With rack upon rack of cut-price clothes and gigantic signs luring us and our pay packets into the shops, it can be easy to get carried away in the summer sales.
A severe case of clearance fever will find you back at home staring at a mound of clothing you barely recognise, that will stay firmly rooted in your wardrobe long past September.
There is a remedy, however.
A bit of forward planning will help you target the trends that have got legs and those flash-in-the-pan fashions that are fun to dabble in on the cheap.
Memorise the following shopping list (or cut out and laminate - you can never be too careful) and get ready for your calmest clearance ever...
Culottes are having such a ‘moment’, burning so bright in the fashion firmament that they can’t possibly last. But while they are, get on board with a printed pair. Muted colours make them office-friendly, while tropical motifs will be a hit on holiday.
The button-down skirt made a comeback in spring but the heavier fabrics, like denim and suede, work for winter too, especially when worn with tights, or the street style set’s favourite combo: over-the-knee boots and bare legs.
Like a wedge of lime at the top of an ice-cold beer, citrus or chartreuse hues are perfect for perking up your look in the sunny months. Try a breezy skirt or floaty top to pair with denim or other acid brights.
Have you heard? Khaki is the new neutral. The dark green suits-everyone shade has shaken off its military associations and is here to stay, so stock up on silk tees, skinny jeans and minimalist dresses.
BAG A BARGAIN
What could be more summery than carrying round an oversized orange slice, ice lolly or pineapple? These adorable novelty bags are everywhere right now - New Look has also got a lemon slice and a bunch of bananas if you fancied carrying around a whole fruit salad.
The end-of-season sales are the ideal time to pick up a premium quality bag at a very pretty price. To guarantee a good return on investment, look for classic styles like a satchel, bowling bag or grab bag in a block colour like black, grey or tan.
GET A LEG UP
Palazzo pants, especially those in Moroccan-influence prints, look fab swishing over a pair of sandals (and a cute pedicure, obviously), which means they’re strictly a summertime only proposition. Worn with high wedges, they’re leg-lengthening too.
Joggers have completed their transition from sportswear to year-round wardrobe staple and they aren’t going anywhere. There are some major bargains in the sales so stock up now - you won’t regret it.
The shoulder-exposing Bardot top is so prevalent on the high street right now that experts are predicting we’re about to reach ‘peak Bardot’. Make the most of this heatwave-beating beauty while you still can.
Confirmed by Gucci’s new head designer, the pussy-bow blouse is high fashion’s latest ‘it’ buy. The new crop is more minimalist than the Eighties blouses of yore, a black or white sleeveless number is versatile and easy to wear.
Fashion revivals that are particularly reminiscent of one era can be fun, but they don’t normally have much staying power. Case in point? Early Eighties favourite, jelly shoes. Relive your youth for one more summer with a pair of jellies - glitter-filled are the most authentic.
Cheap summer sandals will more often than not land you with blisters and bleeding heels, but sturdy leather sliders won’t let you down. Grab a pair of hard-wearing leather sandals now while they’re on offer, ideal for summer holidays for years to come.