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Cashmere sweaters, dressy hats, opulent fabrics: For serious purchases you don’t make often, let us help you choose the best.

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Cashmere is one of those luxury items that even the normally money-conscious shopper will drop serious cash for. Lucien Pellat-Finet’s sweaters have the added bonus of looking as sexy as they are warm and soft (case in point: Madonna is wearing one of them on the cover of this month’s Vanity Fair). Cashmere items include: two-ply women’s cardigans, were $585, now $292.50; round-neck long-sleeve sweaters, were $510, now $255; men’s T-shirts, were $560, now $280. Lucien Pellat-Finet, 226 Elizabeth St. (343-7033); A.E., M.C., V.; Tues.-Sat. 11-6, Sun. noon-5; 2/24-3/8.

Leave Your Hat On
Linda Pagan knows how to wear hats with style. She also has that special knack of pairing them with the right faces. So customers trust her judgment -- and remain loyal for years. Her sale includes: Hat & Soul’s “Mongolian” hat, was $225, now $180; Jennifer Hoertz’s “flop top” hat, was $188, now $149; Jacqueline Lamont’s “Caroline” hat, was $245, now $167. The sale does not apply to custom orders. The Hat Shop, 120 Thompson St. (219-1445); A.E., M.C., V.; Mon.-Sat. noon-7, Sun. 1-6; 2/23-3/2.

Cleaning House
After a year of culling the very best of its donations, Housing Works is gearing up for its spring-preview sale. All furniture, clothing, porcelain, and antiques will be 50 percent to 80 percent off original prices. Line up early: People start coming hours in advance. Proceeds benefit homeless people with HIV. Each of the three locations takes a Tuesday turn at the sale. Housing Works, 143 W. 17th St. (366-0820), 2/24; 306 Columbus Ave. (579-7566), 3/3; 202 E. 77th St. (772-8461), 3/10; A.E., M.C., V.; Tues. 5-8.

The Story of Ruth
Ruth Caplan usually sells her interior-design fabrics and drapery only to the trade. But she needs to move some of it out of her showroom, so she is opening up to the public for a few days: silk velvets, retail $140 a yard, here $36-$40; silk charmeuse, retail $100 a yard, here $10-$15; trims, retail $60-$150 a yard, here $15-$30. Ruth Caplan Ltd., Fine Arts Building, 232 E. 59th St., fourth floor (826-3756); cash only; Mon.-Fri. 9-noon; 2/23-2/27.

The Gold Room
Ken and Esther gold -- the husband-and-wife team behind Stardust Antiques -- have made their store a welcoming place to explore. All of their china, stemware, and pottery is going on sale: cut-crystal bowl, was $225, now $175; complete set of dishes (including serving pieces), was $225, now $100; Roseville vase, was $150, now $100. Stardust Antiques, 38 Gramercy Park (677-2590); A.E., M.C., V.; Mon.-Fri. 11-7, Sat. noon-5; 3/1-3/31.

Couched in Luxury
Donghia -- an upscale furniture company -- is opening up to the public for the first time, with deep discounts on its great designs. Sofas, were $7,000- $9,000, now $3,000-$4,500; leather club chairs, were $4,300-$5,200, now $2,000-$2,700; arm- and side chairs, were $1,200-$1,850, now $400-$950. Donghia, 40 W. 40th St. (718-747-1656); A.E., M.C., V.; Wed.-Sat. 9:30-6; 2/25-2/28.

Horse and Carriage
Looking for a wedding dress? Cynthia C., Robert Legere, and M&B Hairlooms are teaming up for a joint sample sale on their wedding numbers and some eveningwear. Sale includes: Cynthia C. all-satin wedding dress, retail $2,200, here $1,000; Robert Legere cocktail dress, retail $700, here $200; M&B headpieces, retail $300-$700, here $100-$300. Cynthia C. & Co., 222 W. 37th St., second floor (966-2200); A.E., M.C., V.; Thurs.-Sat. 10-6; 2/26-2/28.


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