Fall Fashion week is just starting up, but the pre-fall looks are all in.  A lot of people are annoyed by pre-fall collections, but I find them to be quite useful.  They provide a pretty good barometer for what the actual fall collection will look like, which lets you spot the major trends while this year’s fall collection is on clearance.  Thus, once you know what you are looking for, you can go scoop up some killers deals that you can wear now and next fall, all while looking very on point.  Here are some of the major trends:

Put a belt on it!

I cannot stress this enough: go out and stock up on waist-cinching belts now.  This fall, everything is belted- dresses, suits, coats, gowns, jumpsuits, separates- everything.  On the bright side, it means that updating your wardrobe from last year is fairly easy and inexpensive.  Here are some great belted looks for inspiration:

i love how the extra-wide belt breaks up this all white Donna Karan suit.

i love how the extra-wide belt breaks up this all white Donna Karan suit.

Carolina Herrera is always so ladylike, and I love the shape she creates with this belted coat.  So feminine and polished.

Carolina Herrera is always so ladylike, and I love the shape she creates with this belted coat. So feminine and polished.

I'm not a huge fan of the rest of this Balmain outfit, but I must have that belt!

I’m not a huge fan of the rest of this Balmain outfit, but I must have that belt!

I'm not usually one for jumpsuits, but this belted one by Donna Karan seems eminently wearable.

I’m not usually one for jumpsuits, but this belted one by Donna Karan seems eminently wearable.

I love this super sleek suit by Belstaff, and the belt on the high-waisted stovepipe pants adds almost a menswear feel to the whole thing.

I love this super sleek suit by Belstaff, and the belt on the high-waisted stovepipe pants adds almost a menswear feel to the whole thing.

I am a sucker for pencil skirts, and this gorgeous DSquared ensemble is no exception.

I am a sucker for pencil skirts, and this gorgeous Dsquared ensemble is no exception.

I am also dying over the eleganza of this Dsquared dress!

I am also dying over the eleganza of this Dsquared dress!

This season even the gowns are belted, as with this gorgeous Jason Wu number.  I would wear this dress into the ground!

This season even the gowns are belted, as with this gorgeous Jason Wu number. I would wear this dress into the ground!

This McQueen ensemble is too many things, all of them fabulous!

This McQueen ensemble is too many things, all of them fabulous!

I am in love with this casual look from Oscar De La Renta!  So unexpected for him, but gorgeous.

I am in love with this casual look from Oscar De La Renta! So unexpected for him, but gorgeous.

I am obsessed with this fringed Oscar de la Renta dress.  I love the movement, simply stunning!

I am obsessed with this fringed Oscar de la Renta dress. I love the movement, simply stunning!

The print on this Prabal Gurung dress is stunning, and I love the green piping on the belt.  I'm not crazy about the exposed slip, but that's easily fixed.

The print on this Prabal Gurung dress is stunning, and I love the green piping on the belt. I’m not crazy about the exposed slip, but that’s easily fixed.

I meant it when I said that even the gowns were belted this season.  I love the shapes on this Prabal Gurung gown, so unique.

I meant it when I said that even the gowns were belted this season. I love the shapes on this Prabal Gurung gown, so unique.

What’s black and white and grey all over?

Fall fashion!  Ha ha ha, I crack myself up sometimes.  But seriously, the shows this season have a lot in common in this regard.

The ombré effect on this burberry dress is gorgeous.  Note that it's also belted.

The ombré effect on this burberry dress is gorgeous. Note that it’s also belted.

I love the unique shape of the jacket on this Donna Karan suit.  Plus, the black and white makes it a little more casual, creating a mix-and-match feel.

I love the unique shape of the (belted) jacket on this Donna Karan suit. Plus, the black and white makes it a little more casual, creating a mix-and-match feel.

Alexander Wang does some great dresses, I love the draping on this.

Alexander Wang does some great dresses, I love the draping on this.

Even the bags are getting into the black and white spirit for pre-fall!  This burberry tote is awesomely on trend.

Even the bags are getting into the black and white spirit for pre-fall! This burberry doctor’s bag is awesomely on trend.

Another jumpsuit, this time by Elie Saab.  I kind of think this one could benefit by being paired with the Donna Karan belt, don't you?

Another jumpsuit, this time by Elie Saab. I kind of think this one could benefit by being paired with the Donna Karan belt, don’t you?

Donna Karan is the undisputed queen of draping.  I'm not usually a huge fan of asymmetry or large prints, but they both work so perfectly in this dress.

Donna Karan is the undisputed queen of draping. I’m not usually a huge fan of asymmetry or large prints, but they both work so perfectly in this dress.

