Mesh sweater ExpressMid to late summer is a great time to shop, because stores are already getting their fall clothes in, so they have to mark down all the stuff they already have to get it out of the way. That's a super bonus if you live somewhere that's always warm (where you can wear summer clothes all the time -- I don't HATE YOU AT ALL). But, even if you have chilly weather to look forward to like the rest of us poor slobs, you can still take advantage of these sales with a little smart thinking. Better yet, you can both cure your desire for instant gratification (cute new thing to wear now), but not waste money on something you'll only get to wear for another couple of months. That's right -- what I'm trying to say is, by buying these items, you can tell yourself you can't afford not to go shopping! You're welcome.

1. Lightweight, short-sleeved sweaters, like the vibrant Mesh Dolman sweater at Express pictured above. It'll look great with shorts right now, and paired with jeans, pants, or a pencil skirt in the fall! (Reg. price: $49.99; on sale for $29.99 plus another 40% off!)

Calvin Klein

2. Shirt dresses. Shirt dresses are SO comfy, and they're an entire outfit in one piece! Both this beautiful Ellie Chambray Dress by Rhyme Los Angeles and the tie-waist shirt dress by Calvin Klein Tie-Waist Shirtdress pictured here will be perfect with sandals now. Add a belt, tights and flats, booties, or riding boots when the weather gets cooler. (Reg. price: $79.00; on sale for $46.99 and reg price: $129.50; on sale for $96.99 at Piperlime.com)

J Crew cardigan

3. Cardigans. I take a cardigan or along-sleeved shirt EVERYWHERE in summertime because many places are FREEZING with crazy a/c. I love J Crew's pretty Jackie cardigans, which are normally $65 but on sale now for $39.99 and $55, depending on the color.  

Anthropologie

4. "Special" t-shirts. By special, I mean not just your average t-shirt (though those are great and are also on sale everywhere right now!), but tees with something special, like extra detailing or made from a nicer material. They're just as comfy but they take your whole outfit up a notch. I'd never spend $48 on this super chic Acadia Top at Anthropologie, but $29.95? Now you're talking! It'll look adorbs with shorts or a jean skirt now, and even better with jeans or leggings later. Same goes for this striped zip-back tee half off at LOFT.com!

Joe's jeans

5. Printed jeans. The printed jean trend isn't going anywhere soon, and I say yay for that! These skinny printed Joe's Jeans are light-looking enough for summer, but they'll be HAWT this fall and into winter. (Reg. price: $179.00; on sale for $64 at Macys.com)

Do you usually strategically shop or are you more of an impulse buyer?