A new summer wardrobe without spending a fortune!

Summertime, and the living is easy. So the song goes. But it’s not quite that easy is it? We’re thinking in particular of summer clothes!

Most of us probably have separate sets of clothes for winter and summer, although some items can serve equally well in either season with the addition or removal of accessories such as tights, boots and sweaters. But there are some items that are definitely for summer use only.

The problem is that when we pull them out of the suitcase or spare room wardrobe, or wherever they have been lurking for the last few months, it’s always disappointing. OK, there might be the odd item that sparks a bit of joy, but mostly we remember how we don’t really like much of our summer wardrobe – and in fact are rather glad we can hide it all away for most of the year.

If this sounds familiar, it’s time to change things. Why not let 2021 be the year you reinvent your summer wardrobe? And, before you ask, we promise it won’t cost a fortune.

Here are our seven summer wardrobe secrets. Tips on how to update your summer wardrobe and save money in the process.


Seven summer wardrobe secrets

1. Evaluate what you already have

Earlier on we talked about the disappointment of unearthing your existing summer wardrobe. So the first thing to do is decide what you are and are not going to keep. It’s worth taking the time to try things on to make a final decision. You may discover another way of wearing something, or there may be items that you can repurpose – see Secret number 3.

If there are items you are getting rid of, consider whether you can sell any of them? Even if you don’t like them, or they don’t fit you, they may be exactly what someone else is looking for. Try selling locally, or via online sites such as:

As well as hopefully earning you a bit of spending money, clearing out unwanted clothes can also free up storage space and enable you to organise your clothes better. It will then be easier to see and access what you have, and you can start being more creative about combining different items together.


2. Plan what else you need

Once you are familiar and happy with what you have, plan what else you really need. We’ve all heard of the concept of a capsule wardrobe. This can sometimes seem a bit extreme. You know the kind of thing: go on a two week holiday with just a bikini, two T-shirts and a sarong . . . . I don’t think so!

But spend time planning your wardrobe, and working out what you actually need to add to what you already have. Having a clear idea of this in your mind will make your shopping more purposeful and help you to focus your efforts on looking for bargains. 

Don’t be distracted and buy things that you have no real use for, just because they are a great bargain. Only buy things that you will realistically use. Yes you might love a long floaty dress . . . but if you have no plans to go anywhere that you would actually wear it, you will only be wasting money and taking up room in your wardrobe.

If your circumstances change, then of course go shopping for your new needs, but the important thing is to live in the present.

This also applies to clothes that do not fit. Never buy clothes that you are going to have to lose weight to get into. Yes, you might. But the best thing to do is buy things that fit well now. If they do end up not fitting due to weight change, you can always sell them and buy something else.

Try to buy items that work with other items you already have. Neutral coloured items are always a good buy as they go with so many other colours. They can also be accessorised with jewellery, scarves and hair accessories to ring the changes.


3. Repurpose

In the process of going through what you already have, and working out what else you need, see if there is anything that ticks both boxes? 

If there are things you are thinking of getting rid of because they are not quite right, could you alter them to make them into something else? For example, could you take up the hem of a dress or skirt or add trim to make it longer? Could you convert an old pair of jeans into cropped jeans or shorts? Or remove the sleeves of a long-sleeved shirt to make it a sleeveless one? The possibilities are endless if you are willing to be creative.

The same applies if something is worn or torn. If you love the garment, there is probably something you can do to fix it. Even if you have to pay someone else to do it, that could work out cheaper than buying something new, particularly as you would be unlikely to love the new item as much.

With a bit of creativity you can conjure up some good as new items and save money as you do so.


4. Buy from online auction sites and charity shops

We have already mentioned some of the popular online auction sites in Secret 1, above. It is definitely worth browsing these sites regularly for bargains. You can also set up a search for particular items you are looking for. Whether you buy new or used items, there are some real bargains to be had on these sites, at a fraction of the original cost.

Also bear in mind your local charity shops. These are likely to be very well stocked at the moment with people catching up donating goods after lockdown. So you are likely to find some good quality second hand clothes if you are prepared to visit regularly and browse. And you will be supporting a good cause at the same time.


5. Look for discounts, vouchers and cashback 

If you are buying new, always try and get the best deal. This doesn’t just mean hitting the sales – although it’s a good idea to sign up for updates from your favourite brands to get advance notice of these. But also check voucher discount sites such as Groupon and Voucher Codes, and/or cashback websites such as Quidco and Topcashback.

There are also an increasing number of brands with mobile apps that can help you to save money if you shop via them. It is definitely worth searching for your favourite brands to see if they have apps that you should be downloading.

Sign up for loyalty cards with, and start collecting vouchers for, brands that you love. If you have a birthday or other special occasion and people ask what you want, gift vouchers are the way to go. And make sure you try to use any special offers or discount codes from these brands whenever they are advertised.

Always be on the lookout for how you can get the goods you want without having to pay full price for them.


6. Grab bargains for next summer

A savvy shopper plans ahead. You can save a fortune on clothes if you buy them out of season. So if there are items you would like for your summer wardrobe, but are prepared to do without them this year, look out for bargains in the end of season sales. 

This is particularly the case if you go for more classic items; staples rather than this year’s fleeting fashion trends. Look for items that not only suit you but will be longer-lasting than this year’s “must have” trend that will be replaced by next summer.


7. Fashion swaps and loans

If you have friends or family who are also trying to streamline their wardrobes, why not arrange a little get together where everyone brings a few unwanted items to swap? This can be a great way to expand your wardrobe for free, and declutter at the same time.

Another variant of this is to operate a loan system between you. If you have items that you don’t use often, but don’t want to part with altogether, you agree to lend them to other members of the group in return for them doing the same for you. This can work really well, as long as everyone looks after the loaned items well and returns them clean and fresh. 


So, if you want to refresh your wardrobe this summer, but really need to save money on your clothes spending, we hope that our seven secrets will help to point you in the right direction.

Remember to check back here soon for more financial and lifestyle tips from Simple Fast Loans