We’re down to the nostalgic last few weeks of summer and things are inevitably cooling off—nothing is safe, from the temperature to your
summer fling. So to adjust to the cooler breezes and cold shoulders (sorry), we recommend taking a good look at your summer closet and packing up your treasured remnants of warmer days—at least until next year. To help us discern what to keep for next year and what to banish, we enlisted the expert shopping advice of Julia Seidl, a Toronto fashion stylist, for the judgment call.

Here are her 5 best tips for deciding how to divvy up your summer favourites into what to toss and the trusted favourites to hang on to for next summer, sartorially speaking, anyway.

Summer fashion clear-out tip #1: Learn to let go

First, take a good, long look at your summer wardrobe: were you ever
really that attached to it to begin with? “I first decide which items to toss based on how many times I wore them,” says Seidl. “If I never wore an item or only ventured out in it once, I say it’s time to give it up— unless it’s a dress that you only wore once as a guest to a wedding. Hold on to that one until next summer and see if you can re-wear it at another event.” But also know what can make it for the long haul: “Is it super trendy or a classic? Maybe you only wore that nautical-inspired navy blazer once this summer but that’s an item that should be kept because it’s always in style.”

Summer fashion clear-out tip #2: Know what can be rekindled next summer…

Some things are just worth fighting for. Your best way of knowing if your love affair with that pretty floral frock stands a chance next summer? “Pay attention to the style of the item, says Seidl. “Classic summer pieces include white jeans, navy blazer, silky tanks or blouses and striped tees.”

Summer fashion clear-out tip #3: …And what has run its course

Start saying your goodbyes soon: “I think the mullet skirt has seen its day. It was around last summer and again this year, so I think it’s safe to say it won’t be returning for 2013. “ Other parting favourites? “The flatform that we saw in 2011 and still saw a bit of this summer will not be making a comeback, and as for bags, anything slouchy and super-oversized has had its moment in the sun.” Adieu, friend.

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Summer fashion clear-out tip #4: Get back in the game

The bright side to clearing away with the old is making way for a fresh start. Plus it frees you up for the highlights of this next season’s runways. “I think we’ll still be seeing pointed pumps— my fave— and if the Resort 2013 shows are any indication, expect to still see
floral prints, pastels and
bright shades, a hint of safari-inspired pieces and even a modification to the peplum.”

Summer fashion clear-out tip #5: Don’t say goodbye just yet

The ladylike styles from the Spring/Summer 2012 runways –think
sheer and elegant dresses from Lanvin and Christian Dior—will have a place in next season’s best-dressed closets. “Lace continues to have a spot on the runway and red carpet, and the best way to carry them through to fall is to layer your sheer laces over top of solid items— like Diane Kruger did recently with a lace Alessandra Rich dress,” says Seidl about the sheer magenta skirt Kruger wore to the recent NHL Awards. Best news we’ve heard all season? “Despite the old adage about wearing white after labour day, summer’s favourite shade is in fact ripe for fall, so long as you look for creamier tones in heavier fabrics like angora or wool.”

Summer fashion clear-out tip #6: Know what to look for the next time

Of course, we all make mistakes and get swept away by the one-season only numbers of summer (blame it on the heat). But that just makes for a smarter experience when you’re back on the prowl the next time around: “I like to follow the 80/20 rule when it comes to shopping,” says Seidl. “Spend 80 per cent of your budget on building blocks for your wardrobe—a classic blazer, a luxe quality pair of boots,
a pencil skirt, one long skirt, items that will take you through from season to season and that are high-enough quality.” The remaining 20 percent? “Fill in the rest with trendy items that you know you’ll probably only wear for one season and that’s it. Then you won’t feel bad about not wearing it again because you didn’t invest a big chunk of change on it.” Or too much of your heart.

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