Shop your summer uniform in the sales

Photo: Getty

Hannah Banks-Walker explains how to pick up everything you need –  for a heatwave or a holiday –  in the current sales 

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By Hannah Banks-Walker on

 The initial, overwhelming sense of euphoria I feel upon seeing that the sales have started (this mostly involves palpitations and sweaty palms as I desperately, hungrily scroll through pages and pages of things I think I need, but definitely don’t) is soon replaced in the weeks that follow by an unmistakeable boredom. The shops are ransacked, everything’s sold out online and some high street brands are ushering in the start of the autumn season, when I haven’t even thought about my holiday yet. But – and I think you can see where this is going – I’m here to save everyone from this sales shopping-induced ennui. 

I have managed to track down each and every item that we all need to make it through the summer months. I’m calling it a uniform but don’t worry, this bears no resemblance to the bottle green (tights and all) school garb that’s almost, but not quite, a repressed memory (just me?). No, this array of discounted treats will actually make getting dressed easier every day, given that they’re easy to wear and go with most things you own anyway. 

Easy work dress

It’s cotton (read: breezy), it’s slightly oversized but it also has a clever drawstring to make sure it’s still flattering. And, given that it’s a dress, you don’t have to worry about what to wear with it. It’s also £85 (!) cheaper than usual in Toast’s sale at the moment. My love for this dress really revolves around the fact that it would make getting dressed in the morning infinitely less stressful. 


Holiday jewellery

When is jewellery not just jewellery? When it’s holiday jewellery. Brighter, bolder and generally more enjoyable than your usual gold and silver pieces, these earrings from Anthropologie  are just on the right side of fun to be able to pull off at home, as well as on your hols. They’ll look just as good with your sand-skimming maxi dresses as they will a plain T-shirt and jeans. 


Lovely beach bag

Zara’s striped tote is basically a Rothko painting on a bag, so why wouldn’t you want it for all your beach gear? But when it’s finished carrying your towel, book and suncream, it will also look lovely as an alternative to your regular leather bag with clothes that aren’t kaftans. And it’s only 20 quid. 


Slip-on sandals 

Sliders are, essentially, a party for your feet. They’re super comfy and the absence of buckles means they’re faff-free and great for taking to the pool or beach. Topshop’s rope pair are only a twenty quid – ideal for a pair of shoes you’ll wear for only a few months in the year. 


Long skirt

Nothing’s more versatile than a long, wafty skirt. They go with T-shirts, cami tops, shirts and blouses, keep you cool and are summery and smart at the same time. H&M’s printed style is gorgeous


Belted shorts

These Mint Velvet shorts are a very flattering cut, easy to thrown on with sandals and a basic top and they’ll be a life saver for really hot days when you just can’t face jeans. 


Keep-cool blouse 

Embroidered, bohemian-style blouses are practically ubiquitous, but this one from SEA feels a bit different from the rest. It’s the sort of summery top you’ll want to wear every day because it’s so comfy and keeps you cool, too.



Fancy sandals 

If you do want an upgrade on basic sandals, this pair from Uterqüe are lovely. They're smart but breezy and the block heel also means they’re easy to walk in and will be comfortable. 


Summer dress

I’m a little bit obsessed with summer dresses and this one from & Other Stories is one of my favourites. It’s enough to make me want to book a holiday immediately, but it would also be lovely for any summer weddings. Throw a white shirt over it and wear it with flat shoes and it’s a pretty great outfit for the pub, too. 


Denim skirt

Denim midi skirts are surprisingly handy for warm weather – they’re as easy to wear as your jeans but much less sweaty. Gerard Darel’s skirt sits high on the waist, making it really flattering – you can either tuck your T-shirt in to it or wear a slouchy shirt over the top.



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Photo: Getty
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