Previous to 2 summers ago, my summer weekend wardrobe was a mess - nothing made sense, I hadn't done any updates to it, but I had a lot of stuff. It wasn't until I couldn't fit into them, did I start to think about what I really wanted. I took it as an opportunity to refine my wardrobe and instead of going crazy and buying every pretty thing in sight, I took my time, let go of almost everything that wasn't working, and spent very little money to test the waters. I bought a little bit of everything that I wanted to try and it helped me realize the following things:
- t-shirts and tank tops - while it's tempting to buy every color under the sun for the super low prices that seem to be popping up every where, quality differs greatly from brand to brand. Nowadays, especially with the paper thin trend, it's hard to find ones that aren't see through and stretch to no end, after a few wears (and putting them in the dryer to shrink them just put them out of proportion.) I rather spend a bit more money on these so that I don't have to layer on tank top underneath.
- shorts - I learned that I prefer a dress short, or khaki short, over denim, and if they are denim, prefer a dark wash and reasonable length. If I buy anything outside of that, I usually get tired of them after one season. I therefore purchased a few better quality dress shorts and a pair of khakis so that I don't have to replace them every season, and I spend very little money on denim shorts - I actually recently donated last year's purple denim shorts and am in no rush to fit into my dark wash denim shorts, which are an ultimate benchmark item.
- throw-over dresses - I LOVE these, and love the price - there are always fun new ones every year and I buy a couple and wear them to the ground. They are always items that get the best cost-per-wear. This year's will be my new H & M basic dresses and I love them so much that I hope these will hold up for a few seasons. If not, I think/hope it's safe to say that I can get them next year (my cousin bought the same one last year; although, I doubt I will be able to get the orange one again =() I don't spend a lot on these for several reasons: I have yet to find one of really good quality that is lightweight and that I think will actually wear well for several seasons to come, they are one of the few items in my wardrobe that may be a staple, but offer me too much variety for me to commit, and I tend to wear them for everything so the likelihood of them getting ruined is quite large (although has yet to happen) and I don't want to fret over something that's meant to be worn easily.
- pants - I don't like to wear them in the summer and seldom need to. If for whatever reason I must, I have my khakis from spring that work perfectly =) Alternatively, I turn towards my weekend skirts, which like the throw-over dresses, are a staple, but another item I try not to spend too much on for the same reasons.
Now, I have a good mix of things I need and every summer or two, can easily anticipate what needs to be replaced. I usually spend less than 10% of my wardrobe budget for my summer weekend items. Also, since we get summer only 4 months of the year, I try to keep my weekend wardrobe to a very minimum number of items. Same goes for the other seasons. It just makes closet real estate sense ;)