21 of the best sun hats in 2019

best sun hats

Let’s talk about the best sun hats for summer 2019.  A big statement sun hat undoubtedly adds wow to an outfit. For the very simple reason that it screams “I’m confident enough to pull this off”. So you do.

In summer pulling it off becomes much easier because big sun hats are actually serving a purpose. Let’s face it, in winter a woolly hat is probably the most effective way of keeping warm. Save a balaclava of course – now there’s a statement look! Therefore, if you choose to wear a wide brimmed hat in winter, you’re making a style statement.

But that’s not the case in summer. Because you’re protecting your precious skin. You’re sensible, not vain! So go for your life – the bigger the better I say!


At the moment, I’m on the hunt for a new hat or two (or three, or four!).

And I figured if I’m doing the research for me, I may as well save you the effort.  Consequently I’ve collated my favourites together in one place.

So let’s get cracking. In order to make this list easier for you to navigate I’ve divided them up into groups.


  1. Extra large wide brimmed sun hats 

  2. Wide brimmed sun hats 

  3. Panama and fedora sun hats

  4. Trilby sun hats

  5. Other styles 

1. Extra large wide brimmed sun hats

If you want to stand out from the crowd, this is the way to do it. Plus, wide brimmed hats score a big tick in the sun protection box.  You may not be able to see where you are going mind!  

Paper Straw Sun Hat at H&M £13.99


When I wrote this post a few days ago this was my favourite of all the hats I’m about to show you.  

But I now possess this hat and it’s extremely large.  So I’m undecided. And it’s not as rigid as it looks in this picture.  At all.

In fact it’s totally floppy.  

Here I am sporting it, so you can make up your own mind.


best sun hats
best sun hats

Even the top “crown” (technical term, I just looked it up!) is floppy.  Can you see the crease?  I’m not happy about that.  

For me it’s going back.  In the case of a taller woman, I think this hat could be really striking.  

Oversize Stripe Floppy Hat Accessorize £30


I wish online retailers would show pictures of people wearing their hats.  

This one looks a bit more rigid than the H&M one, but could be completely wrong. 

Anyway, this one is a sophisticated number.  You can’t go wrong with navy and white stripes in my opinion. 

Price is a bit steep but Accessorize often do 25% discounts.  Which would make it a more digestible £22.50.


best sun hats

Topshop Monochrome Oversized Stripe Straw Hat £26

Similar to the last one I know.  But can you ever have too many striped hats.  

And actually, there are quite a few differences. It’s black and cream for a start. The crown is has squared edges. It’s got a lovely transparency. And I think it’s bigger.  

If it weren’t for the price I’d be ordering it right now!


best sun hats 2019

2. Wide brimmed sun hats

These sun hats are all still pretty large, but perhaps not as oversized as the last category.  

Corrine Circles Floppy Hat from Monsoon £20

Errr looks like I’ve found another striped hat!  

This one has more of a retro vibe.  


best sun hats

Large Sun Hat from Zara £25.99

This one is simplicity itself, but with the added touch of a contrast detail that just elevates it from the rest. I love this. But the price is a little steep for me.

I also comes in a tan/natural colour with black contrast border.


best sun hats 2019

Primark Floppy Hat £3

I’m not usually a big advocate of Primark, but I make an exception for these hats.  They are absolutely brilliant.  Incredible value.  I’d advise you to rush out and bag yourself as many as you can carry home with you.  

In my local store they had black, cream and pink.  Here’s the black.  

And my first photos in this post feature the coral colour one they did last year. As you can see, still going strong.  

Quick get down to Primark before it’s too late! Bag yourself one of the best sun hats of the year! Or certainly the best value sun hats of the season.


best sun hats
best sun hats

Lipsy Lurex Detail Ribbon Band Summer Hat from Next £18

At first glance this sun hat might look quite run of the mill.  But actually I think the soft pink tones of this sun hat make it perfect for anyone with warm colouring.  Simple but classic.  

best sun hats
best sun hats

Black Circle Floppy Hat from Next £20

The details on this contender on my best sun hats list really set it apart.  I think this would really elevate any outfit that has some black in it. 


best sun hats
best sun hats

Straw Hat from H&M £9.99

It wouldn’t be a full “best sun hats” list without a bit of colour. So here’s a nice bright orange hat that will make a statement just through its vibrancy.

best sun hats

Stripe Straw Floppy Hat from Matalan £8

I’m just loving the vibrancy and riot of colours in this 2019 sun hat.  

best sun hats

JOYEBUY Women Big Bowknot Straw Hat Floppy Foldable Roll Sun Hat from Amazon £9.99

Another classic sun hat. This one gets great reviews on Amazon. 


best sun hats

Lipsy Squiggle Floppy Hat from Next £18

Such a lovely detail on this one. 

best sun hats
best sun hats

Oliver Bonas Summer Stripe Floppy Sun Hat £24

I just keep finding more summer hats I love! This one is just too colourful to leave out.  

best sun hats
best sun hats

3. Panama and fedora sun hats

What’s the difference between a fedora and a panama?  For the purpose of this post I’m not sure it’s strictly necessary to worry about this. But I do love a factoid, so I’m going to tell you anyway!  

The main difference is in the material. Panama hats are made specifically of toquilla straw, in Ecuador. Fedoras are made of felt, leather or any variety of straw. 

A fedora hat always has the low, pinched crown and brim. Panamas can be a bit more fluid in their shape, but do often take the same form as a fedora.  

Clear?  As muck probably. But let’s move on.   

