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Current by Susan Martin

Sweater watch

As wardrobes begin to transition to cooler weather, one trend to watch for is the mixed-media sweater. Gap sells a knit color-block crewneck with mesh sleeves and V-shaped patch at the center of the neckline. The mesh accents are nice for showing a peek of pattern underneath. Other brands show knit pullovers with lace fronts, cardigans with contrasting sleeves or sweaters of various styles with different stripe patterns.

You’ll see these in the juniors’ department but also in women’s. Shown here: A sweater from Marshalls, right, and an outfit for juniors from J.C. Penney, left.

Think outside the vase

In a decorating feature on vase alternatives, the July/August issue of HGTV magazine suggests common household items that can be used to hold flowers – either one or two blossoms or a bunch, depending on the container size. Just lose the lids, if there are any. Some cute alternatives: clear glass diner-style salt and pepper shakers, left; flour canister; gravy boat (add a wedge of floral foam to hold the stems); condiment bottles; cream and sugar set, or a watering can.

“It’s obviously waterproof, so why not use it to hold flowers?” the editors note.

Not just for kids

You don’t have to be a student to scoop up some new accessories to brighten your workspace. Now is the time when stylish desktop organizers, storage bins, colorful lamps and more fun stuff land in stores.

Primed to paint

Feeling creative? Here are three easy upgrades with paint to consider from House Beautiful magazine:

“Paint your home office leafy green to create the feeling of a tree house.”

• “Paint a piece of furniture Kool-Aid purple.”

• “Paint your bedroom closet a favorite color.”

And finally ...

“We love denim for back to school – from chambray shirts and skinny jeans to the must-have denim jacket or vest. Mix the look – try a dark rinse skinny with a pretty feminine top and leather biker jacket or go classic with a tailored blazer. We love to see it head to toe, don’t be afraid to mix light and dark washes together, just have fun.”

— Sofia Wacksman, vice president of trend for Kohl’s Department Stores.