‘Osmond’, £1,350, marykatrantzou.com

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Pre-fall is fashion’s best-kept secret. A wearable collection that slides into stores this month and stays there until November, these are the clothes that do the heavy lifting in your wardrobe. As a precursor to the runway collections that follow it, the pre-fall collections offer a sensible edit of the trends ahead, at a slightly better price point (the commercial volumes of pre-fall are bigger, which means that, typically, the clothes are less expensive).

With that in mind, we’ve whittled your shopping list down to five essential items that will shortcut your way to seasonal chic. Buy now, wear now — and then wear all winter.

The folky-floral dress

From left: Gucci, £3,650, net-a-porter.com; Proenza Schouler, £1,750, modaoperandi.com; ‘Annalise’, £1,950, erdem.com

A wardrobe all-rounder for a few seasons now, the floral dress will remain a staple this autumn. The latest iterations are loose, fall to around mid-calf and are decorated with folksy prints that have a crafty, retro spirit. They may also feature a frill or a flutter, but these are anything but flouncy. Wear now with flat sandals, and update in September with a block-heeled boot and sleeveless sweater.

The checked jacket

From left: Chloé, £1,605,matchesfashion.com; jacket, £1,390, pacorabanne.com; 'Grace' jacket, £1,100, Mulberry.com

Paco Rabanne, Louis Vuitton, Stella McCartney, Isabel Marant, Mulberry, Off-White — almost every design house is offering a take on a traditional houndstooth or Prince of Wales check this season. Smart and surprisingly versatile, invest in a tailored blazer or bomber-style jacket, and wear with a bright scarf or crêpe silk blouse till the weather chills and you can swap into sweaters.

The fuchsia top

Tunic, £1,715, balenciaga.com
From left: Merino sweater, £395, mulberry.com; Valentino blouse, £1,150, matchesfashion.com; Preen Line, £195, Matchesfashion.com

Think pink. While scarlet is also a strong colour trend this season, fuchsia is far more flattering. Whether you choose to wear it as a spot of spice with neutral daywear or head-to-toe for evening, fashion’s most shocking shade should be your go-to colour for the months ahead.

The hoopla hoop

From left: ‘Alexa’ earrings, £28,000, Spinelli Kilcollin; pearl earrings, £450, Céline; Marni, £520, 26 Sloane St, London, SW1X

Your earrings should be running rings around your lobes as the classic hoop gets an upgrade. Céline’s come with gobstopper-sized pearls attached, Marni’s are edged in mink and, at Spinelli Kilcollin, the hoops are covered in pave and suspended from each other like a magician’s rings (perhaps so you can magic up the £28,000 price tag).

The kick-flare trouser

Roksanda trouser, £995, 9 Mount St, London, W1K
From left: Ellery, $2620, modaoperandi.com; Isabel Marant, £315, Matchesfashion.com; Gucci, £690, net-a-porter.com

Fitted through the hips and flaring to a wide crop at the ankle, the incoming trouser silhouette is sharp and sculptural. Wear with a fine-gauge knit or sheer turtleneck to keep the line lean, and pair with a patent shoe.

Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2017. All rights reserved.

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