September marked the official start to autumn, although this year the weather was so unseasonably hot that there was little incentive to think about a change of clothes and colours. But now the clocks have gone back and the festivities of Halloween, All Saints and All Souls were reminders that autumn is here, a season of harvest and plenty, of feasts and festivals, of togetherness and richness of beauty and colour.

Autumn has different ways of alerting us that the season has changed: there is less daytime light and the crisp air has us reaching for quilts, blankets, jackets and scarves.

The deep green leaves are gradually transforming into beautiful shades of citrus yellow, lime green, burnt orange, brown or ruby red. And as the colours of the trees change so should the colour of our wardrobe. Why not colour yourself beautiful this fall? The different radiant hues, along with tropical punch or jewel tones, will spruce up many of the items you choose to wear.

Selecting the right colour can make a world of difference to your look. Certain colours can make you look and feel younger, adding a healthier glow and promoting a certain body image. When you combine the same undertones to your clothing that are in your skin, hair and eye colour you are in sync with your clothing; you, rather than your clothes, become the focus. Wearing the right colours will make your hair shimmer, your eyes sparkle and your skin glow. The colour chart (see box below) can help you select what is most flattering for you from this years fall and winter clothing line. After finding the colours that are the most suitable for you, its time to make your selection from this autumns newest and trendiest looks.

It may be 2006 but to have a good sense of this years fashion trends you have to think way back to the 1980s. Certain items from this falls collection are taken straight from that era. Black leggings are the number one must-have fall item. They look great worn under squared, graphic and brightly-coloured tunics, little dresses and oversized chunky, long-knit sweaters clinched with a belt. Pencil-thin jeans, cowl-necked sweaters (big and long turtle neck), platform shoes and short zippered ankle boots are also strong contenders. Some of you may never have owned any of these items or, if you did, you may have since disposed of them, thinking they would never resurface again. However, after a bit of window shopping, you will realise that the phenomenal 80s attire has returned with full force.

The handy colour combination chart and an idea of whats in this year will help you fill your shopping bag. Remember to work around your existing classic wardrobe and the key phrase here is make no major investment purchases. An item here or a cute piece there is certainly all thats necessary to be considered with the in crowd. Here is a list of some fall fashion options:

Shoes and boots. The 80s styled shoe boots with knee-length pencil skirt or short pants are in. Try ballet flats or chunky, wedge and platforms. High-heeled pumps and ankle, knee- and thigh-high suede boots are also hot this season. Select shoes and boots in patent leather, animal print, metallic or vibrant colours.

Dresses. Mini or maxi, the choice is yours. Cute little mini dresses can be worn with ballet flats or towering heels. Purchase a mini in fuchsia, shimmering violet or belted. Gone are the A-line skirts; try a bubble-shaped skirt instead.

Coats. This years coats and trenches can almost double as dresses when tied at the waist with a belt. They look great in bright bold colours such as emerald green or scarlet red, or checked, paired with pumps and opaque dark stockings. Capes, knit cardigans and wraps are also essential cover-ups, while a swingy jacket is just the thing to wear over slim leggings. For cold days try a bomber jacket with a high collar.

Blouses. Ultra feminine ruffles and chiffon, bow detailing and two-coloured pin striped silky blouses are among the options to choose from this autumn.

Trousers. There are a variety of styles to choose from: short shorts, three-quarter length bermudas, masculine-style pant suits, cigarette-shaped jeans or wide-legged trousers.

Accessories. Belts help to achieve that new hour-glass look. Letter bags and satchels, long knit scarves, caps or berets, hounds-tooth, lumberjack or plaid jackets.

Colour. Grey is the neutral black. Navy blue can be as sophisticated as black. Black and gold go well together for a night out on the town. But remember that gold isnt necessarily all that glitters; it can also be sparkling copper, bronze or silver. The important thing is that it shimmers and shines.

The typical weekday wear for men is usually quite conservative. But why not enhance the uniform grey or dark suit and tie with a spice of colour? Brighten up by adding a rust-orange sweater with brown corduroy trousers and jacket. Accessorize by wearing a knit scarf and sweater in the same bright colour, or tinted sneaker shoes.

Men will look dashing in this seasons front-runner: a pin-striped suit. A pair of belted, blue, straight-legged jeans under a velvet blazer will also do the trick.

22 December will mark the first day of winter so show off your buys before the time arrives to bundle up and cover up completely.

Good luck coordinating the colours that are best for you to achieve your new look for fall.

COLOUR CHART

Hair: strawberry blonde

Eye colour: blue/light brown or green

Complementary colours: cream, peach, orange (red toned), light tan and teal green

Hair: ash blonde and brown

Eye colour: blue, grey or green

Complementary colours: pastel colours, soft blues, aqua (light or medium) and rose

Hair: black or dark brown

Eye colour: blue or grey

Complementary colours: burgundy, blue, navy and red

Hair: black

Eye colour: brown or green

Complementary colours: blue, teal, rust red (orange toned), dark forest green