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Today, fashion consultant and wardrobe stylist Tracy James of Chic Made Simple gives us her top picks for summer’s best steals around town as well as how to handle a summer to fall wardrobe transition.

Tracy:

Many people think the stellar sales are after Thanksgiving and Christmas, when in fact, the best deals are to be found at the end of summer, as stores make room for fall fashion. While one can certainly find a dirt cheap swimsuit about now, if you’re like me, it can be hard to buy something with only a short wearability window left in the season. What I love is finding those pieces that can help transition from summer to fall, which in the South, can be quite a duration AND a challenge! How to dress when it’s still hot as heck but kids are already back in school? Let’s kill two birds with one stone and scour the local sales while keeping fall transition in mind.

The outfit below from Gus Mayer screams, “Bring it on, fall!” in its mossy greens and pop of citron. 

Ali Ro jacket $85, Haute Hippie tank $55, DL1961 Emma skinnies $69 and Daniella Lehavi handbag $135 available at Gus Mayer.

I LOVE this Ali Ro lightweight jacket, the kind you can run errands in all day and never take off. Layered over this batik print Haute Hippie tank, you should stay just the right temperature when that first fall “snap” in the air arrives. All of my clients know that DL 1961 is one of my favorite denim brands, and these Emma skinnies in army green will take you through fall AND winter. The Daniella Lehavi ivory, tan and metallic gold handbag is neutral enough to coordinate with every outfit. Ali Ro jacket $85, Haute Hippie tank $55, DL1961 Emma skinnies $69 and Daniella Lehavi handbag $135 available at Gus Mayer.

Mixing prints is very on trend and it will be again this fall. From SOCA, pair this Fifteen Twenty Bee stand collar top with Genetic Denim printed jeans and beaded necklace.

Top $110, printed jeans $50 and beaded necklace $20 available at SOCA.

Top $110, printed jeans $50 and beaded necklace $20 available at SOCA.

Can’t get enough black and white? Also spotted at SOCA is this uber easy-to-wear Parker dress, perfect for date night with just an armful of gold bracelets now, and with a black leather jacket and booties come fall.

Dress $160 and bracelets $20 to $60 at SOCA.

Dress $160 and bracelets $20 to $60 at SOCA.

What to do when it’s August and September but still feels like June and July? You can still wear shorts! Just warm up your color palette a bit. For example, switch out your whites for ivory, like these adorable Nell eyelet shorts from Laura Kathryn, paired with a Bella Dahl printed chambray shirt and gold statement necklace.

Nell eyelet shorts $90, Bella Dahl shirt $103 and statement necklace $95 available at Laura Kathryn.

Nell eyelet shorts $90, Bella Dahl shirt $103 and statement necklace $95 available at Laura Kathryn.

Try pairing shorts with long-sleeve shirts. I love the play on proportion, like in this sale look from SOCA: Joie top, Karlie shorts and House of Harlow necklaces. 

Joie top $80, Karlie shorts $55 and House of Harlow necklaces $50 and $60 at SOCA.

Joie top $80, Karlie shorts $55 and House of Harlow necklaces $50 and $60 at SOCA.

On a budget but would love to have some designer duds in your closet? Summer sales are your chance! Check out my designer discoveries at Gus Mayer in the next few photos below. (Note: normally I don’t include the original price, but in this case, you have to see the amazing markdowns to appreciate these deals!)

Fall weddings, here you come … and in Carolina Herrera, no less. On left, the heavyweight printed silk sheath was $2590 and is now $780. The champagne lace on the right was $2690 and is now $539.

Some amazing designer deals!

Some amazing designer deals!

Pair this gorgeous Rafe minaudière (shown below) with either dress. Featuring mother-of-pearl inlay, this special  clutch was $495 and is now $99!

Another fabulous designer steal!

Another fabulous designer steal!

You’ll find tons of ways to mix and match this 2-piece Christian Siriano color block ensemble, left. (Top was $520, now $105; Pencil skirt was $650, now $130.) Black & white works year-round, so this knit Valentino, on right, would be a great investment piece (Was $3250, now $675.) The Rafe minaudière, which you can wear as a crossbody bag or carry as a clutch, (was $395, now $120) adds edge to the sweetness of the dress.

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These great ensembles are investment pieces that will stand the test of time.

Rich, saturated color is always trend-right for fall. On left, the bold print wrap dress by Etro was $1235 and is now $375. As for the red frock on the right, who wouldn’t want to wear a super flattering red Alexander McQueen to a ‘Bama game? Especially one that was $1435 and is reduced to $290! The Daniella Lehavi roll-down bag (was $435, now $135) adds graphic punch. 

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Two great options sure to get a lot of wear over the years.

You know I wouldn’t leave you Auburn fans without designer options … This orange collection from Akris Punto will keep you in bright spirits on and off the field. For early-season games, wear the sleeveless cotton A-line dress (was $995, now $195) on it’s own with sandals. When the weather finally cools, pair with either the orange shawl collar sweater. (Was $795, now $160.) I love the perforated detailing on hem. Or, pair with the zip front navy tweed jacket (was $1390, now $300). And note the dark blue chambray lining visible when cuffs are turned up … always the most flattering way to wear a jacket!

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Orange is a great color whether you’re an Auburn fan or not.

And finally…

Oops! Forget a few graduates for whom you needed to give a little gift of congratulations? How about a fierce animal print DVF makeup bag from Gus Mayer? At only $49 for the set of 3, give two and keep one for yourself!

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DVF makeup bags are only $49 for a set of three at Gus Mayer.

Thanks, Tracy! For more on Tracy check out her website at Chic Made Simple.

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