Now that you’ve sweated through most of the summer, it’s time to start thinking about the new fall fashion season ahead. I know that for many of us, there’s still plenty of steamy days to come, but it doesn’t hurt to start doing a little planning to refresh those tired summer wardrobes. After all, the new fall collections will be hitting the stores and online as you read this!

So take some time out now to plot your shopping strategy…even if it’s just shopping in your own closet!

Step One: Collect magazines. August is the month when you will see those giant “books” of fashion photography beaming up at you in the checkout aisle. Buy at least one or two or three. These will give you great ideas to get inspired. Rip the pages out and start your own “Pinterest” collection. No, you may not buy the $2,000 leather jacket, but you may find one that you love for $200.

Step Two: Think, think, and think some more. Yes, it really does pay off to ask yourself a few questions about your wardrobe every now and then, especially at the beginning of a new season…and especially if your life has changed any in the past year. Think about what’s coming up in your future. Any job changes? Any special events? Travel plans? (Or that dreaded high school reunion?).

Step Three: Make a list. It sounds simple, but it works. An organized approach to shopping is one of the best ways to ensure that you stay focused. But then again, I also believe in the “I love it. I have to have it” theory.

Step Four: Shop your closet. After you browse the magazines and make your lists, then take a look at your own closet and see what you already have. I often catch myself buying the same things over and over again (black pants anyone?), only to find several pairs in my closet that would have been just fine.

Step Five: Make your accessories count. Take inventory of what handbags, shoes, jewelry, scarves, etc. you already have. What condition are they in? What did you “wear to death” last year. What needs replacing or updating? Accessories are one of the easiest and often inexpensive ways to instantly update your wardrobe.

Step Six: Replacing the inevitable. Some of us like to hang on to our possessions until the last thread is worn out. But a new season is the perfect time to consider when that cherished pair of designer heels from 1999 that’s showing some wear and tear should be forever banned from our closet.

Step Seven: Call in reinforcements. Enlist some help. If you have a friend whose personal style you admire, this is a good time to ask for his or her help. Invite them over and make it a party for two. Scope out your closet and ask for advice. With a glass of wine or two, you will probably get some good feedback.

Step Eight: Experiment with color. This is another easy way to get the season’s newest look. Zero in on the “color” of the moment. Check out the red palette for fall. Bright “Grenadine” red leads the line-up, followed by burgundy “Tawny Port,” rusty “Autumn Maple,” and a rosy pink “Ballet Slipper,” according to Pantone, Inc., the color authority who predicts the fashion color trends every season.

Step Nine: Stay in the present moment. We all have clothes that we hang onto forever—the prom dress from 1979, the bridesmaid dress from 1989, the cocktail dress from 1999—but if these clothes are not working for you now, then consider giving them to charity. I love “vintage” clothes and accessories, but sometimes we should admit the vintage in our closet has seen better days and may find a new life at a costume party!

Step Ten: Be true to yourself. Whether you feel like you need to replace your whole wardrobe or you just want to buy a few new things, remember that ultimately you will be the one wearing your clothes. It’s always exciting to discover a stylish new treasure. Wear things you love, and every new season will be a chance to explore a new you!