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Rain or shine

On this first day of spring, a pair of rain boots could be your smartest wardrobe addition.

In case you haven't noticed, rain boots come in many different colors -- from dark to playfully bright. There are patterns, too, including plaids, animal prints, dots and even some florals and abstracts.

Check out your favorite shoe department or explore options online.

And you don't even have to save your boots for rainy days.

Keep them parked by the back door for walking the dog, poking around the garden, taking out the trash.

And, by all means, don't avoid any puddles.

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On the shelf

Heather Lodinsky, a local knitwear designer and longtime teacher at the Elmwood Yarn Shop, has written a book, "150 Knit and Crochet Motifs: Anything-but-Square Shapes for Garments, Accessories, Afghans, and Throws" (Interweave Press, $24.95).

Her designs have appeared in publications such as Vogue Knitting and Interweave Knits, and she also designs knitwear patterns for yarn companies.

"My mother taught me to knit and sew and let me have scissors and needles at a young age," says Lodinsky, who dedicates the book to her mother, Ramona Dunn.

A two-day book-signing concludes today from noon to 4 p.m. at the yarn shop, 1639 Hertel Ave.

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Star stylists

The Hollywood Reporter magazine has compiled its first-ever list of the 25 most-powerful celebrity stylists, and Rachel Zoe, who dressed host Anne Hathaway on Oscar night, is at the top, reports the Associated Press.

Next on the list: Kate Young, a former Vogue editor behind Natalie Portman's stylish maternity wardrobe; Petra Flannery, who is guiding young stars Emma Stone and Hailee Steinfeld; Jen Rade, who boasts longtime client Angelina Jolie; and Anna Bingemann, whose clients include Claire Danes, Gwyneth Paltrow and Naomi Watts.

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Purses, purses, purses!

You can land a stylish purse for a good cause at the Handbag Happy Hour at 6 p.m. Thursday at Salvatore's Italian Gardens, 6461 Transit Road, Depew. The cocktail event is described as one that "showcases premier designer, celebrity, distinctive and 'previously loved' purses for live and silent auction."

Tickets are $50 presale (through 7 p.m. Wednesday); $60 at the door. For tickets and more information, visit www.2011handbaghappyhour.com. Or call 380-8565.

Proceeds will benefit Everywoman Opportunity Center. The event is presented by Buffalo magazine.

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And finally

"Never wear anything that panics the cat."

- P.J. O'Rourke

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