Plaid mad 

Followers of haute couture will be seeing checks this season. Handbags and schoolgirl-style skirts in classic plaid patterns emerged first this fall. Now, watch for plaid shoes to hit the streets. Fashion designer Karen Spade offers a well-constructed, conservative example with T-straps and leather trim, soles and lining. Her wool plaid Mary Janes are made in Italy and retail for about $235. Get them at Saks Fifth Avenue (stores and Web site). And while plaid may be leading the pace for fall, argyle is not far behind. Saks also features an argyle handbag as one of its hot items. The all-leather bag by Exquisite J is $195.

Norene Cashen pays attention here every other week. E-mail [email protected]

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