How to Accessorise on a Budget This Summer

Read on to discover some new ways to accessorise on a budget this summer.

A beach ball in a pool.
(Image credit: Unsplash)

So, the sun is finally out, the sky is blue and the temperature is rising - it can only mean that summer has started at last. And while British summertime is known to be temperamental at best - a rainy trip to the beach, anyone? - the start of summer can cause many people to drop what they’re doing and head to the shops. 

The long-awaited appearance of the sun can make people feel like they need to invest in a brand-new wardrobe of accessories, from hats and sunglasses to makeup and handbags. While this may sound tempting, it can often come with a pretty hefty price tag. If you’re looking for a style refresh that doesn’t break the bank, read to discover a few ways to accessorise on a budget this summer. 

Hit the charity shops

a selection of vintage clothing

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 With countless charity shops dotted around the UK, hitting the charity shops is a great way to find some stylish accessories for less this summer. You can find so much great stuff this way, from designer bags to unopened makeup and everything in between. Charity shops are a great option if you know exactly what you’re looking for, as the volume of second-hand products can be slightly overwhelming if you haven’t got something specific in mind. For example, if you know that you’re on the hunt for a lime-green wide-brim hat, you can give the shop a quick scan before moving on to the next one. 

However, charity shops are also a great option even if you haven’t got anything specific in mind. With such a wide range of bargains available, going in with an open mind can often result in some great finds that may cost you under £5. Just be prepared to set aside a portion of time to fully explore your local shops, as it could take a while to find the tote bag of your dreams. 

If the second-hand aspect of charity shops bothers you, just pop your purchase in the wash before wearing it. Most charity shops will only accept clean items, but checking the garment is machine washable before you buy it is a great way to ensure that you’ll wear it later. 

If you’re after a comprehensive list of all the ways to save money on clothes, check out this article on top tips for buying clothes on a budget. 

Browse second-hand clothing apps

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Similarly, browsing second-hand clothing sites such as Depop, eBay and Vinted is a great way to accessorise on a budget this summer. To narrow your search, refine the results by ‘accessories’ and simply scroll until you find something that catches your eye. You can search for ‘bags’, ‘sunglasses’, ‘scarves’ and similar to refine the search results even further.

Prices can vary from app to app, with Vinted regularly coming out as the most budget-friendly option, featuring prices that tend to stay under £10. Depop can be quite pricey but boasts an extensive range of designer bags, sunglasses, belts, scarves and other accessories. eBay is another good option, with high-quality accessories often being listed for as little as 99p. For a more comprehensive guide to second-hand clothing apps, check out this article on how much money you can save buying second-hand clothes. 

Organise a Clothes Swap

Organising a clothes swap is a great way to accessorise on a budget this summer. Simply enlist the help of a group of friends who both share your need for new accessories and have some unwanted ones of their own. Pool together your collection of summer accessories that are up for grabs and keep an eye out for any items that would suit your style. 

It’s a great way to simultaneously get rid of any unworn items that have been taking up valuable wardrobe space and add some new ones to your collection - for no money at all. It’s simply a fun, free activity; add some wine to the mix, get your favourite playlist on and you’ve got yourself an ideal budget-friendly Friday night. 

A clothes swap also allows you to experiment with different styles. It’s unlikely that you’ll have the same taste in accessories as everyone that you invite, so it’s a great opportunity to come home with a style of sunglasses you wouldn’t normally go for. 

Use a discount code

A selection of Sale tags against a dark background

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We may be slightly biased, but using a discount code is an excellent way to accessorise on a budget this summer. Whilst investing in a brand new collection of hats, sunglasses, scarves, belts and jewellery sounds tempting but expensive, using a discount code can help to bring the price within budget. 

Brands such as Lulu Guinness, Kate Spade, Radley, EGO, Sunglass Hut and Ray-Ban all offer discount codes that can see customers save huge amounts of money on high-quality designer accessories. Using a MyVoucherCodes discount code will see you investing in some brand-new accessories without breaking the bank in the process. 

Shop the sales

Two girls in bikinis posing for a photo

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Shopping in the sales may seem like an obvious suggestion, but it's such a great way to grab budget-friendly accessories from your favourite designers. Whether you’re after a pair of stylish shades from Vision Express, a delicate necklace from Monica Vinader or a flattering bikini from River Island, heading straight to the Sale section will see you saving some serious cash.

If beachwear accessories are something you’re on the hunt for, check out the clearance section of Next. You’ll be able to find swimwear accessories with hefty reductions, including bikinis, swimsuits and sarongs. Also, if swimwear is on your mind this summer, we would recommend checking out this article on the top 6 beachwear trends for a budget-friendly summer. 

Repurpose your accessories

Take a look at your current collection of accessories - there might be a few items that could actually be used as something else. For example, an unused scarf can easily be folded to make a flattering headscarf or even a stylish sarong to wear to the beach. A long necklace can be worn as a chain belt if it’s wide enough, and a swimsuit can be worn as a bodysuit to complete an elegant outfit. If you’re feeling crafty, buy some fabric dye and change the colour of an unworn accessory - this will make you feel like you’ve bought something new without spending any money! To learn more about budget-friendly fashion, check out this article on upcycling clothes. 

