The weather this summer was underwhelming to say the least, I don’t think I’m alone when I say that I’m kind of looking forward to the cooler months ahead. This time of the year is the best time to be in Melbourne, over the next few months it will be cooler, but not freezing, and the city will be overrun with festivals. In March we’ve got Moomba, the Autumn Racing Carnival, the Grand Prix, fashion week and the Comedy Festival at the end of the month.

The stores are crammed full of an entirely new season’s worth of clothes and shoes – and with all these events to attend, you’ve got a great excuse to go shopping. So what are the essentials you need to keep up with the fashion pack this season?

Get furry Faux fur and animal prints are everywhere at the moment. While there was a bit of fur around last winter, this year its back in a more major way. You’ll see it in all its glory in the form of faux fur vest and coats, or in more subtle variations as a trim on collars, cuffs and boots. Whatever you choose, it will make for a very warm and very current look. My favourite pick at the moment is from Sportsgirl, it’s a fawny coloured fluffy vest that falls just below the hip – perfect for this in-betweeny weather.

Leather up Are you sensing a theme? There’s a lot of animal skin going on this season and leather is up there with the best of them. Leather jackets lined with shearling are everywhere and will keep you toasty when the temperature drops. But choosing a leather skirt or dress with give you some serious fashion cred. Leather miniskirts in brown are a popular choice and both Witchery and Country Road are doing their own unique versions. Team with warm shades of peach and nude to give yourself a seasonal autumn glow.

The secret lies in layers Layering is your best friend during autumn when you honestly can have four seasons in one day. Skirts over leggings, cardigans over singlets and under vests; you need easy combinations of layers that can be added and removed as quickly as the weather changes. Luckily this season stores have plenty of loose, flowing tops and cardigans to choose from – so there’s no excuse not to be warm and comfortable.

Boots Is there anything more exciting that a new pair of boots? Maybe, but who cares, I’m excited. I could go on and on about the splendour of the boot, but instead I’ll just say that they rock because they are both attractive and practical. And each season they just seem to get better and better. Look out for flat camel coloured safari-style inspired boots or high healed booties with shearling and fur trimmings. A good pair of boots will easily take you from a mild autumn into the depths of winter and can easily be paired with jeans, pants, skirts or dresses.