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Head of the pack

Wild about this season's animal prints? Here is some timeless advice on how to wear them, from Ladies Home Journal (www.lhj.com):

For a tailored, more conservative look, pair an animal-print piece with a neutral, solid outfit. Try a zebra-print skirt with a black V-neck sweater, black tights and black knee-high boots, for example. Or wear a cheetah-print cardigan over a beige silk tee, with beige boot- cut pants and brown loafers.

You can also go for a printed accessory with a neutral outfit, such as leopard-print loafers with a basic black suit.

To stand out from the crowd, be more daring with your prints, suggests the Journal. Wear your zebra skirt with a hot-pink sweater, bright tights and black boots.

Or, as shown here in a look from Banana Republic, mix leopard with brocade.

Fashion tip

For many women, fall and winter dressing revolves around neutral colors. But don't be afraid to mix them up. "Neutrals together -- such as beige with cream or taupe with black -- are always chic," write Emily Cho and Neila Fisher in their book, "Instant Style: 500 Professional Tips on Fashion, Beauty and Attitude" (HarperStyle, $12).

Fur sure

Fur trims -- often faux -- have been a big trend in fashion the last few winters, and the look is not going away anytime soon. Simply, they are everywhere -- with detachable trims one of the more popular options.

Look for detachable fur trims on tweed suits, dressy cardigans, casual jean jackets and more. Another trend to watch for: Faux fur jackets, stoles, capelets and collars; the latter are worn fastened around the neck and are usually punctuated with an oversized pin.

Color me fashionable

You've heard it before: The colors you wear say a lot about you.

To help, here are some tips for various occasions in your life from image consultant Carla Harris, as reported by Knight Ridder Newspapers:

* First date: Go natural all the way. Wear colors that you feel good in and are a version of your natural palette. Depending on the image you want to convey, red is known to give you courage, vitality and self-confidence. "It's also sexy," Harris says.

* Party time: Bright, tropical colors tell fellow partyers you're ready to go. Purple, the color of royalty, is "passionate, energetic and hot right now," Harris says. Yellow, sheer orange and light green are "happy, chirpy."

* Meeting his/her parents for the first time: "Friendly and kind should be the message," Harris says. "Stick with colors and contrasts that are more subtle and complementary to your natural coloring."

Try a grassy green -- the purest and most neutral of all greens, she says. Not too yellowish or neon. It also goes well with all skin shades and hair colors, she says.

And finally . . .

"Getting to know somebody else is actually much easier than getting to know oneself. And yet in relation to clothes, there is nothing more essential." -- Mollie Parnis, late American fashion designer