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Dig These Trenches

Rain-gear games: Don't let spring showers put a damper on your style. A flurry of affordable trench coats will let you stay dry and look slick.


It's been a banner year for the trench coat. With a newly flattering fit and a hipper, higher hemline, it was not only a star on spring runways, it has also finally shed its weirdo-at-the-playground reputation. We're smitten with Oscar de la Renta's denim version, a beige number with big clownish buttons from Marc Jacobs, and a lean, mean black one by John Bartlett (and that's just from this side of the Atlantic). But many we'd be just as proud to wear cost much less.

If you've had enough of that jeans jacket you lived in last spring, trade it in for BCBG Max Azria's flattering indigo denim trench (pictured; $135 at Bloomingdale's). Or try Cynthia by Cynthia Steffe's lighter style in indigo stretch denim or faded red twill (pictured, $232 at Bloomingdale's and Saks Fifth Avenue).

A classic cotton coat in a neutral color (still the favorite with the Burberry-clad fashion crowd) will have a longer life. We love a crisp, knee-length one from United Colors of Benetton, in khaki or sleek black (pictured, $248). For added spark, flash friends with Jussara's understated khaki style with a psychedelic silk lining (pictured, $278 at Henri Bendel in April).

To head out in anything more than a slight drizzle, pick trenches in water-repellent fabrics, like Anne Klein's silky, cotton-and-nylon styles in ice blue or beige ($172 at Macy's) or Benetton's featherweight nylon version in black, natural, or white ($168). For coats that predate the trend, try Kaufman's Army & Navy, where $50-$80 buys khaki, black, or olive-green models left over from Korea and Vietnam, as well as current surplus.

Bloomingdale's (212-705-2000); Saks Fifth Avenue (212-753-4000); United Colors of Benetton, 597 Fifth Ave., near 48th St. (212-317-2501); Henri Bendel (212-247-1100); Macy's (212-695-4400); Kaufman's Army & Navy, 319 W. 42nd St. (212-757-5670).

Picks of the Week

Foley & Corinna is taking up to 70 percent off vintagey hand-knit sweaters and skirts, funky totes, and flea-market finds. Bags and sweaters are $25-$50; coats are $50-$200. 108 Stanton St. (212-529-2338); A.E., M.C., V.; Mon.-Sun. noon-7; 3/13-3/19.

Gail Grossman Designs costume jewels and hair accessories (at stores like Barneys) are at least 60 percent off at her sale. Think lots of flowers, pastels, and charm bracelets for $15-$78. 390 Fifth Ave. at 36th St., Suite 706 (212-629-0097); M.C., V.; Mon.-Thurs. 11-5; 3/13-3/16.

Gabrielle Carlson's clearing a selection of romantic, silk evening things for about 70 percent off: Metallic silk scarves are $45, dresses and wrap tops are $90-$175, ball skirts are $225. Sizes 6-10. 251 E. 10th St., Suite 4 (212-995-8063); A.E., M.C., V.; Wed.-Thurs. 6-9, Fri. 4-8; 3/15-3/17.

Mikiko Ino is taking 70 percent off a group of vintage kimonos (many with embroidery or painted details). Prices are $80-$250. 114 Chambers St. (212-587-1117); M.C., V., checks; Fri.-Sat. 11-6; 3/17-3/18.


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