Who are online retailers kidding? The so-called summer sales are going on all the time from May through Labor Day. We've spent months browsing markdowns while e-commerce sites chart our progress with tracking cookies. Thanks to the “reminder” emails and banners, those white AG jeans (now half price!) I've been eyeing are not escaping. You can disable those friendly hints, ignore them or just head for the only things worth buying. Your top 10 best bests work now and year round:
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1. Leopard anything This print is a spot-on trend now, but never goes out of style, either. It has been our fashion catnip since the ‘60s. Leopard tops — especially silky blouses — give everything from black pencil skirts to jeans an edgy rock ‘n’ roll flair, but why stop there? Snap up a wild tailored blazer, ankle boots or scarves to make a quiet closet roar with attitude. Just wear one jungle-inspired piece at a time to keep it chic. You really can't miss.
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2. Midi dresses Longer-length dresses seemed a flash in the pan at first but have proven to be an easy summer solution for us. No mixing or matching, and no worries about leg exposure. Wear them with sandals or wedges until fall, pair later with boots or booties. Slip on tights and a long-sleeve T-shirt beneath or add a long cardigan on top for all-season coziness. For practicality and flattery stick to a hemline just below the widest part of your calves — no puddle, dirt or slush dusting, please!
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3. A pink pantsuit A vibrant rosy pantsuit combines body-enhancing structure (thanks to the tailoring) and skin-boosting color so we glow from head to toe. Wear it as is with a T-shirt and sneakers or a silk blouse and pumps for work, events or whenever you need to look polished and hide a few pounds. Let the jacket and pants go solo, too, and mix with your neutral separates to cheer up cold, cloudy days.
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4. White pants and blazers Update all your dark neutrals with fresh white in the form of a tailored jacket and jeans or ankle pants. They're hero pieces that take the drab out of staples — stat. Stick to more substantial nonseasonal fabrics like denim, stretch cotton or cotton blends rather than linen. Hang these white basics with your daily duds; the more visible they are, the more you'll wear them.
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5. Statement earrings Big hoops and dangles in gold, silver and bright colors provide a fast fix all year long. Pop them on with anything from jeans and a sweater to last year's dresses, and wear them through the holidays. Weight is the big issue here, so opt for earrings that are big on style but won't stress your lobes. You'll wish you had snapped up more.
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6. Wedge sandals Strappy, airy wedges offer height with comfort, and make walking on pavement, grass and cobblestones easier on your feet. They offer more stability than heels, and cool creative types even pair wedge sandals with tights or socks. You'll kick yourself next spring if you don't pick these up on sale now. Look for flexible wedge soles, a cushioned foot and a secure strap.
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7. A tan or beige leather bag that works year round Steer away from beguiling straw bags with pom-poms and the white leather bag that screams “summer.” Instead, grab a satchel, tote or shoulder bag in a light-to-medium tan or beige color for a truly seasonless buy. It adds a spark of light against dark clothes and coats, and makes a polished work/interview bag an affordable upgrade now. Looks great with a pantsuit, jeans or a midi skirt.
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8. A black jumpsuit It's the new little black dress — a multitasking grownup onesie that works 24/7. Just climb in, add accessories and you're done. Look for a V-neck or button/zip closure, and a sleeve length and leg width you prefer. Styles range from utilitarian to minimalist and tailored, so be sure to choose one that fits your body and lifestyle. Add a blazer and sneakers for a sporty urban look, a black biker jacket and ballet flats for a trendier twist, and booties or heels for a minimalist approach.
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9. A trench coat as the ultimate throw-on There's a reason movie stars wear one on-screen and off. A tailored raincoat conjures up glamour and mystery whether it's worn over your gym clothes, leggings or a cocktail dress — rain or shine, day or night. Summer is a good time to pick up one on sale before the racks get clogged with puffers and parkas. Opt for a classic belted style or — if your waist is not your strong point — a traditional unbelted A-line style with raglan sleeves called a balmacaan. Stay true to the original beige/tan color theme or trend it up with a metallic fabric.
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10. Bold sunglasses with UV-protected lenses You're never going to not want these, and now's the time to splurge on quality frames. Choose big but lightweight sunglasses in black or tortoise, or aviators for fad-proof style and no indents on nose or cheeks. Check the nose pads (if any) for comfort, too. Aside from protecting your eyes and eye area from sun damage, fabulous frames make you feel glam and provide some personal privacy. Why do you think celebrities always have a pair? Stock up.
For more beauty and style tips for women age 50-plus, check out The Makeup Wakeup: Revitalizing Your look at Any Age by Lois Joy Johnson and Sandy Linter
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