Bow Panama Hat by Accessorize £18

(but they currently have 25% off)

This sun hat has great colours, which is why it made the cut.  I would argue that this is actually a trilby hat, due to it’s smaller brim.  But Accessorize are calling it a panama, so it must be made of the fine grain straw of the toquilla palm tree! 


best sun hats

& Other Stories Straw Fedora Hat £17 

This panama sun hat comes in three different colour combos.  And I like them all. 


best sun hat
best sun hat
best sun hats

Magda Mono Braid Fedora Hat from Monsoon £20

This is a festival hat if ever there was one. 

best sun hats

4. Trilby sun hats

John Lewis & Partners Packable Trilby Hat, Navy £20

You’ll find this one in the men’s section, but I don’t let small details like that put me off.  On the right person this hat would look sassy and cool.  Team with tiny denim shorts and sea salt hair for thoroughly beach babe look. 

Matalan Rainbow Straw Trilby Hat £8

This one is a billy bargain if ever there is one.  Bright colours mean you’ll stand out in this punchy trilby.  


best sun hats

5. Other styles 

Three tone hat from Zara £25.99

Now this one could go one of two ways. It could look extraordinarily elegant, or it could look like you have a stripy lampshade on your head!

Joking aside, I think this is a fabulous hat but I’d be worried about how it might fit on my head given its lampshade shape. I’d like to try this on before committing I think.


best sun hats

Oliver Bonas Rainbow Stripe Reed Hat £29.50

I’m just loving this.  Such great colours combined with a statement shape.  

best sun hats
best sun hats

Natural Roll Up Woven Sun Visor from Asda £8

I’m loving the contrast of the black on tan details on this. It also boasts the handy ability to be folded up to fit in a suitcase. Bonus. It is a sun visor and I’m not sure how it would look on, but for £8 it might be worth a shot.

best sun hats

In conclusion

Obviously choosing a hat is a very personal experience.  So making sweeping statements about which hats to buy seems a bit ridiculous.  hope this has at least given you some reasonably priced food for thought.

Charity shops are also a great place to hunt for hats. The old ones are often the best made.  And the going rate in a charity shop seems to be around £3 per hat.  

Happy hat hunting!  Let’s hope the sun comes out to justify splashing out on the best sun hats. 



The ultimate guide to clothes shopping on eBay

Feast your eyes on these

Take a look at these items I bagged clothes shopping on eBay recently:

Clothes shopping on ebay
  • Michael Kors gold and snake print court shoes £4 (left)
  • Reiss genuine leather khaki snake print biker jacket £4 (right)
  • Stella McCartney over the knee boots £24 (left)
  • Dior sunglasses £0.60 part of a bundle (right)
  • Reiss off white winter coat £11.50 (left)
  • Brand new Ted Baker gold embroidered sandals £20 (right)

And I’m just scratching the surface of my eBay finds in order to get you salivating.

Jealous? Good. So how did I do it?

Interestingly, the winning formula for each item can be put down to a different reason.  To demonstrate, here’s what’s behind these successes:


  • Micheal Kors shoes. Won as a result of an early morning finish time.
  • Reiss leather jacket. I took a punt on dodgy photos and consequently got a bargain.
  • Stella McCartney boots. I got lucky on a ridiculously low offer
  • Dior Sunglasses. The listing didn’t mention brand but I noticed from zooming in on the photo.  Therefore there were no other bidders.  Admittedly these may well be fake, but I love them anyway!
  • Reiss off white winter coat. I bought in mid summer so there were less bidders.
  • Ted Baker gold sandals. I used a snipping service to bid in the last 3 seconds which stopped the price inflating too much.
clothes shopping on ebay
clothes shopping on ebay

Have I got your attention? Brilliant.

eBay is a treasure trove of potential bargains just waiting to be had. But crucially, there are tricks of the trade you need to know in order to maximise your chances of winning.

How to win at eBay

Are you wary of ending up with dud items?  Or put off by the seemingly unmanageable number of listings you need to sift through to find a bargain? Or perhaps you find the whole bidding process stressful?  

If this is you then you’ll love the series of posts I’m sharing on clothes shopping on eBay.  

Or maybe I’m underestimating you.  But if you’re already a skilled eBay clothes shopper, you’ve also come to the right place to refine your skills.   

Why I rock at eBay

And hence why you should hear what I have to say.

Well, I’ve been at it for years.  And years of clothes shopping on eBay allows you to really hone your techniques.  As I’ve got better at it, it’s become less risky.  And now it’s just how I shop. I’m 100% hooked.  And pretty skilled at it.  

And now I’d like to share what I’ve learnt with you.  

I won’t be able to completely eliminate duds from your eBay shopping experience. Or guarantee you win every auction. (I know, shame).

But what I can do is arm you with a host of tried and tested tips.  Which, if you put them to the test, will do two things.  Firstly you’ll dramatically increase the number of auctions you win.  And secondly you’ll achieve a much higher ratio of hits – ie items you’re really chuffed with.  Which of course is the aim of the game.

Finding the hidden gems when clothes shopping on eBay

The first major hurdle is finding great items in the first place, which requires stellar search techniques. This is a whole topic in its own right.  Which is why I have compiled a list of 9 eBay search techniques you really ought to know.

You should probably read that first.  Then you can come back here to find out how to bag those bargains once you’ve uncovered them. 

But if you’re enjoying this article then keep reading and I’ll remind you about the search techniques again at the end. God I’m just so helpful! 

What you’re going to learn

I’ve divided your ultimate guide to clothes shopping on eBay into three core sections.  So you can jump ahead if you want to:


  1. Top tips for all listing types
  2. How to be the boss of buy it now 
  3. How to win at winning auctions

Clothes shopping on eBay can be highly addictive, so read on at your peril!



1. Always check there isn’t another one

Bingo.  You’ve found something you want to buy.  It’s perfect and you need it in your wardrobe. Now.


Before you do anything else, it’s always worth checking you can’t find the same item for cheaper.

For instance, imagine you’ve been searching for “pink midi skirt”.   You find a lovely pleated Ted Baker pink midi skirt and immediately fall for it.  

Pause.  Deep breath.  

