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Fair and Warmer

Get 'em while they're hot! If prices for the runways' best have left you frozen out, these stylish stand-ins won't leave you in the cold.

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There are two kinds of coat shoppers: one's got at least ten serviceable ones already but craves something new each winter; the other considers a coat worth having only if "it's going to last forever." This season, designers have plenty for both -- from trendy funnel-necks to sleek classics that will look spot-on till Y3K. If four-figure prices give you chills, however, cozy up to these options.

Zara International is crammed with ultratrendy styles, most under $200. The best are wool funnel-necks -- try a belted style for flair ($165). Through the J.Crew catalogue, a boxy, knee-length funnel-neck comes in cream, gray, and black ($178); or order a hooded toggle coat in camel, navy, or charcoal ($158).

For a seasonless investment, pick from this year's crop of knee-length single-breasted styles, like the black wool-cashmere blends at Kenneth Cole ($295) and Club Monaco ($279). The J.Crew catalogue's wool version comes in camel, navy, light gray, or black ($168). French Connection's similar one is $298 (in black, camel, and light gray). For this season's white coat, try Benetton, where a knee-length style is $298, and a slightly shorter version is $218 (if you're not the white-coat type, pick up either one in light gray, charcoal, or black).

Zara International, 750 Lexington Ave., at 59th St. (212-754-1120); J.Crew, 30 Rockefeller Plaza (212-767-4227; 800-562-0258 for catalogue orders); Kenneth Cole, 95 Fifth Ave., at 17th St. (212-675-2550); Club Monaco, 121 Prince Street (212-533-8930); French Connection, 435 West Broadway (212-219-1197); United Colors of Benetton, 597 Fifth Ave., near 49th St. (212-317-2501).

Picks of the Week

Eileen Fisher is unloading samples and slightly damaged fall merchandise for 30 to 60 percent off -- from $55 for lambswool-and-cashmere tanks to $263 for a silk jacket and matching pants. 314 E. 9th St. (212-529-5715); A.E., M.C., V., checks; Sat. 10-7; 11/13.

Chaiken and Capone's taking 60 percent off your fave bootleg pants and three-quarter-length coats, plus stuff from the fall collection (pictured). A chunky knit bag is $45, cotton pants are $80, a three-quarter-length coat is $200. Sizes 2-12. 24 W. 40th St., first floor (212-334-3501); A.E., M.C., V.; Tues.-Fri. 11-7, Sat. 11-5; 11/9-11/13.

Elizabeth Gillett's festive scarves, beaded wraps, and cozy wool shawls are all at least half off at the sample sale: pashminas are $185, ponchos are $55, wraps are from $75, scarves are from $10. 237 W. 35th St., third floor (212-629-7993); M.C., V.; noon-7; 11/11-11/12.

Moschillo's sample-and-stock sale features sultry, Euro-chic casual clothes from companies like Richmond Denim and Nude. Prices are half off, from $80 to $300. Sizes 4-8. 730 Fifth Ave., near 56th St., Suite 403 (212-246-6724); M.C., V., checks; Mon.-Fri. 10-5; 11/8-11/19.

Denise Williamson Showroom's samples of cool, youthful downtown duds from folks like Mimsie Carlysle, Alicia Lawhon, and Fake London are at least half off: dresses from $89, pants from $50, coats from $150, and cashmeres from $70. Sizes 2-10. 115 Mercer St., second floor (212-226-5507); cash only; Thurs.-Sat. 10-7; 11/11-11/13.

Charles Chang-Lima's sample sale has his sophisticated urban women's fashions selling at up to 75 percent off: Jackets are $150-$250, pants are $75-$175, dresses are $100-$200. Sizes 4-8. 215 W. 40th St., eleventh floor (212-302-3121); cash only; Thurs.-Fri. 10-6, Sat. till 1; 11/11-11/13.

Always a Deal

Class Slippers

The colorful beaded evening slides on offer from most high-end shoe designers this fall are great news for comfort fiends -- you can look like you've made a sincere effort to dress up but don't have to totter around on stilettos. If you can't stomach forking over upwards of $500 for Sergio Rossi's pony-skin styles, head down to Buffalo Boots, where $12 will buy a pretty plastic-and-mesh made-in-China stand-in (pictured). Available in seven colors.
169 Spring St. (212-965-9090).


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