Harvest These Fall Pieces Right Now

It happens every August. The temperature rises to such a brain-melting level that the only bearable items in my closet become the light and loose, airy and gauze-y, short and skimpy ones. Yet, the September issues of all my favorite fashion magazines get delivered and all of a sudden I've developed an actual, palpable hunger for fall fashion. Luckily, there is a way to combine the two elements. Invest in my top 5 picks of fall's fashion crop now, and transition them later.

Skinny Cargo Pants

Celebrities like Rihanna, Kate Bosworth, Rachel Bilson and Kourtney Kardashian have been seen all over town in this adorable take on Fall's military trend. Most of them were spotted wearing J Brand's $230 version, but save some cash for the next trend and snag one of these inexpensive options instead. Wear them now with a soft silk tank and platform wedges, and wear them later with a cozy knit sweater and some lace-up high heel boots.
Delia's skinny cargo pants, $49.50.Delia's skinny cargo pants, $49.50. Urban Outfitters skinny cargo pant, $58.00.Urban Outfitters skinny cargo pant, $58.00.Express cargo pants, $59.90.Express cargo pants, $59.90.

1950's-inspired Full Skirts

They came down the Fall runways at Marc Jacobs, Louis Vuitton and Christian Dior accompanied by fitted sweaters, pony-tails and lady-like, structured handbags. Get your hands on one of the skirts below, tuck in a light-weight shell and slip on some peep-toe pumps for now. Later, layer it over tights and add a fitted turtleneck and leather platforms [ed note: I've shortened the length a bit from the calf-length runway version because we can't all be 5'10 models].
Modcloth, $54.99.Modcloth, $54.99.Alloy hot pink full skirt, $29.90.Alloy hot pink full skirt, $29.90.Topshop, $58.00.Topshop, $58.00.

Black Lace Tops
And the vampire craze rages on! Designers like Burberry, Dolce & Gabbana and Christopher Kane showed gothic-style black lace cut into dresses and fitted tops with miniskirts or pants. On the runway, oftentimes this look was shown sans-undershirt, but for the real world, I think it's best to add a little cami. For now, layer a black lace top over a pair of distressed jean cut-offs for an edgy, night-time look. For later, add a slim-cut pair of black wool trousers...and don't forget the red lipstick.
Charlotte Russe black lace top, $19.00.Charlotte Russe black lace top, $19.00.BB Dakota black lace top, $70.00.BB Dakota black lace top, $70.00.Coldwater Creek lace top, $54.99.Coldwater Creek lace top, $54.99.

Lady-like Handbag
Yes, the same one I mentioned in the 1950's full skirt section. This doesn't necessarily mean it should be upholstered in florals and that it should contain a handful of sugar-free hard candies. It should, however, be structured, and have at least two handles. So that you can, you know, carry it like a lady. Pair it with your summer stand-bys now to add a pulled-together feel, and add it to your retro look this fall.
Big Buddha flower handbag, $90.00.Big Buddha flower handbag, $90.00.
Steve Madden satchel, $162.00.Steve Madden satchel, $162.00.Newport News hot pink frame bag, $44.00.Newport News hot pink frame bag, $44.00.

Anything Leopard-print

Alexander Wang's Fall 2010 leopard peep-toe wedges sent me into such a frenzy, my love of the print catapulted to record levels. And YSL's scarves were draped so perfectly -- the perfect je ne sais quoi. For the rest of the summer, a lightweight leopard scarf will get you through those chilly late-August nights, and a leopard shoe will be fun to mix with your floral dresses for a nice contrast. For fall, add the print to your grey or camel palettes (very important colors for the season) for a visual pop.
Steve Madden leopard peep-toe wedges, $69.95.Steve Madden leopard peep-toe wedges, $69.95.Harmony Lane leopard scarf, $35.00.Harmony Lane leopard scarf, $35.00.Wet Seal leopard belt, $7.50.Wet Seal leopard belt, $7.50.