Style by Claire Lopez

Eyes down, look in: it’s sale time

This time last year, I bought a lovely Whistles dress in the sale. So lovely, that it has sat in my wardrobe unworn for twelve months. Why? Well, because I made the classic sale mistake of buying something for a life I just don’t have. There is nothing wrong with the dress from a fit or style perspective, but it is the type of dress you wear to an office, with heels and a structured bag or if you are Kate Middleton (sorry Princess Katherine), you would wear it everyday on official duties. I don’t work in an office and I don’t have many buildings to open. So the tags are still on.

It is all too tempting when faced with a bargainous find of something in your size and that actually suits you, to go crazy in the sales. Well don’t. If you aren’t a ballerina or a three year old, don’t buy a pink tulle skirt. If you aren’t going to any weddings in the immediate future, don’t buy a fancy dress to wear ‘on the off chance’. If you struggle with heels, then don’t go dizzy at the sight of a to-die-for pair of vertiginous torture instruments, because the moral of the story is – you just won’t wear them. Any of them.

I am not trying to rain on your parade here, because while you should be sensible, that doesn’t mean you need to be boring. You can still be a savvy sales’ shopper and pep up your wardrobe.

And here I give you, the off-the-shoulder top, which ticks the good sale buy box because:

  1. You will be wearing it all summer.
  2. It is on trend but isn’t an investment piece so you don’t want to splash a lot of cash.
  3. It’s fun but on the right side of frivolous.

Oasis has a great selection of these that are actually flattering, unlike so many which will just make you look shapeless and tent-like. This Broderie Ruffle Top is now £22.

There is also this Lace Bardot Top £22 which would be great for a dressier evening with black tapered high waisted trousers or even tucked into a skirt for a do.

I have this Cotton Lace Trim Cami £18 which I have worn a lot with denim shorts but it would also work with jeans or chinos and some wedge espadrilles.

A very pretty colour, this Viscose Bardot Top £18 will be perfect on holiday with shorts or jeans alike.

Sorry this one is not in the sale but it is very lovely on and would be a great summer alternative to a shirt for work as you can bring the shoulders up slightly to be less revealing: Ticking Stripe Bardot £32.

As with all sales, stock is the issue and sizes are not all available so try the Oasis website too if House of Fraser doesn’t have your size.

Warehouse has this Broderie Off Shoulder Top £18 which comes in this green (a great colour for most people) and an ochre – tricky for lots but amazing if you have the right skin tone.

Hush’s Wells Silk Off Shoulder Top is now £45 and is a lovely going out top. Wear with shorts and espadrilles or jeans, or even black trousers.

They also have this York Off Shoulder Top £40.

Gap has a couple of more folky styles like this Smocked Off-Shoulder Top £20.99.

And this Embroidered Off-the Shoulder Top £19.99.

Whistles has a lot of options to choose from like this Flume Frill Bardot Top £75 in navy.

Or this Lila Tie Linen Bardot Top £75.

Or the Frill Cuff Bardot Top £45 in navy- as this is a fitted style, pair with a looser pair of jeans and heels for a modern take on a going out top.

Another evening option is their Lace Bardot Top £60.

The other shoulder-based trend to try is the one-shoulder top – definitely not something for everyday but perfect for warmer days. Warehouse has this Cotton Ruffle Shoulder top £12 in this gorgeous blue (it does also come in black and a lighter blue colour).

They also have this Crepe Frill Top £8 in orange and black. Now, I would say that you should approach these frilly tops with caution if you have a bigger bust. Conversely if you are a bit lacking in that department, the frill will do wonders. I like it with the cropped trousers here but if fugly sandals aren’t your thing, then get a wedge or a prettier sandal.

And now back to that Whistles dress, which is coming to an eBay auction near you… unlike the dress I bought in the sales the other week from Cos, which I can confirm I have already worn (btw, I’m not doing the ‘I’m a little teapot’ actions, just showing off the sleeve).




We don’t spam! Read our privacy policy for more info.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *