Fashion: Sales force – top bargain buys

White top, was �128, now �38; Cenna trousers, was �129, now �109. From Hobbs.
White top, was �128, now �38; Cenna trousers, was �129, now �109. From Hobbs.
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It’s bargain time on the High Street as the sales continue. Stephanie Smith picks out key buys, but hurry – when it’s gone, it’s gone.

The sales have been underway for about three weeks now – longer for those retailers who decided to go into sale before Christmas – but they are showing no signs of going anywhere just yet.

Fringe skirt, was �39, now �11.78; top, from a selection. At www.very.co.uk.

Fringe skirt, was �39, now �11.78; top, from a selection. At www.very.co.uk.

Last month was a disappointing one in general for High Street fashion stores, with many reporting sales down around five per cent like for like on last year’s figures. But this is good news, of course, for those in search of the best bargains possible.

It would be a mistake to assume that all the remaining stock on offer is “so last season” – even a short spell of research online or by foot will soon show you that.

However, it is a good idea to have an idea of what the new and continuing trends will be for 2016, because it will help massively when trying to put together a wardrobe of pieces that will work for now and see you through the year in the on-trend manner to which we all hope to become accustomed.

So, the Seventies will continue to be a key theme, but will become just a little bit more glam and knowing, so think maxi dresses in romantic but not chintzy floral prints and shawl collars, or cutaway shoulders (which will be very much in evidence for spring and summer).

Astrakhan collar coat, was �450, now �175, at Jaeger.

Astrakhan collar coat, was �450, now �175, at Jaeger.

But it’s the Nineties that you really have to look back to for spring/summer ’16, so think ripped and distressed blue denim jeans teamed with applique and embroidery. Plus oversize jackets, slip dresses and anything in silk and slinky satin, and those cut-out shoulders again, taking on with this theme a minimalist approach, with bodycon style tops and dresses in bold colour – red, sunset orange, black and white – bringing a sleek, occasionally slightly hard-bitten retro city girl look.

There’s a lovely flamboyant trend with giant ruffles in bold colours, plus tie-dye prints are on the scene, so keep a look out for those, plus metallic silver fabrics and appliqued mirrors, and languid street-wise leisure wear in silky fluid fabrics. Also bold striping in all colours, a little like deckchair fabric, and look out too for big sleeves billowing romantically.

Here, I’ve picked out some of my favourite sales bargains in store and online at the moment. Jumpsuits are going to be popular for a while yet, so snap them up, as they are ideal day-to-night all-year-round pieces (if only something could be done to make them more practical for “comfort breaks”). Maxi dresses with a simple romantic print, such as the one above from Mint Velvet, will be perfect for the coming summer months.

Topshop has a black PU leather look slip dress trimmed with lace, reduced from £60 to £20. And it has a mono broad striped Bardot style bodycon dress in its Tall range (which is also good for anyone who likes their skirts longer) reduced from £32 to £10, and a Moto flared denim boilersuit reduced from £68 to £30. It’s one of the best sales I’ve found, so well worth a look.

Olivia maxi dress, was �129, now �39, from Mint Velvet.

Olivia maxi dress, was �129, now �39, from Mint Velvet.

By the way, over at Marks & Spencer, that suede A-line “It” skirt, the one made famous by Alexa Chung, is now £61.99, reduced from £199, and there are also some gorgeous print jumpsuits and floral dresses that will work very well for this Spring and Summer, reduced in the sale to £20.99.

Many shops have excellent deals on coats and boots, with sales prices up to 70 per cent off their original, and many styles classic in line and colour. It’s rude not to, really.

Gwen print jumpsuit, was �109, now �39, at Mint Velvet.

Gwen print jumpsuit, was �109, now �39, at Mint Velvet.

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