The best time to buy clothes if you want to update your summer wardrobe and not spend a lot of money is August. Stores are starting to display their new fall and winter fashion so the close need to go which means discounts for you.
Clothing stores constantly rotate stock in each season has a signature fashion and the stores need to get rid of their last season merchandise for new stock to arrive. One can find great discounts if you shop at the end of the season.
Shopping one season behind is easy for adult clothing. It's not like children who are growing as one already knows the size of the clothes one wears. Even if your diet is working, it's gradual enough you can hold out for the new clothes if the price is right.
Children on the other hand grow rapidly so it's harder to predict what size the where. Summer T-shirts can be layered throughout the winter so it's not a bad idea to add a few to the wardrobe.
Summer clothes at the end of the season can be more versatile than winter clothes. Shirts can be layered in running shoes don't have a season. Summer socks work just as well and fall and pants can be worn through all seasons.
Swimwear is the main exception and typically swimming suits can hit store shelves in late winter so they're ready for spring break. Many stores mark down their swimwear in early summer and very rarely does a good selection end up in the clearance racks. But you never know you may find a super deal on a great swimsuit later in the summer. You may not find your size and may need to mix and match the top and bottom.
Keep your eye out on the advertisements. Check out back-to-school sales and weekly flyers. This is a signal that the clearance racks are filled with the summer tops and shorts.
Shop the clearance racks. Some stores have a better clearance section than others and learn which of your local stores have the best clearance selection and frequent them at key times of the year.
Typically the longer you wait the cheaper it'll get. This is a gamble on seizing and clearance but stores will try to make the most money they can with clearance clothing. Sometimes if you wait just a little longer you'll find the markdown even more so it's worth checking back after a few weeks.