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How To Wear Fall's Biggest Trends Right Now

From military jackets to major brocade, the Fall 2012 collections were packed with stellar trends we can't wait to try. But when it's still in the sweltering mid-80s outside, what's an ahead-of-the-curve girl to do?

We've rounded up some of the coming season's best styles and tweaked them for late summertime—so you can feel fashion-forward without breaking a sweat. Click through for our runway inspiration, styling tips and shoppable picks.

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Marching Orders

Ten-hut! We spotted military-style jackets, trench coats and dresses on Altuzarra (left) and Victoria Beckham's runways. The trick to wearing the trend right now? Skip the army-inspired coats in favor of khaki circle skirts, sleeveless combat dresses and loose-fitting button-ups in shades of olive drab. Until it's cool enough for knee-high boots, try a sturdy-looking buckled sandal instead.

Runway photos: left, fairchild archive; right, wwd/john aquino

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White Decision

At Derek Lam (left) and Peter Som, feminine looks were white-hot. Perhaps the simplest fall trend to "summer-fy," just be sure you go sleeveless and keep your hemline short. Add extras in the same shade, and you're all set. A word of warning, though: on white garments and accessories, shoddy stitching and finishing is easy to spot. You might want to shell out a bit more money on items in this on-trend color—especially since they won't go out of fashion anytime soon.

runway photos: left, fairchild archive; right, WWD/Thomas Iannaccone

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Peplum Rally

Everyone's favorite waist-defining ruffle detail isn't going away anytime soon. We saw peplums at Marc Jacobs (left), Lanvin—and just about every major designer's show. While it's a bit steamy outside for a peplum jacket or maxiskirt, try a peplum-trimmed cotton tee or sheer-paneled skirt for the time being.

runway photos: left, wwd/john aquino; right, fairchild archive

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Leather Forecast

Leather's long been an easy way to luxe up an outfit, but for Fall 2012, designers (like Alexander Wang, at left, and Givenchy) showed entire looks made from the material. Obviously, though, leather's better suited to cold-weather wear (c'mon, you've seen the Friends episode with Ross' leather pants). The trick to making it work in the late summer? Pick leather shorts—preferably perforated—and add a tee or tank that's only trimmed in the buttery material. Simple flat sandals and a sporty backpack will keep the look from heading into S&M territory.

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Made in Brocade

Marchesa (left) and Dolce & Gabbana chose to go for baroque for fall, showing dresses and separates done in beautiful metallic brocade. In the heat of late summer, however, a head-to-toe brocade ensemble can look heavy. Until the weather cools, choose tulip skirts and simple shells in the sparkling fabric—and don't underestimate the fashionable power of brocade accessories.

runway photos: left, WWD/Thomas Iannaccone; right, fairchild archive

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Suit Yourself

We like to think our favorite TV show had something to do with this, but it seems patterned pantsuits are going to be huge this fall. Since we'd rather wear, well, anything than pants this time of year, we'll be in printed short suits and matching jacket-and-miniskirt combos for now. Shoe-wise, smoking slippers will keep your look appropriately mannish.

runway photos: fairchild archive

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Asia Major

Designers looked to the Far East for inspiration this season; Dries Van Noten (left) incorporated digital prints of Japanese kimonos, while Jason Wu showed Mao jackets, epaulet dresses and mandarin collars that were straight out of China. One statement piece in an Asian print is all you need to achieve this look—more, and things could seem gimmicky—so choose a kimono-style jacket or boldly patterned dress in a simple shape.

runway photos: fairchild archive

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