As much as we'd like to kid ourselves that summer still stretches out before us, like a never-ending golden childhood, we know that, sooner rather than later, the leaves are going to begin falling from the trees, we're going to have to switch a light on before nine o'clock, fetch that favourite jumper from the back of the drawer and remind ourselves where we stashed those thermal gloves. 

But the very best thing about the on-coming stormy season is that we get to try out all those lovely new clothes. And, while times are financially still strained, there is just something so rewarding about purchasing a couple of new items (at least) to bring us bang up-to-date with the latest trends. 

This season, Autumn-Winter 2013-14, we are going to be rewarded by all the usual richness and texure and a good few colours that might surprise us.

Let's take a look at the main style 'stories'.

Modern Ladylike - if you loved the "Mad Men" theme, you'll like this. Drawing much from the Dior New Look of the late 1940s and early 1950s this fabulous look is no girly-whirly look. Featuring curvy hourglass silhouettes, cinched in waists and modern glamour. This is a full-on womanly look. Dirndl or full skirts, elegant footwear (whether 'proper' shoes or knee-length fitted boots). And you can take it two ways - either plainer fabrics in rich colours like purple and green, burgundy and chocolate or a more 'countrified' style in florals and cable-knits. And how lovely is this? You can carry an elegant handbag and wear tailored leather gloves. Very Grace Kelly.

Heritage whether it's the earthiness of the Scottish Highlands, the Miss Marple-ness of an English country house, or a medieval woodland, this look is inspired by the outdoors - with tartans and tweeds and checks in muted berrys and greens.

Rebel is inspired by punks and rock-chicks with lots of leather or pvc and studs punctuating a sleek bottom outline of short skirts with tights, or skinny jeans or trousers. With touches of bold leopard print in strong colours, fluffy sweaters in mohair and angora, it's certainly not for the faint-hearted or the woman that prefers to stay in the background. But it's a fun look and, if you're confident enough to carry it off, bang on trend. 

Winter Garden Florals have never been so bold. With backgrounds of deep navy, black, greys and bold pumpkin, there is nothing shy and retiring about these flowers. But the look-at-me prints with blooms of roses and peonies still look sophisiticated and, if you're a little unsure, why not team a bold floral dirndl with a navy or black sweater?

Russian Doll This year's 'boho' vibe takes the form of Russian folkloric prints in bold reds and blacks and saturated teals and emeralds. Suited perfectly to full skirts, and teamed with funky bags and boots, it's a great look for the woman who prefers a classic look, but needs a change. If you have pale skin and dark or vibrant hair, imagine it with a bold lip and a clean eyeliner.

Dark Romantics  This trend is as much about colour and texture as anything. Think blacks, navies, plums and black-purple with lots of lace, brocade, flounces, chiffon and velvet. 

What about colour?

As predicted by those helpful people at Pantone, Emerald continues to be popular. But with the cooler season come a wealth of other shades from Mykonos blue (softer than Cobalt, lighter than Monaco), Linden - a soft limey green, Acai - a rich purple bordering on aubergine, Samba - a deep cherry red, Koi - a goldfish orange, Deep Lichen - dark moss are just a few. Add in rich pinks, steel blue greys, coffee cum khaki, spicy pumpkin and toffee, reds, pinks and berries of all kinds from the duskiest blush to the boldest burgundy. Perhaps surprisingly pastels are making a big splash - from that pale pink M & S coat, to grown-up lilacs, delicate blues, pretty corals and soft greens.

But it's the combinations that really stand out. Granted they are fairly bold and daring, but oh-so pretty. Black from top to toe, punctuated only be changes in texture. Scarlets in prints and block colours. Try pairing shades of rich berry - say, a deep purple sweater - with violet indigo jeans and pop the colour with pink accessories. Or root an emerald trouser suit or dress with teal, blue or tan. Mix chocolate brown with blue spruce or pine green. What about those red jeans you have? Good news is that the shops are full of red jeans teamed up with What about those red jeans you still have? Good news is that the shops are full of red jeans teamed with cream sweaters, or black or grey. If you prefer neutral tones, then you still have plenty of inspiring choices. Try partnering variations of deep taupes, creamy soft lemons, blush pinks and nude stoney greys.

But I can't make up my mind - what can I buy to really look on-trend?

To sum up, high necklines are back, whether  a coat collar or a turtle-neck sweater. Capes are a key look, if you're confident enough. Mid-calf skirts are back - all those '80s teens (and people with less than gorgeous knees) can breathe a sigh of relief. And there's good news for all  lovers of tights - pretty much anything goes from opaques in blacks and block bold colours to sheer dark and nude hosiery and patterns, whether woven in or printed on from polka dots and animal prints to brocades and ribs. Even the good old woolly tights have their own place!

And fish out that old jewellery of granny's because rose gold is what it's all about. And it's a wonderfully forgiving tone. Where bright yellow gold can be too bright for some skin-tones, and silver too pale for others, pretty much anyone can rock rose gold and bronze. Crystals, or real gems, in tones of morganite  will really light up the skin too.