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Baby, it's cold outside, except when the afternoon heat wave rolls in. With the mercury dropping and energy costs rising — not to mention that pesky global warming — now is the time to experiment with scarves and sweaters and reevaluate any irrational anti-fleece rules.

IT'S A WRAP: This cotton and silk Leigh & Luca stunner of a scarf is the perfect weight to stylishly transition from fall to falling snow. If dragons don't slay you, Joseph carries other L&L options. And don't forget to check out their guide: "Six Ways To Wear a Scarf." Dragon scarf by Leigh & Luca, $235, at Joseph, 418 S. Grove Park, Laurelwood.


THE COLOR PURPLE: Regarding color trends for winter: Purple is hot. This ombre-dyed scarf will keep you warm while looking oh-so-cool. For those who've already stocked up on a season's supply of purple, relax. This scarf is also available in several perfectly wonderful not-so-purple colors. ShanaK scarf, $45, at Muse, 517 S. Main.


TWICE AS NICE: The word "reversible" doesn't auto-matically summon the word "cashmere," but in the hectic days ahead, wouldn't it be nice to have a sweater that looks great and multitasks? Thanks to Raffi, this cashmere crewneck sweater leads a quiet double life. Reversible Raffi sweater, $250, at Oak Hall, 6150 Poplar.


HOLIDAY SPIRIT: The Tigers are ranked #12 in most pre-season polls, and with lots of home games this season, U of M fans will have ample opportunity to show their school spirit and their fashion sense. What better way to show your love for the Tigers than with this blue fleece jacket and coordinating scarf? Turfer jacket in men's and women's sizes, $44.95; the Game rugby scarf, $19.95, both at Tiger Bookstore, 3533 Walker.

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