Duguid's smart summer buys include a maxi dress, utility pants and a jazzy top (Photo: Zara, Gap and Finery)
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