Don’t just jump to buy it or bid on it there and then. Instead, run a quick search for “Ted Baker pink pleated skirt”.   Just in case someone else is listing the same skirt for cheaper.

You’ll be surprised how many times you get lucky via this route.

How to search for identical items successfully

Think about it. The same item can be listed in a number of ways.  For example the lovely pink Ted Baker number could be:

  • Ted Baker pink midi skirt
  • Cerise skirt Ted Baker 
  • Ted Baker pink pleated skirt
  • Calf length Fuchsia Ted Baker skirt

It’s possible the search criteria you used to find the first item missed others.  Which is why it’s worth searching again once you know the exact item you want to buy. In fact run a few quick searches to be really sure.

For example your first search might be “rust paper bag shorts 10” which throws up a Boden pair that are perfect.  Then you could try running these three searches:

  1. Boden rust shorts
  2. Paper bag shorts Boden
  3. Boden brown shorts

In this case I’ve left out the size.  This is because I think these searches wouldn’t bring up too many results so you could check them all in case someone has left out the size from the listing title.

If your searches produce a lot of results, then rerun including the size.


2. Check completed listings for sold prices

You wouldn’t buy a house without checking net house prices to see what similar houses sold for recently, would you?

So don’t make that mistake with items on eBay.


clothes shopping on ebay

How to check completed listings

As soon as you find an item you’re interested in, copy and paste the listing title into the search box.  Then tick completed listings in the left hand column and run the search.

For this you may have to simplify the title a bit. So let’s say you’ve found a “topshop yellow midi wrap skirt with belt size 10”. Then you might want to cut it down to “topshop yellow wrap skirt” to see what similar items sold for.

To gather prices, you’ll probably want to ditch the size from the search unless it is very large or very small.  A size 12 will probably sell for a similar price to an 8, 10 or 14. You just want a good idea of what people are paying for this item at the moment, regardless of size.


clothes shopping on ebay

3. Read everything and look at every picture in detail

I find it amazing how many times I spy something I want to buy and my heart starts to race.  But two minutes later, after reading and looking at the pictures, the item is dismissed.

That’s because there is a lot of rubbish on eBay. Consequently careful attention is required to make sure you don’t end up with it.

Things to look out for when clothes shopping on eBay

  • Marks on clothing and shoes.  Zoom in on photos and examine them thoroughly.  You should pay particular attention to areas you know get damaged easily.  Such as heels on shoes, handles on bags, bobbling on knitwear etc.  
  • Photos that don’t show key details.  For example, photos of a pair of shoes where the heels aren’t shown, or a top where only the front is photographed. Don’t assume the heel, back etc will be how you imagine – ask the seller to provide a photograph.
  • If photos are too blurry to properly check the item. Then ask for better photos.  

If you’re new to clothes shopping on eBay you’ll likely have a fair few misses at the start.

Just rack it off to experience and bung the duds back on eBay (as a seller).  One man’s junk is another man’s treasure, and someone will probably want it even if you don’t. Or dispute the item if faults weren’t mentioned.  More on this later.   

4. Check measurements

It’s always a good idea to check measurements, unless you’re really familiar with a brand’s sizing.

I find this to be really important when buying jeans especially. A 28 in one brand can actually measure 31 inches, whist in another it can be 33 inches. And some are even true to size, if you can believe it! A quick question can save you being left with an item that doesn’t fit.

Use items you currently own to check the measurements against. For example, what’s the waist measurement of your favourite jeans? How does it compare?  

When it comes to jeans and trousers be aware of how high the waist is. Higher waisted items will have a narrower waist, so just make sure you are comparing apples to apples.  Or high waisted to high waisted.  


clothes shopping on ebay

5. When key information is missing ask for it – but not through the listing

Don’t be afraid to ask for missing information.  Like size, fabric type, dimensions, brand, how much use the item has had etc.

Or you might notice a seller has made what looks like a mistake on their listing. So check it.

Now here’s the key bit.

When a seller responds to a question they’re given the option to post your message and their reply in their listing.  By simply ticking a box.  Consequently drawing every other potential buyer’s attention to the answer.  

Doh!  This is, of course, not what you want.

So instead click on the seller’s user name and ask your question via that route. The seller will most likely not bother to update the listing when it’s not as simple as ticking a box.


Want to know a really sneaky tip?

If you want to be really cunning, bid on the item immediately (for the minimum amount) once you’ve received the answer from the seller.


Because sellers can only do major edits to their listings before the first bid is received.  Oooh I feel like rubbing my hands together in glee it’s so sneaky! 

So let’s say you spot a lovely coat on eBay that’s listed as “purple winter coat” and you ask the seller what brand it is and they respond “Reiss”.  Bonsai!  Get your ass online immediately to place your 99p bid before the seller updates the title to “Reiss purple winter coat”.

If you sneak your bid in first the seller has to stick to their rubbish listing title.  Yay!  And therefore you’re much more likely to bag yourself a Reiss coat for next to nothing.  Even bigger yay!

If only more sellers were that stupid!  

Eliminate the buy it now option

It is worth noting that early bids also remove the “buy it now” option.  So if you don’t want to pay the buy it now price, but you don’t want anyone else to, this is the way to go.

6. Take a gamble on dodgy photos

Now I know this goes against what I said a minute ago. But with a certain set of circumstances, it might be worth taking a punt on an item with bad photos. Here’s when I might take a chance:

  • Firstly the price needs to be great. Otherwise you may as well buy from a seller with good photos.
  • Is the brand a good one? If you’re fairly confident about the quality of the item then it might be worth it.
  • Can you see pictures of the same item elsewhere on the internet? For instance other ebay listings, general pics online, on pinterest etc? This won’t protect you from faults with the item, but it will help you decide if the item is for you. If you do find a fault you can raise a dispute through eBay. So consequently you run a very low risk of getting stung.

