It’s finally time.

I’ve been in a holding pattern with Fall because I’m still so in love with Summer and all it brings in the way of fashion: bright colors, beautiful patterns, and feminine fabrics all strategically draping tan limbs and fresh faces. I wasn’t ready to think about knitwear. But spending an hour each day of this last week trying on, discarding, trying on something else and generally making a mess of my closet has shown me, without a doubt, that I am over my summer clothes- a sentiment echoed by many of you. So in that vein, here are some helpful tips for transitioning into Fall.

Take stock and organize: between the newest fashion ads and editorials, a fever of ‘I want’ spreads: I want a camel coat, a pair of leopard print flats, a sherling-lined jacket, a chunky cashmere sweater, motorcycle boots… before you commit to any new items, you must take stock of the old. These items haven’t occupied prime closet real estate in 6 months and we forget what we have. I literally have stumbled upon items, still in dry cleaner plastic and hiding in the back of my closet, that I completely forgot I owned. And this has happened many times. When the temperature is no longer conducive to tank tops, move your warm weather clothes to the back, to the bins, and shake out your sweaters, trousers and coats to get a true sense of what you really have.

When you’ve taken stock of your bounty (and performed an impromptu closet dance party upon re-discovering that perfect item you thought had disappeared forever) and made a list of what’s to come, it’s time to accept one hard, cold truth: it’s time to inve$t. As a general rule, cold weather clothing and accessories are substantially more expensive than their warm weather counterparts. It’s part labor, part materials, and part quantity of materials, but to get good winter-wear, you’re gonna have to drop some coin. I advise planning this way- take whatever your budget is on each particular item (shoes, tops, non-denim pants) and add at least a third onto the price tag. Want to be realistic? double it. But the upside is this:

Fall and Winter wear is and always has been all about basics– neutral colors, classic silhouettes, quality fabrics- and basics are timeless. So the camel coat that is such a staple for this upcoming season has really always been a staple and will never go out of style. Rest assured, if you’re buying quality, it’s very hard to waste money this season.

My final advice is something I preach any chance I get: screw the rules. If you want to wear shorts or peep toes in October and it’s weather permitting, then wear them. Wear white, or tank tops or anything else you think looks and makes you feel fabulous. And use your imagination! If a great coat comes with a belt you don’t love, replace the belt with one you do. Always look past the obvious and toward the potential.