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> Puddle jumpers

Rain boots aren't just for kids. They're for grown-ups who can't navigate their way around puddles, either. And while women can find them in safe shades such as black -- yawn -- adventuresome types can slip on a pair of waterproof rain boots in shiny green, red, fuchsia and other brights.

Look for patterns, too. Spotted on the JCPenney Web site: Union Bay's "Wellie" rain boots in zebra prints, argyles and more (about $35 a pair.)

And from Avon, shown here: Leopard rain boots ($30). A natural for fall.

> Fashion tip:

Now is a good time to stock up on fall and winter hosiery -- while the selection is good. From wear-anywhere black opaques to novelty trouser socks, a good inventory always makes getting dressed in the morning easier.

> Opposites attract

The newsboy cap has been a popular topper in recent seasons but, this fall, it's all about the mix.

At Ann Taylor Loft, for example, the boyish cap is mixed with feminine ensembles. One look: A tweed newsboy cap worn with a cardigan with faux fur trim, a tweed skirt with floral trim at the hemline, textured tights and suede strappy pumps.

Similarly, a tweed beret is a surprising match to a beaded bolero cardigan and matching camisole.

> Just their luck

Here is a side of fashion most of us don't see: When designers are being scheduled to unveil their new collections during New York Fashion Week, their superstitions complicate things for organizers.

"Some designers refuse to show on certain days because of superstitions, or worry about their time slot, the location or being overshadowed by another show," the Wall Street Journal reports.

Fashion Week, which ended Friday, generally features more than 200 shows scheduled over a nine-day period. Designer Zang Toi, for one, wants his show on the day of his lucky number -- 13 (he got his way this year, but not last. He also uses 13 female models on the runway.)

Young designer Alice Roi thinks Thursdays bring good luck (she did not get a Thursday slot this season). And Diane von Furstenberg likes to show her collection on Sundays "because it's early in the week and it's an edgy time for a show," the Journal reports.

> And finally . . .

"I would shed tears the day no one copied me." -- Coco Chanel

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