As I mentioned at the start this happened to me with a Reiss leather jacket listed for £4 starting bid. The photos were awful.  But I knew it was Reiss.  And the listing stated it was real leather. I figured that if I didn’t like it once it arrived that I’d have a fairly high chance of selling it on again for more than £4. I took a gamble and it paid off.  It’s lovely.

7. Look for buyer collects listings

And then contact them and ask whether they will post. Or accept a courier sent by you.

You’ll be surprised how many times people are happy to do this for you.

Using couriers

My Hermes are as cheap as Royal Mail – cheaper often. And you can easily email a seller a label you’ve paid for to stick on a parcel. The courier will then pick up either from a safe location at their house, or at a time they will be in.

I must admit I’ve not used this much for clothes, but it is great for things like toys and furniture.

Any Van and Shiply both offer brilliant access to men with vans for heavier items, meaning you can bag a bargain anywhere in the country and move it for a very reasonable price.  

If you’re using Shiply just give it a while for the quotes to come down as the first ones are often ridiculous.


clothes shopping on ebay
clothes shopping on ebay

8. Search out of season

This takes a bit of planning, but if you look for winter items in summer and vice versa you’ll be up against way less bidders. I tend to do this for classic items that I know I’ll want to wear next season regardless of trends.

Or items that were big last season that will probably still have wardrobe miles in them next season.

For instance I’d take a punt on a pair of white boots this summer in the hope that they are still a perfectly acceptable fashion item next autumn/winter. I pick these as an example because they really seem so wearable and versatile that I can’t imagine them going out of fashion any time soon.

9. Save searches and set email alerts

If you don’t find what you’re after the first time, save the search and set an email alert. This can help you remember those white boots when all you’re wearing is flip flops!

To do this you’ll find a little heart icon and save search just above the search listings. Click on this and it will add your search to a list of saved searches.  And eBay will send you emails when new items match your search.

For more information on getting the most out of eBay’s saved searches function take a look at the saved searches section in the eBay search techniques post I mentioned earlier.  


clothes shopping on ebay
clothes shopping on ebay

10. Dispute anything you’re unhappy with

I buy a lot on eBay, so I end up having to dispute a lot too. And I can honestly say I’ve never had a case resolved against me.

But I don’t ever try and pull a fast one.  I only dispute a case if I honestly feel I’ve been mislead.

When to dispute

I raise a case for anything that I would perceive to be a fault that hasn’t been mentioned in the listing.  

For instance wrong sizing such as clothes that are US sizes and that hasn’t been pointed out. In other words when an 8 becomes a 12.

Or items listed as new that are not. I once found a load of snotty tissues and receipts in the pocket of a “new” coat!  I can assure you I won that dispute!  


And of course items with faults that weren’t mentioned.  Marks, bobbling, repairs, missing parts, excessive wear etc.  Even if the fault is visible on the photos when you check back I don’t believe that’s enough.  The listing needs to mention the fault and draw your attention to it.  If it doesn’t, then you have grounds to dispute.

How to dispute

In many cases the issue can be resolved direct with the seller. But inevitably you get the odd arsehole.   So you just need to state your case politely, provide relevant photographs and ask eBay to step in and help.

Don’t let sellers fob you off with offers of a part refund if you believe you are entitled to a full one.  

Always ask for them to pay the return postage too.  Why?  Well, it’s highly likely you wouldn’t have bought the item in the first place had the fault been mentioned.  So why should you be out of pocket at all?  

If you’ve reached an impasse with the seller don’t worry.  Just politely state that you’ll be elevating the case unless the seller changes their position.  

Things to remember

Sometimes you have to wait a few days before you can elevate the case to eBay.  So make sure you put a reminder in your phone or diary.  You don’t want to miss the opportunity to get the smug satisfaction of winning the case.

It’s worth pointing out here the importance of checking your items thoroughly as soon as they arrive.  

Trust me.  It feels way less comfortable raising a dispute three weeks down the line.  




1. Check completed listings for relists


Because more relists = more chance of a deal.

Use the same technique as described above for checking completed listings for sold prices. But this time you’re looking at how many times this exact item has been listed.

Obviously you can be checking sold prices whilst you’re at it.

And if someone has bought it and returned the item that will probably become apparent too.  A sold listing followed by a relist a week later.

All useful information to have uncovered before you make any offers.


clothes shopping on eBay
clothes shopping on ebay

2. Offer low – 50% is a fair bet

There are all sorts of criteria that will affect how much you might offer for an item.  

How long you’ve been looking for it. What similar items have sold for recently. How long the seller has been trying to sell it.  Whether the seller has had any other offers. How many watchers it has.  Etc,  etc.

So I appreciate there is no hard and fast rule for this one. And in some instances offering low is completely maniacal and you risk annoying the seller.

For instance, if you are buying an item that always attains a certain price.  Like a camera model that always sells for circa £800 and there are several listed a week.  There’s no point offering £400.

Or a recent Hermes “it” bag that sells for £5K+.  Don’t waste their and your time with silly offers.  

However, for most clothes shopping on eBay, the value of an item is more subjective. Clothing is more likely to be a one off item on eBay.  Therefore the seller is selecting a price based on what they want for the item, rather than what it’s worth.



When sellers list a buy it now item on eBay, by default the “make me an offer” option is included.  If they don’t want it they have to turn it off.  

Additionally there’s a limit set for eBay to automatically decline offers below a certain amount.  The default setting for this is half the item’s price.  Sellers can obviously raise or lower this limit, but in many cases they don’t for whatever reason.  Laziness, lack of experience, forget etc.

What this means is that it’s quite likely that an offer of 50% of the asking price will get submitted to the seller.  Offers below that level will likely be declined automatically. 

I have often bid my first bid below 50% of the price and received an immediate (and hence obviously automatic) rejection message.   Then when I bid 50% of the price my offer is submitted to the seller for consideration.

