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September may signal the start of the cold-weather season but August is when you actually need to start shopping for it—unless you plan on wearing that sundress and those sandals after Labor Day. So let’s talk about what to buy this month.

I know it’s hard to think about, let alone want to buy boots, wool knits or anything else you can’t easily wear immediately in one of the hottest months of summer. But investing in these items now is the smartest way to shop. As celeb stylist and fashion designer Rachel Zoe pointed out when she schooled us in the art of shopping pre fall, pre collections are “all about pieces you can buy and wear now and throughout fall.”

So what’s the shopping strategy then? Whether you’ve been smart about how to spend your money and already started taking advantage of all of those great pre fall pieces that started to hit stores in July or not, it may be time to invest in a fantastic pair of fall boots. I personally fell in love with Isabel Marant’s Tacy ponyhair booties. Sure they’re $1,500 but if you can suffer the sticker shock you’ll have a fantastic pair of boots that you’ll be able to wear with everything from a skinny jean to a printed dress.

Maybe shelling out a chunk of this month’s salary on one item (despite its amazingness) isn’t in the cards. Not to worry, there are plenty of ways to chic up your fall wardrobe for that same amount of money. From the perfect go-with-everything modern black dress from Tibi to the must-have transitional bomber jacket from American, I’ve rounded up the perfect fall additions at every price.

I’ve told you what to buy this month so it’s time to start shopping! Click through the slideshow above to see how to spend your money for August.

ByMegan Hayes (@_mshayes)

More on what to buy this month:

Speaking of boots, here’s how to wear them now and into fall.
Check out Rachel Zoe’s expert advice on how to shop the pre fall season.
Leopard print is now a closet staple: Cher Coulter shows you how to wear it.


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