It's that time of year again – July – which means we'd better talk about what you'll be wearing this winter.
My hope, of course, is that you're reading this while giving off a gentle whiff of Soltan and Pimm's, having not worn shoes since Friday. Don't blame me, friend, I merely follow Dame Fashion's lead. The figurehead of a vast ship, Dame Fash looks forward endlessly, leading her vessel in relentless pursuit of new horizons. As in real life, she might occasionally get smashed off her face with a bottle of champagne at a "launch", but otherwise it's onward, ever onward for the Good Ship Shopping. The newest trends are hitting outlets now. So let's follow her gaze through the golden damp of autumn and into the lustrous frost of winter beyond. What to buy and what to wear? The season's essentials are as follows…
A MIDI SKIRT
These have been around a while, but this season they come into their own. Burberry showed sumptuous midis in plaid, tweed and velvet, with cute bow belts. Kill two trends with one stone and go for a McQueenish leather midi, or try River Island's goes- with-anything pleated version.
A CRAZY OLD LADY HAT
Marc Jacobs seems positively insistent that the indispensable accessory du jour is the kind of headpiece Margaret Rutherford's Miss Marple – or indeed a goth from Leatherhead – would have worn with pride. If you are of the same mind as the great man try.
A TROUSER SUIT
This fashion perennial has been updated with a sharp cut and a cropped trouser. Look out for Whistles's version, which will be in stores soon.
ANYTHING IN TAFFETA
Neo-goth was big at Christopher Kane, Alexander Wang and Givenchy. Think "The Sisters of Mercy go for a job interview" and you're there.
A CUTE COLLAR
Stella McCartney served up tasty pie-crust collars on her skater dresses and I'm craving Carven's new collection, which is all about statement collars. Love this Peter Pan shirt at My Wardrobe. Or how about this weirdly wonderful "Dearly Departed" cemetery-print shirt by Antipodium?
A PERFECT PEPLUM
Another recurrent trend that has hit its stride. This will make your waist look smaller, and your hips phenom. I love Warehouse's take on the look.
guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010