Now of course this doesn’t mean the seller is going to accept the offer.  But if you go in with a low bid, the chances are you’ll negotiate a better deal.


3. Barter – it’s good for your soul!

Why do I say this?

Well, let me give you an example. Let’s say a seller lists a pair of shoes for £60 “buy it now or make me an offer”.  Within thirty minutes someone buys the shoes without offering.

What does the seller think?

Hmmm – maybe I should have asked for more money?

Take another example. Some more shoes for £60. You offer £55 and within 30 seconds the offer is accepted. What do you think?

Maybe I could have got them for less.

The moral of the story? Only when you barter do both sides feel truly satisfied with the result.

Bartering is good for the soul.

Don’t just make one offer and then accept the sellers counter offer. Negotiate your way to the best price you can possibly get. Consider it a personal challenge to get the item for less than you were willing to pay. Then you’ll get a true sense of achievement as well as the item you want.



clothes shopping on ebay

4. Add polite little messages, but work them for all they are worth!

When you submit an offer, it is always worth just adding a little note. “Thanks for considering my offer” is way better than nothing. It turns you into a person and people are harder to say no to.

Even better, lay on the negotiating tactics and pull on the emotional strings as heavily as you feel comfortable. For instance notes like this can do wonders for lowering a sellers expectations:


“Thanks for considering my offer. It’s all I can afford to spend on this, so I really hope you’ll be able to accept it. I’d love to give your shoes a new home.”
Budget Fashionista
“They are lovely shoes, but I noticed a few marks in the pictures. I’m prepared to offer this much given the marks, but I won’t be able to justify any more. I hope you can come down to this. Thanks for considering it.”
All Fur Coat
All Fur Coat
Style Influencer
“They are great, but I'm already offering more than I can afford. My husband is going to kill me! He's never happy when I'm clothes shopping on eBay! Anyway, I hope you can come down to this.”
All Fur Coat and No Knickers
All Fur Coat and No Knickers
Fashion Blogger

Never show any wiggle room 

Because sellers will pick up on it immediately. For instance in the first example, imagine if I’d said “it’s about all I can afford to spend on this”.  Just that one little word gives the impression there’s a bit of room for movement on my price. 

And watch out for sellers doing the same. If someone says they won’t come down any further, you’ve got nothing to lose by making another offer. They are probably experienced negotiators and are just bluffing to try and coerce you into coming up to their price.

If they really are sticking to it, then you can always contact them if you’ve run out of offers.  And just explain you’re happy to take the price they last offered. Most sellers will simply reissue their last offer if they won’t go any lower.  Therefore giving you a second chance to accept it.


5. Snap it up if it’s a genuine bargain

Occasionally you’ll be the first person to see a really good deal.

If you know for a fact it’s a steal then just buy it now and be done with it.

I’ve been rigorously trained in the art of negotiation through a previous career.   Because of this I’m programmed to always haggle.

Consequently I’ve made offers on items I knew were a total bargain anyway.  And subsequently I’ve lost out when someone else pipped me to the post.

So nowadays I ask myself this.  Will I be able to sell it back on eBay for more money if I change my mind? If the answer is “undoubtably”, then it’s a low risk gamble.  

Then I swallow hard and hit the buy it now button whilst trying not to cringe!


clothes shopping on ebay

6. Contact sellers to make an offer

Even if the seller isn’t asking for offers, there’s a good chance you might get get a deal.  Especially if you’ve done your homework (as suggested above) and see that the item has been relisted more than once.  

I always say if you don’t ask, you don’t get. So ask. Politely.

This goes for auction listings too.  Especially if it has been relisted several times.

But always keep the transaction through eBay.  Otherwise you’re opening yourself up to a whole world of pain if you end up getting ripped off. 




1. Bid at the last minute

I’m amazed at how many people don’t do this. There are arguments for and against sniping (as it’s know), but in general I think the “for” camp are winning.

Why bid late?

Well picture this.

You spot a pair of J Brand jeans on eBay for £0.99 – bargain. So does someone else. No one has bid on the item so your expectations of how much they might go for are quite low.

You decide you’ll bid £5.66 (based on your most excellent learnings from the previous point).   The other interested party decides to bid £5. You both bid in the last 5 seconds, and you win the item for £5.20. Brilliant.

Now let’s take that scenario and run it again with both parties bidding early.



clothes shopping on ebay

So they bid £5 and then you come in and take the lead at £5.20.

But there’s still a day or two to go until the auction finishes.  That gives the competition time to mull over the importance of these jeans to their general well being.

Lo and behold, they decide two things.  

  • A) these jeans must be pretty good because someone else wants them.
  • And B) they are actually prepared to bid a bit more.

So you both bid again. And this scenario repeats until one of you has had enough. End result: you pay a much higher price.

Exceptions to the rule

The only time I bid early is if I’m worried about a buy it now. Or someone contacting the seller and making them an offer.



And then I’ll only bid the minimum amount just to get the bidding going and to commit the seller to seeing through that auction.

But be aware.  When you do this you automatically make the item more desirable to others, because it now has your stamp of approval on it.


2. Sign up to a sniping service

Get a sniping tool to do the last minute bidding for you.

After years of thinking I didn’t need this service, I finally capitulated and signed up to Bidnapper a year ago. And I LOVE it. It’s around £50 a year and it works like a dream.

I’m not making any money out of mentioning Bidnapper by the way.  

It takes all the stress out of last minute bidding.  Plus I never miss an opportunity to bid because I’ve got a bad phone reception.  Or my 5 year old needs tomato ketchup at the exact moment the 10 second countdown commences.

That did happen to me.  And I thought I could get to the fridge, to her and back to the laptop in time.  Turns out I couldn’t.  

Anyway, all you do is simply place your bid whenever you want.  Then the sniping service will submit the bid for you 3 seconds out from the end of the auction.  Or you can set the time to a different value ie 5 seconds.

