A: I agree that the timing is crazy. Because the fashion business works months ahead, so do stores; the collections delivered in January are known as resort. But they're not just beachwear. You'll find sleek transitional pieces in bright colors and patterns—precisely the pick-me-ups you need in this cold, dark season (a vibrant shoe or top transforms winter neutrals). The clothes also tend to be less bare than those in spring-summer lines. Depending on your local climate, you can shop now and wear now, or squirrel things away for later.
Get happy with buys from resort collections that offer a whiff of spring: Green sweater (Magaschoni, $212), red trench (Old Navy, $50), teal bag (Bally, $1,260), and orange platform heel (Michael Michael Kors, $139).