I am totally dying over the old hollywood glamour of this Dsquared gown.  Incredible!

I am totally dying over the old hollywood glamour of this Dsquared gown. Incredible!

What can I say about this Giambattista Valli dress? Everything about it is stunning.  Want.

What can I say about this Giambattista Valli dress? Everything about it is perfection. Want.

The blocking on this Prabal Gurung ensemble.  The mix of textures and prints is simply wonderful.

The blocking on this Prabal Gurung ensemble. The mix of textures and prints is simply wonderful.

Another gorgeous white gown, this time by Jason Wu.  So effortless and stunning.

Another gorgeous white gown, this time by Jason Wu. So effortless and stunning.

Carolina Herrera has this incredible ability to create clothes that look dressed up and casual at the same time.  This gown could be worn for so many different events, it's incredibly versatile.  Love it.

Carolina Herrera has this incredible ability to create clothes that look dressed up and casual at the same time. This gown could be worn for so many different events, it’s incredibly versatile. Love it.

Contouring

It all started in fall 2011 with this amazingly flattering Stella McCartney dress, seen here on Kate Winslet:

stellaMcCartney1

This dress has been everywhere the past two years, and with good reason.  This season, designers are showing off their shading skills with some super flattering frocks of their own:

Once again, Carolina Herrera creates something effortlessly chic and ladylike.

Once again, Carolina Herrera creates something effortlessly chic and ladylike.

The lines on this Hervé Léger dress are downright dangerous!

The lines on this Hervé Léger dress are downright dangerous!

I love the use of leather on this Jason Wu dress.  The contouring and the belt create a lovely hourglass shape.

I love the use of leather on this Jason Wu dress. The contouring and the belt work together to create a lovely hourglass shape.

Notice how the lines in the print of this Hervé Léger draw the eye downward, elongating the body.

Notice how the lines in the print of this Hervé Léger draw the eye downward, elongating the body.

Prabal Gurung drapes white fabric in a crisscross over a black dress to create an exaggerated hourglass shape.

Prabal Gurung drapes white fabric in a crisscross over a black dress to create an exaggerated hourglass shape.

I love the shiny, subtle lines of this Hervé dress.

I love how the shiny lines of this Hervé dress accentuate your figure.

Giambattista Valli SP13C

I love the golden embroidery on this Giambattista Valli, and how it creates a smaller looking waist.

This Just Cavalli dress is so cute and flattering, but I'm having a little trouble understanding why it's a look for fall when it's so summery.

This Just Cavalli dress is so cute and flattering, but I’m having a little trouble understanding why it’s a look for fall when it’s so summery.

The shiny, scaly lines on this Naeem Khan gown create an ethereal mermaid effect.

The shiny, scaly lines on this Naeem Khan gown create an ethereal mermaid effect.

 

Sculpted Silhouettes

Breaking up the back-to-basics feel of black and white belted looks, some designers are showing beautiful sculptural dresses.  If you’re already stocked up on basics, you now have the perfect excuse to splurge on something show-stopping!

I love everything about this Oscar de la Renta gown, from the creamy tangerine color to the amazing silhouette.

I love everything about this Oscar de la Renta gown, from the creamy tangerine color to the amazing silhouette.

The seaming on the bodice of this Burberry dress are so flattering.

The seaming on the bodice of this Burberry dress are so flattering.

I don't know how wearable this Dior ensemble is, but I love it.

I don’t know how wearable this Dior ensemble is, but I love it.

I love how the stiff fabric and the bow create a slender shape on this Carolina Herrera dress.

I love how the stiff fabric and the bow create a slender shape on this Carolina Herrera dress.

The lines on the bodice of this Zac Posen dress remind me of Wonder Woman's costume.  amazing.

The lines on the bodice of this Zac Posen dress remind me of Wonder Woman’s costume.  Amazing.

Donna Karan uses some creative seaming to create the lines on this shift dress.

Donna Karan uses some creative seaming to create the lines on this shift dress.

I love the exaggerated ruffles on this Givenchy dress, and the little touches of white.

I love the exaggerated ruffles on this Givenchy dress, and the little touches of white.

This Zac Posen dress is ridiculously awesome.  I love the folds on the bodice, the cap sleeves, everything.

This Zac Posen dress is ridiculously awesome. I love the folds on the bodice, the cap sleeves, everything.

I love the texture on this Roberto Cavalli dress.

I love the texture and shine on this Roberto Cavalli dress.

Zac Posen is killing it with this collection.  Killing it!

Zac Posen is killing it with this collection. Killing it!

And now I've died.  Zac Posen just killed me, you guys.  i'm dead now.

And now I’ve died. Zac Posen just killed me, you guys. i’m dead now.

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