Why I chose Bidnapper 

I chose Bidnapper because I didn’t need to give them my eBay password.  Which didn’t seem to be the case for a number of other sniping agents. 

Most of them give you a month trial for free, so you’ve got nothing to lose by trying them out.  

I’m pretty sure Bidnapper didn’t ask for credit card details to do the free trial by the way.  Don’t you just hate it when companies do that?  Relying on you being too lazy or busy to cancel.  I consider it to be a very dubious, underhand business practice that makes me run a mile.  

Anyway, I digress.  On to the next point.  


3. Be aware of increments

Excuse me if I’m teaching grandma to suck eggs.  But I can hardly miss out bid increments when talking about shopping on eBay.  So here’s a quick explanation.  

Firstly, what is a bid increment?  

If bidders could outbid each other by as little as a penny, imagine how many bids might be registered per auction.   A crazy amount.

To stop this eBay has a rule.  It states that you can only outbid the current highest bidder if you bid a certain amount over their bid.  And that amount is the bid increment.

As the value of the current highest bid goes up, so do the increments. So on an item between £1-4.99 the bid increment is £0.20.  

For example, you only need to beat the current highest bid by 20p for your bid to register. But when you get up to items of over £3,000 the increment shoots up to £100.

Have a look at the infographic on the right for eBay’s bid increments in the UK. 

If you place a bid that’s not an increment higher, eBay will simply not accept it.  And you’ll get this message:


clothes shopping on ebay

So when is this important?  

Well, if you’re trying to pip someone to the post in the last few seconds of an auction, that’s when.  At that point it’s critical to be aware of the increment required to outbid them.  So you can bid at least that.

For instance if the current highest bid is £12.60, then you must bid at least £13.10 (£12.60 + 0.50).

If two bidders are using a sniping service, and the bid amounts are within the range of one bid increment, the earlier snipe will win.

For this reason, some bid sniping services recommend bidding a few seconds before the standard 3 second sniping time.  At say 5 seconds or 10 seconds.


eBay increments infographic

Similarly, if you bid exactly the same amount as someone else, the bid placed first will be the winning bid.

How can you use your knowledge on bid increments to win more auctions?

If you’ve done your research, you should have a fairly good idea of what the item is worth. If you really want it, take that amount and then add on the bid increment for that value. Plus a few pence more. And that’s what you should bid.  

Which leads me on to…


4. Never bid in round numbers

Even if I lost you at the word increments, this is the most important lesson you need to learn. Never bid in round numbers. Always choose a slightly crazy number just above what you would have bid otherwise.

So for example if you think “I don’t want to bid any more than £11 for that item”. Then bid £11.11.

You’ll never be able to accurately guess where an auction might finish.  But going for a random number will increase your chances of being the winner.


5. Look out for items that end at antisocial hours

Who wants to stay up to 3am to bid on a pair of flip flops?!

No me neither.

And I’m not suggesting you do. But if you join a sniping service then these listings have got your name written all over them.

People using sniping services are still in the minority. That means that if you find an item that ends at an antisocial time, chances are you might be the only person bidding.

Even without a sniping service,  you may still get a bargain with these listings.  You just have to place your bid before you head off to bed.  And keep your fingers crossed you strike it lucky.




That’s all for now folks.  I hope you’ve gleaned something useful from my learnings. The main lessons come down to this:

  • Do your homework. To find out what the item’s worth and scope out other similar/identical items.
  • Bid at the last minute.  Unless you have a valid reason to place an early bid, like tying a seller into a poorly worded listing.
  • Don’t forget to haggle.  Be polite, cunning and leave no wiggle room.
  • Always bid in odd numbers.  And be aware of the increments.  
  • Dispute if you’re not happy

So all that remains is to wish you good luck. And do share your experiences with me. Do you use these tricks? Have they worked? Are you harbouring other little known secrets for eBay success? If so, please do share all below.

And if you didn’t take a look already, now’s a perfect time to get acquainted with my 9 eBay search techniques.  Happy hunting!


Shop the look

Take a look at where I sourced what I’m wearing.  To make it easier to read, I’ve put the brand in italics and bold indicates where I bought the items.  So bold italics means I actually bought it from that shop or website.  Which is unusual for me! 

Also, in the grid below you’ll find a selection of similar items you can buy now.


  • Monsoon orange Anais top £10
  • Mango white jeans from eBay £1
  • Superga rose gold trainers from eBay £14
  • Banana Republic zebra belt from eBay £7.50
  • Powder sunglasses £30
Superga Rose Gold Trainers
Hobbs Zebra Belt
Next Sleeveless Broderie Top
Mango Sayana Jeans
Powder Britt Sunglasses
Duco Sunglasses
Blevet Sunglasses
Zebra belt


Shop the look

Take a look at where I sourced what I’m wearing.  To make it easier to read, I’ve put the brand in italics and bold indicates where I bought the items.  So bold italics means I actually bought it from that shop or website.  Which is unusual for me! 

Also, in the grid below you’ll find a selection of similar items you can buy now.


  • Zara boots from eBay £47
  • Marks and Spencer pletaed skirt from Depop £5
  • Coast belt old 
  • Debenhams vinatge blouse from Pilgrims Hospice £3
  • Christoper Lancelot handbag old 
  • Powder sunglasses £30

Shop the look

Take a look at where I sourced what I’m wearing.  To make it easier to read, I’ve put the brand in italics and bold indicates where I bought the items.  So bold italics means I actually bought it from that shop or website!  Which is unusual for me! 

Also, in the grid below you’ll find a selection of similar items you can buy now.


