A Summer Wardrobe Refresh < $250

>> 5.19.2011

Once upon a time my clothing shopping habits were a little ridiculous. My issues were mostly due to the fact that I would browse way too often and fall into the clearance tag trap. Every thing I bought was on sale, but it would add up quickly! Nowadays, I tend to hold out for a few big shopping sprees each year (1 in December, 1 in July, and then the occasional 'big sale' that I can't miss). And let me tell ya, I feel a shopping explosion coming on this year. Can you believe that, since January, I've only gone shopping with my rewards points and gift cards from Christmas?!

Even when my 'shopping sprees' do come around, I try to stick to a basic plan of action. Here's what I look for in the summer:

1. A fun, go anywhere tote or bag <$20. I try to make this purchase as trendy as possible- something I love and use all the time for a few months and then donate when I'm sick of looking at it.
2. A new swimsuit <$50. This usually isn't an every summer expense (my navy Gap suit is still going strong), but there's a honeymoon on the horizon! To avoid heartbreak over a sold-out swim separate, just buy early in the season with a coupon.
3. New sandals <$20. My "nicer" summer shoes usually last several years... because I don't actually wear them that often in the summer. Still, I try to replace my sandals with another pair of interesting flats each year.
4. A dress <$30. This is an item I always wait to buy during a super clearance. I can't tell you how many $15 dresses I've bought by waiting until July (retailers see July 4th as the end of summer).
5. A light sweater for the office and movies <$50.

6. A bottom or two <$40. Living in Texas, I avoid pants at all costs.
7. A few fresh basics <$20. We also sweat a lot...

8. An interesting piece of jewelry <$20. Like the bag, I try to find something unique that I'll love until the season is up.
9. Some patterned cotton tops <$30. Honestly, I wouldn't buy a summer top for more than $18 (but I'd buy a winter top for $22... I guess I value sleeves at $4).

Thrifty Little Tip: Buy your clothes in the stores- they'll usually have better markdowns and more promotions. And I can't say this enough- summer sales are all about July 4th week!


KT @ KT's Refinishing School May 23, 2011 at 10:59 AM  

This is a great tip! I need a few new summer things myself (purse, swimsuit, a pair of capri's and a few cotton shirts) and will definitely be keeping an eye out for sales :)

Lindsey A. Turner May 25, 2011 at 12:57 PM  

It is good to stay focused like that! It keeps you from going overboard! great picks!

Lindsey Turner

Notcathy May 28, 2011 at 3:10 AM  

Wow, that was awesome stuffs. I really like it for summer outfits.. :)

Kelly@TearingUpHouses May 29, 2011 at 10:21 PM  

i was just going through this same thought process today... ended up out shopping tonight!


Rachel June 2, 2011 at 8:40 AM  

FYI - I have that flower top from Old Navy in the coral/pink color and it has a strange hem. It's rounded like a dress shirt so it's super long in front and back and kinda short on the sides. I actually always tuck it in when I wear it to work, but I just thought I'd let you know since it looks pretty odd untucked, IMHO.

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