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Knit Picking

Head ponchos: This year, dyed-in-the-wool trend-surfers need a funky, snuggly country knit. Here, a few that even a real hippie can afford.

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The weather's finally cooling down, and you've shifted last winter's three-quarter-sleeve boat-neck sweaters straight from the mothballs into a bag headed for Housing Works. This season, you'll want at least one piece that's a little groovier -- a big poncho à la Vuitton, a Bartlett-esque serape, or even just a chunky hoodie or cardigan with a bit of country flair. We found a bunch to keep you nice and warm this fall at prices that won't make you shudder to think they might go out of style.

For brisk city weekends, toss those car coats and barn jackets and throw on J. Crew's huge blanket poncho with a contrasting Peruvian-style pattern woven in ($98). For evenings or when you want something a bit more figure-flattering, check out Benetton's soft wool Fair Isle style with pompom trim ($88). Yes, it looks like a skirt on the hanger, but not when you cinch it tight around your neck and pull it over your arms (you can sling it over your hips in a pinch).

At Urban Outfitters, you'll find many, many ponchos. The top pick is Nueva Idea's fuzzy cream-and-brown Andean-shepherd look ($40). For eye-catching flair, try Free People's super-bright, tweedy, elbow-length style ($52; also at Bloomingdale's).

If all that pizzazz is a little too bohemian for you, replace your tired pashminas with simple solid-colored merino ponchos from Henri Bendel ($128, pictured). Or try the country spirit with a sweater. Our fave: an olive-green wool Fair Isle hoodie from American Eagle Outfitters ($58).

J.Crew, 99 Prince St. (212-966-2739; to order, call 800-562-0258); Benetton, 597 Fifth Ave., near 49th St. (212-317-2501); Urban Outfitters, 628 Broadway, near Houston St. (212-475-0009); Henri Bendel, 712 Fifth Ave., at 56th St. (212-247-1100); American Eagle Outfitters, Pier 17, South Street Seaport (212-571-5354).

Picks of the Week

Daryl K's sample-and-stock sale features tons of leftover summer essentials plus selections from its sharp fall line. Prices are steeply cut: $30 for a K-189 tie-dyed tank top, $325 for a Daryl K leather jacket. Sizes 2-12. 315 W. 36th St., tenth floor (212-777-0713); cash only; Thurs.-Fri. 11-8, Sat. till 6; 10/7-10/9.

Chelsee Eyes is clearing tons of high-end eyeglasses and sunglasses frames at 25 to 75 percent off. We can't list designers here, but you'll find all the usual suspects. Prices are from $60 for wood-grained-plastic French frames to $225 for rimless Japanese titanium frames. 20 W. 20th St., Suite 804 (212-242-4823); checks accepted; Mon.-Fri. 10-5, evenings and Saturdays by appointment; 10/4-10/18.

Gym Source has sold equipment to Steven Spielberg, Christie Brinkley, and Alec Baldwin. At the Jersey warehouse sale, floor models, demos, and used or scratched pieces are 40 to 80 percent off. Benches and free weights are from $29, stair-climbers are $299 to $639; stationary bikes are $49 to $480; treadmills are $199 to $1,000. Trucking stuff to Manhattan is $75 to $150. 507 Winsor Dr., Secaucus (888-GYM-SOURCE, ext. 107); A.E., M.C., V.; Sun. 9-4; 10/10.

Luceplan, the Italian lighting wholesaler, is clearing a warehouse full of high-end lighting fixtures, table lamps, and floor lamps at 50-70 percent off. Styles range from hand-blown glass pendant lights to table lamps with colorful snap-on plastic shades. Prices are $30 for a simple table lamp up to $150 for a "Berenice" desk lamp. 315 Hudson St. (212-989-6265); A.E., M.C., V.; Sat. 10-5; 10/9.

D'Amico Foods is once again offering Manhattanites a deal on many of its old-fashioned, store-roasted coffees. A three-pound coffee order is $17-$20 -- for an extra $17, you'll get a bottle each of the shop's extra-virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar. UPS shipping is free. 309 Court St., Brooklyn (718-875-5403); A.E., M.C., V.; Mon.-Fri. 8-7, Sat. till 6; 10/4-10/30.


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