  • Zara boots from eBay £47
  • Episode leather snake print skirt from eBay £10
  • Coast belt old 
  • Debenhams vinatge blouse from Pilgrims Hospice £3
  • Christoper Lancelot handbag old 
  • Powder sunglasses £30
  • Reiss Coat from eBay £11.50
ALDO’s Gadossi Handbag
Office Karaboo Leather Slouch Block Knee Boots Camel Leather
Once Upon a Belt Cream suede waist/hip belt
Mila Pleated Skirt Gold
Isidora Bronze Pleated Skirt
Mela London Pussy Bow Fluted Sleeve Blouse
Yoox Gerard Blouse
V by Very Textured Pencil Skirt – Snake Print
Warehouse Snake Print Faux Leather Skirt
Warehouse Snake Print Faux Leather Skirt
& Other Stories Faux Shearling Coat

Barely there sandals 101: Why you need them in your fashion arsenal

Naked sandals, floss heels, bare sandals, strappy sandals – call them what you will, but barely there sandals are having a big moment right now.

They’re skimpy, delicate and undeniably feminine. So long as you have the right feet of course. Bunion sufferers need not apply. Sorry.

Given all this hype about something so well, almost non-existant, I thought it was worth a closer look (no pun intended).

This post will cover:


  1. What exactly are barely there sandals?
  2. Current trends in barely there sandals
  3. The best styles to choose for leg lengthening (which is kinda the point of them)
  4. Styling tips
  5. Styles to buy right now
barely there sandals
barely there sandals
barely there sandals

What exactly are barely there sandals?

The conception of the barely there sandal was a result of every woman’s eternal quest to make their legs look longer. If you stand on tiptoes in bare feet your legs automatically look longer – because there’s an extra six inches or so of flesh for the eye to travel down. And we all know how much difference six inches can make!

In a nutshell that’s why barely there sandals are so damn great – they create the illusion of longer legs.

In 2018 there was a predominance of nude coloured styles and vinyl sandals, which were hardly discernible to the eye at first glance. But they certainly give you the barbie look. In a good way.

So far 2019 has seen a slightly different iteration of the barely there sandal – one with more colour but spaghetti thin straps.


barely there sandals
barely there sandals
barely there sandals

Barely there sandals current trends

So what shape and form are barely there sandals currently taking? Here’s some of the latest trends I’ve observed in the world of barely there sandals:


  • Spaghetti thin straps – The more super skinny the better. This is definitely a more is less sort of trend.

  • Square toes – There are a lot of square toes muscling in with the round ones we’re so used to.
  • Mules – The combination of impossibly thin straps and a mule does immediately beg the question “will I be able to walk in them?”, but they certainly look beautiful. I for one will be trying.
  • Unusual heels – There are lots of sculptural, textured, accessorised and truly fabulous heels out there right now. I’m hoping the high street can match the designers when it comes to this trend.
  • Kitten heels – A lovely practical height for every day wear, this gets a big tick from me.
  • Ankle wraps – Jimmy Choo, Gianvito Rossi, Jacquemus and Yves Saint have all got some lengthy straps that extend up the leg in their collections for SS19. I’m a bit wary of these and I’ll go into why in a minute.
  • Between the toe and toe loop – those skinny little straps are making their way between and round our toes too.
barely there sandals

Bag yourself the most flattering styles

Barely there sandals are a trend you can’t go that far wrong with. But as with everything, there are degrees of fabulousness.

  1. Think about colour

The closer to your skin colour, the more invisible the shoe becomes, and the more leg lengthening. That’s not to say you should always stick to nude, beige, white and vinyl, but it’s just something to be aware of.

2. Watch out for dissecting lines

The lines your sandal straps make either down or across your foot create powerful visual effects.

Vertical lines are lengthening, drawing the eye down your foot. Horizontal straps do the opposite, halting the eye and essentially amputating your leg at that point.


That’s why ankle straps can look less than flattering. The good news is that the smaller the strap the less potent the effect, so a tiny nude spaghetti strap across your ankle is way more flattering than a big black cuff.

3. Aim for uninterrupted skin

The longer the visible piece of leg showing without a strap crossing it, the longer your legs will look. That’s why I’m wary of ankle/leg straps. Just compare these two styles currently available on Net-a-Porter – both beautiful, but which makes the model’s legs look longer?

barely there sandals
barely there sandals

Not the ones with the leg straps.

Behind vinyl versions, barely there sandals where the spaghetti straps converge to a nice V down near your toes are the most leg lengthening of all. Like the Gucci ones above (on the left).

It’s worth mentioning colour again, because a black strap cutting across your lower leg is much more noticeable, and therefore shortening than a nude one.

So just be conscious of what sort of lines you are dealing with, how prominent they are and therefore how much they cut up your legs.


4. Think about heel height

The higher the heel the greater the illusion of leg length. But those lovely long legs won’t look so hot if you are hobbling along on them like an old lady! So choose your heel height carefully.

Kitten heels are a great choice for day time wear and perhaps up the heel height for the evening if you’ll be sitting down or drinking enough to numb the pain!

5. Think about heel shape

There’s a reason why stilettos are so ubiquitous on a night out – simply put, they are the most flattering heel style for slimming and lengthening your legs.


Because they continue the line of your leg, getting narrower as the eye descends.

Wedges on the other hand are not flattering for short girls. They are better placed on larger women, where delicate heels can look out of proportion.

I read recently that heels that are narrower at the top than at the bottom are an up and coming trend. I haven’t tried any on, but I would say proceed with caution. And make sure you try them on with your legs out so you can see if they look flattering or not.

6. Think about the view from behind

Is your heel on show, or is it hidden behind the sandal back (common on ankle strap sandals)? Again this is visually cutting off your leg, making it appear shorter.

I always think my legs look less appealing from behind (I’ve got big calves), so there’s even more need to elongate them. So choose sandals where the back is open or mules for maximum leg length, especially when you’ve got your pins out.



barely there sandals
barely there sandals

Styling tips for barely there sandals

  1. Pair with knee length, maxi and midi skirts and dresses

This feels like a bit of a statement of the obvious, but if I miss it out you might think I’ve no idea what I’m talking about. Barely there sandals are the perfect accompaniment to dresses and skirts, of almost any length (bar micro mini – see next point).