Head to the car boot sales

a man looking through a collection of records

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Car boot sales are a haven for money-conscious shoppers wanting to expand their accessory collection for less. There’s obviously no guarantee that you’ll find anything, but the hunt is part of the fun! Prices vary from seller to seller, but you can be certain that you’ll find accessories priced as low as 50p, so it’s worth a visit. Also, as car boot sales tend to be cash-only, you can take just as much money as you are prepared to spend. I would recommend taking between £10 and £20, as you’ll be sure to spot some accessories that will complete your summer outfits.  

Shop at Outlet Stores

A purple handbag

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Shopping at Outlet Stores is a great way to revamp your accessories collection this summer. Stores such as TK Maxx, Savers, M&S Outlet, GAP Outlet and Calvin Klein Outlet are good places to find heavily discounted shoes, underwear, swimwear, sunglasses, hats, makeup and more. If you’re up for a bit of travel, there are loads of Outlet shopping options located across the UK. These include Gunwharf Quays, Clarks Village, London Designer Outlet, Bicester Village, Cheshire Oaks and Boundary Outlet.  

Take advantage of big shopping days

If you’re looking for the perfect opportunity to buy some new accessories whilst making some excellent savings, you should consider buying on big shopping days such as Black Friday and Amazon Prime Day. Many online and in-person stores heavily discount loads of products on these days, so be a savvy shopper and get some bargains while you can.  

So, while summer can make the fashion savvy feel like they need a whole new wardrobe, we hope this article has provided you with a few ways to accessorise on a budget this summer. From organising a clothes swap to getting your DIY hat on and everything in between, revamping your summer style doesn’t have to break the bank. 

Tips for selling on Vinted

So, by now everyone should know that buying from second-hand shops such as Vinted and Depop is an excellent way to make some savings whilst investing in a brand-new wardrobe. But selling your pre-loved clothes is another great way to hold onto the pennies. 

As well as being my favourite online marketplace to buy clothes from, I think that Vinted is also one of the best platforms for selling clothes. However, selling on Vinted can seem daunting if you don’t know what you’re doing. I started selling clothes on Vinted around 7 years ago, so I’ve had plenty of time to figure out the do’s and don’ts of the business. Read on to discover a few of the hints and tips for selling on Vinted that I wish I'd known back then.

coats on a hanger

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Use high-quality photos

This one may seem obvious, but you’d be surprised at how many low-resolution pictures are uploaded onto Vinted every day. Make sure the lighting is good and the picture is focused, as a blurry photo is enough to make someone decide against a sale. Also, colours, materials and textures can look different through the lens of a camera, so make sure you specify if your item looks different in person. 

Include a variety of photos

Similarly, I think that it’s always a good idea to include a variety of different photos in your listing. I like to include a few photos of the item against a backdrop such as a wooden floor or carpet, a few photos wearing the item and a couple of close-up shots of the item. This means that the customer has the best chance of fully understanding what the item looks like, encouraging them to buy it and minimising the chances of them returning it.  

Write a detailed description

It can be tempting to simply hit the upload button and wait for the offers to come pouring in, but writing a detailed description of the item is a great way to increase your chances of making a sale. I like to include where the item is originally from, the condition of the item, the range of sizes it would fit and if I am willing to accept offers or if the price is firm.  

Tag similar items

Tagging similar items or search words in the description box is a handy way to increase the reach of your item. Words and phrases such as Vintage, 90s, 70s and Y2K are popular amongst the Vinted community, but it’s also worth using phrases that actually describe the style or appearance of the item. This will mean that your listing will appear more often and in a higher-ranking position. 

open shop sign

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Message people who ‘favourite’ your items

You’ll be notified when someone ‘likes’ or ‘favourites’ your item. Many sellers will often then reach out to the buyer with a reduced offer. However, this method has been known to annoy buyers who are simply browsing and aren’t planning on buying your item. If this method seems to suit you, then go for it - just be prepared to receive a few irritable messages!  

List items for more to leave from for haggling

This one is a bit sneaky, but a great way to make a sale is to list the item for slightly more than you usually would and then accept offers from potential buyers. This gives you some room to accept a lower offer as you have already increased the price.

So, with these handy tips you’d better start listing your unwanted items - just don’t be surprised if you can’t resist spending your hard-earned money on Vinted! 

Mazy Wyeth
Editor

 

Hi there! My name is Mazy and I’ve been a part of the vouchers world since November 2022. After studying English Literature with Creative Writing at university, I realised that I would love to incorporate writing into my career - so here I am! 

You could say that I have a mild addiction to online shopping, specifically second-hand shopping; you probably won’t find me spending thousands on a brand-new outfit, but you will find me deep into a browse of my favourite second-hand clothing apps, including Depop, Vinted, eBay, Preloved and Vestiaire Collective.