Adam Glassman
Photo: Robert Trachtenberg
Q: Why, in the dead of winter, are stores overrun with warm-weather clothes?

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.

Bright winter clothesGet 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).