Is it worth buying off-season clothes in the summer? A fashion expert weighs in

Alyssa Tria
Shopping Editor
Getty Images

While I prefer sweater weather over the scorching heat, just the thought of a small brush of wool on my skin right now makes me sweat (and a little bit nauseous). But now that summer sale season is in full swing with some stores and online retailers divided by sale and heavier new arrivals, it’s hard to not think about shopping for the upcoming seasons.

Like most people, I’m the type of shopper that buys something when I need it — you know, fancy dresses for special occasions, bathing suits weeks before a vacation, and a new jacket just in time for the first fall of snow — that, and I shop by impulse. But with hopes of becoming a more smart and savvy shopper, I had to ask myself, “Should I stop blowing my money on sale items and start shopping off-season?”

Shopbop’s Fashion Director Caroline Maguire says it’s sometimes not worth the trouble to plan your outfits ahead of season.

“I’m a buy-now-wear-now customer—who has the patience to wait months to wear a new favourite purchase? Right now, I am looking for summer dresses,” she says. “A con to buying pieces in the off-season is that trends change so much from year to year.”

Caroline Maguire

But with that said, Maguire points out the major pros that come with shopping for fall and winter clothes in the summer.

For example, you shouldn’t be stocking up on knit sweaters as of yet, but investing in a new coat or booties right now may just be worth thinking about.

“I think that it is worth planning investment pieces in the off-season. I like to buy those pieces before they sell out in the season. A pro to buying investment pieces in the off-season is that more often than not, these pieces are timeless and can be worn for multiple [years]. We adore the Patagonia inspired jackets. This one from Acne is a timeless investment piece to me, ” says Maguire.

If you do plan on shopping off-season, the best cheat sheet for knowing the the upcoming trends is to watch the runways, Maguire suggests.

“Because we [Shopbop] buy six months out, we know exactly which trends are coming when the season comes around,” she says. And once you’ve got the trends down, you can shop through sale and new arrivals and scope out versatile pieces that can easily pass throughout multiple season.

Below, check out Maguire’s fall fashion picks to stock up on now.

Warm colours

“Coppers and cognacs —these are timeless colours to purchase on or off-season. This fall, we are seeing them paired with pinks and blues for a new take on the trend.”

Elizabeth and James Oakley Pants

Shop it: Elizabeth and James Oakley Pants, $113 (originally $450)

Beaufille Suervo Blouse

Shop it: Beaufille Suervo Blouse, $209

Suboo Rising Sun Button Front Mini Dress

Shop it: Suboo Rising Sun Button Front Mini Dress, $340

Animal Prints

“I like to think that animal prints are always “on” season with seasonal trends incorporated into them. This coming fall, we are seeing lots of animal prints in colour and tinted reptile.”

GANNI Silk Stretch Satin Dress

Shop it: Ganni Silk Stretch Satin Dress, $681

Faithful The Brand Ilia Mini Dress

Shop it: Faithful The Brand Ilia Mini Dress, $208

I.AM.GIA Seala Pants

Shop it: I.AM.GIA Seala Pants, $170


“These are a perfect off-season purchase. I always love pairing my turtlenecks with a modest dress.

Commando Ballet Short Sleeve Turtleneck Bodysuit

Shop it: Commando Ballet Short Sleeve Turtleneck Bodysuit, $103

STAUD Acme Top

Shop it: Stud Acme Top, $88 (originally $177)

Yummie Madelyn Bodysuit

Shop it: Yummie Madelyn Bodysuit, $51 (originally $102)

Mid-calf boots

“I love a good mid-calf boot for the length and endless styling abilities. This season I will be pairing mine with a modest dress.”

Dr. Martens Leona 7 Hook Boots

Shop it: Dr. Martens leona 7 Hook Boots, $209

The Fix Keyla Booties

Shop it: The Fix Keyla Booties, $90 (originally $130)

Jeffrey Campbell Calvera Western Boots

Shop it: Jeffrey Campbell, Calvera Western Boots, $250

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