1 A season-less dress
We will socialise again, though it’s likely we’ll stay outside for the foreseeable. If you’re itching to dress up, try something colourful – and without a waistband (it just looks less weird in a field or park). Ganni is a master at combining seersucker, prints and volume, and its checked dresses were already 50% off online, at around £100 each, at Liberty and Matchesfashion. For colour, try this burnt orange dress by season-less label Rika Studios which, at 70% off, is £81. Staud’s playful princess-seam dresses are also 50% off, if you liked the TV adaptation of Bridgerton, and this pink checked shirt dress by Kitri has a touch of the Dianas about it.
2 Proper boots
If you’re planning to leave the house, there’s little point in wearing anything else. If Birkenstocks were the in-between shoe of 2020, hiking boots are 2021’s version and the sales already have a glut of practical, not-ugly ones which would work with leggings or a dress. These rain boots from Rag & Bone (£113) are already 65% off at Ssense while Selfridges, whose sale started on 23 December, has surprisingly affordable pairs (these peppy red boots from Kurt Geiger are 50% off at £49). For something a little flashier, these shearling-trim boots from See by Chloe are 60% off already (£146) and have a heel.
3 A bottle for life
The new bag for life, a portable non-plastic water bottle is more than a totem of wellness and yoga. They are an indispensable bit of winter kit, hip flasks for the green-new-deal age, that also tap (sorry) into concern over consumer waste and plastic’s potential to leach chemicals. Released via Selfridges’ waste reduced line, SquireMe’s bottles come in borosilicate glass with silicone sleeves, and aren’t too heavy. Christopher Kane’s More Joy bottles are cheerfully still in-stock (£40 at Brownsfashion) and will enter the sale come Boxing Day. As shown by Liewood’s pink stainless steel ones, £28, they can look nice too.
4 A coatfit
In New York they call it porch-dressing. In the UK, it’s bench-dressing. Either way, you need a coat to do it, and one you probably won’t take off, so aim for something warm with substance that’s a little bit special. Faux fur under £200 abounds, from leopard print at The Kooples (50% off but going up to 60%), olive green at Stine Goya (40% off) to boxy and black (sold out at Whistles but 50% off at Selfridges online). So too do teddy bear styles with their echoes of I May Destroy You (this reversible one from Mango is 30% at £69.99). If you’d rather stick with wool, this secondhand 1980 coat from Beyond Retro is half price at £31, and this green coat, a bestseller from Toast, is destined for the post-Christmas sale.
5 A design investment
Young, emerging designers are the YBAs of the fashion world, and worth investing in – not least because their collections were upended by the pandemic. Paloma Wool, a direct-to-consumer label largely made in Spain, uses sustainable fibres and low-impact dye and, right now, has pieces – like this off-white cotton jumpsuit and green knit dress – which are 50% or more off at £75. Slogan T-shirts from the British designer Martine Rose, whose London show is usually the most anticipated of the season, are 70% off at H Town, a fervent supporter of new labels which opened during the pandemic. If The Crown’s Princess Diana wasn’t your sartorial touchstone this year, try this heavily (68%) reduced velvet party dress by Richard Quinn, a young British designer approved of by The Queen herself.
All prices correct at time of publication