If you are wearing a pattern, try picking out one of the less dominant colours within the pattern and matching your sandals to that. Or introduce a totally different colour – this is a good way to introduce trends like neon if you are cautious (see post on spring summer 2019 trends).

Or if you want a classic look go for tan, white, cream, navy or black.


barely there sandals

2. Micro mini skirts: Proceed with caution

This might just be my 40 plus lens influencing me, but I have a “too much flesh on show” concern. But it can look sensational if you’ve got amazing legs.

If you do go for it, then make sure you cover up on top to keep the look from veering into slutty. And I think a tan (fake or real) is essential. Or tights (see below).

3. Cropped jeans

Barely there sandals and cut off jeans are a pretty perfect combo. For me, it’s the juxtaposition of a utilitarian piece of clothing with something quintessentially dainty and impractical that’s so delicious (let’s face it, you wouldn’t be lifting heavy items in barely theres).

Length is key here – just make sure your jeans are ankle skimming or above, because you don’t want to cover up your sandals.



barely there sandals
barely there sandals
barely there sandals

This is also the way to wear your ankle strap barely theres. Your leg has already been visually chopped by the jeans hem, and the large distance between the ankle and toe strap will work in your favour – elongating the small amount of skin that is on show and giving the impression of length. This tip also works with maxi skirts and cropped trousers.

4. Combine with tights

Go on, be brave. This is really not that much of a leap from wearing tights with sling backs, which you probably wouldn’t think twice about.

Use your tights to give a pop of either contrasting or coordinating colour. Lilac tights with orange sandals, or yellow tights with neon pink sandals, or baby pink tights with hot pink sandals etc. So much fun.

I’m also seeing a lot of patterned tights popping up on instagram. Particularly polka dots. Top marks for introducing a bit of playful fun to an outfit.

The tights with sandals trend is also great for getting extended seasonal wear out of your barely there sandals. And perfect if you’ve yet to paint your toenails for the summer!

6. Slip on socks

Now if you really want to be in with the fashion pack, this is how to do it. Get some seriously nice socks (Next black 5 pack just won’t cut it) and pair the look with trousers or maxi skirts. You don’t want a big piece of flesh showing above the sock – that would be the complete opposite of leg lengthening as explained above. So better, in my opinion, to keep the socks and sandals trend confined to items of clothing that skim where the socks end.

I’m liking fishnet socks, glitter socks and sheer socks. I think the more feminine the better, to make them less reminiscent of “dad socks and sandals” connotations.

And if you want to dip your toe into the water (not literally of course, because that would be foolish with socks on), try flesh coloured socks, that will blend in to your legs but still keep your feet warm!

7. Elevate shorts

Shorts are going to be big this summer (see ss 2019 trends post) and if you want to take them from casual to dressy, barely there sandals are the way to do it.

Barely there sandals are the perfect accompaniment to the short suit if you want to look sassy and professional. You can match the colour of your sandals to your suit for monochromatic style, contrast them, or stick to neutral shades for a safe and classic look.

Or why not try animal print as an alternative neutral? Leopard looks particularly great with warm shades and black and white zebra really pops against brights such as cerise pink and emerald green.

My micro mini hesitation extends to teeny tiny shorts. I think longer shorts look more stylish with barely theres and with bermuda shorts all over fashion week, hopefully I don’t sound like a frump – more a well informed fashionista!

But if you’ve got the legs, who am I to stop you?


barely there sandals

8. Make your barely there sandals the star of the show

I know, I know, this seems oxymoronic that a shoe designed to look like it’s not there should stand out. But small can also be beautiful. I guess you could argue they are no longer barely there, but hell, who’s got time for that!?

Take a look at these delights as an example. All ridiculous price points, so I include them more as inspiration than actual shopping suggestions – but if you have a few hundred to spare, go for your life!


REJINA PYO Doris leather sandals
GIUSEPPE ZANOTTI sculpted heel sandals
SOPHIA WEBSTER Rosalind crystal sandals
Giuseppe Zanotti  Black & Gold Rita Ora Edition Eve Sandals
GUCCI Haines braided metallic leather slingback sandals
SEE BY CHLOÉ block heel sandals
JIMMY CHOO Annie 100 embellished suede sandals
MERCEDES CASTILLO Oraley leather and suede sandals
REJINA PYO Doris leather sandals
GIUSEPPE ZANOTTI sculpted heel sandals
SOPHIA WEBSTER Rosalind crystal sandals
Giuseppe Zanotti  Black & Gold Rita Ora Edition Eve Sandals
GUCCI Haines braided metallic leather slingback sandals
SEE BY CHLOÉ block heel sandals
JIMMY CHOO Annie 100 embellished suede sandals
MERCEDES CASTILLO Oraley leather and suede sandals

If you find yourself lucky enough to own some barely theres as wow as these, then my advice is to let them steal the show. Keep the rest of your outfit classy and simple.

Styles to buy right now

Here’s a selection I’ve picked out for you to shop at your leisure.

ASOS Hong Kong Barely There Block Heeled Sandals Leopard
ASOS Block Heeled Sandals Iridescent Croc
Zara Strappy Block Heel Mules
Zara Animal Print Leather Heeled Sandals
Zara Sandals with Contrast Round Heel
Zara Leather Round Heel Sandals
Zara Vinyl Sandals
Topshop STRIPPY Heeled Sandals
Topshop SATINE Square Toe Sandals
Topshop SATINE Square Toe Sandals
Ted Baker Mylli Barely There Heeled Sandals


So that’s my take on barely there sandals. Do you agree? What are your favourite ways to style barely there sandals? And what are your high street favourites?

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