The Case For Investing In Your Summer Wardrobe

Why do we shy away from investing in holiday wear? SL’s Fashion Editor Charlotte Collins makes a case for spending that bit more on our summer wardrobe…

Hands up if you’d rather invest in a jumper than a bikini? I see your arms in the air, ladies of Britain, and I’m with you. Us UK residents experience over 100 days of rain per year on average, with the mean annual temperature sitting somewhere between a chilly eight and 11 degrees. This is hardly a compelling case for spending your hard-earned cash on clothes only appropriate for sunny climates. From cashmere knits to chunky sweaters, ankle boots to pea coats, our winter wardrobes get so much more wear that shelling out on holiday gear can feel like a bit of a waste.

And another reason so many of us avoid splashing out on warm weather edits? British women have some of the lowest self-esteem in the world. We dread the idea of baring ourselves on the beach, so the idea of spending significant sums of money on items that put our bits on display only to be judged by fellow holidaymakers feels counterintuitive. Instinct tells us to spend as little time shopping for holiday clothes as possible, quickly scouring high street stores for pieces that will cover us up for as little damage as possible.

This is absolutely not a criticism of the great British high street. So many stores do summer fashion so well, both replicating high-end designs and creating their own. Plus, of course, they’re budget friendly – not everyone has the money to blow on a twice-annual look. But the reticence of so many women to cough up for more investment summer pieces is a cause for concern – because, like with all fashion, splurging on designer offerings can actually make you feel really, really good about yourself.

We’ve all got that one piece in our wardrobe with transformative powers; saved for occasions, big meetings or special nights out. Holiday dressing works in the same way – imagine if, in amongst all your fun Zara dresses and ASOS swimwear, there was one amazing Net-A-Porter dress you throw on over bikinis and wear for evenings, too. Cost-per-wear plus a confidence boost? It actually seems like a no-brainer combination to me.

Stocking up on trend-led pieces from the high street is fine. But how many times have you gone to pack for a holiday and looked at last year’s tired designs void of enthusiasm? Whether it’s 2016’s cold-shoulder tops or cut-out swimwear inspired, in a moment of madness, by Love Island fever, we’ve all been guilty of cheap holiday fashion pre-flight. If you created a capsule warm weather wardrobe, investing in stylish, classic pieces that both suit you and are worth looking after, chances are you’d save money in the long run by not restocking your suitcase each summer.

Clearly, we’re not all going to shell out on £700 beach dresses and £300 bikinis. But so many brands have timeless designs, made from quality fabrics, at pretty reasonable price points. From Dodo Bar Or to Cloe Cassandro, LoveShackFancy to Solid and Stripe, there are designer names out there making summer fashion fun, stylish and, most importantly, accessible. Still not convinced? Try the sales or The Outnet to nab yourself a bargain. I dare you to buy just one expensive piece for this summer. You’ll be thanking me this time next year.

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