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Band together

Plaid may be a perennial favorite, but stripes are coming on strong this fall -- especially for kids, teens and 20-somethings.

Trendy on ribbed knit turtlenecks and T-shirts, stripes also show up on handbags, scarves, caps, tights and socks.

For boys and young men, racer stripes -- a bold stripe traveling down a shirt sleeve, for example -- are popular.

Something else to watch for: Color-blocking. Especially on long knit scarves, shirts with contrasting sleeves and sporty handbags.


Feet first

When shopping for shoes, try shopping later in the day when your feet have swollen a little from daily life.

This way, your shoes should fit well.



There may be something distinctively disco about jumbo hoop earrings, but there is no doubt they're back this fall.

The current issue of the Look -- a fashion guide published by In Style magazine -- calls them "The Right Circles."

"Hoops bring brash elegance to anything from a beat-up denim jacket to a halter dress, and if their ubiquity in the ads of Dior, Dolce & Gabbana, Versace and Jean Paul Gaultier are any indication, they could wind up the most important accessory of the season," report the editors.

Some advice: Jumbo hoops may be fun for heading out after work, but keep your stylish circles to no more than an inch in diameter for the office.


What a stretch!

Here are some hosiery facts to file away in your mind's miscellaneous file, from none other than the Hosiery Partnership for Consumer Education:

State that produces half of all U.S. hosiery: North Carolina.

Average number of wearings from a pair of sheers: eight.

Most notorious monarch to wear pantyhose: King Henry VIII.

Strangest myths for making pantyhose last longer: Freezing. Rinsing in salt water.

Most successful method for making hosiery last longer: Carefully pulling them on and off.


"There's no surer way to look older than you are than to abandon fashion." -- Mode magazine