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Many moons ago, when I’d just arrived in New Orleans, one of the first conversations I had was about the weather and the change of seasons – or rather, the lack thereof.

“Well,” a former collegiate colleague explained, “We have two seasons here – summer and not-summer.” Quite a confusing concept to someone raised in Yankee Country, where it snows in winter, flowers in spring and follows other such climactic patterns.

In New Orleans, even though it’s never quite cold (compared to Philadelphia, that is), winter clothes begin stuffing the stores starting as early as this month. With that in mind, this month’s What’s Hot explores a few of the hottest accessories for fall, featured in chic, classic colors like black, brown, gold and ivory, to ease the transition from pool weather to wool sweater. Platforms are back, ladies! Step into season in style in these black patent leather and tan suede Hanna open-toe pumps from the Michael by Michael Kors line. Ele Shoes, 3316 Magazine St., 309-8674. Why let your hair be bare when you can accent your ’do with a fun accessory? Try this copper-colored metal mesh flower hairpin by Colette Malouf for an autumn accent. Victoria’s, 7725 Maple St., 861-8861. For a walk on the wild side, mix elements. This purse from James Napier features plum fur and gold metallic elements, a great choice for the girl who wants to make a statement. James Napier Men’s & Women’s Accessories, 1357 N. Causeway Blvd., (985) 951-8015. A pretty scarf is a versatile must-have. This ivory scarf with a bold black pattern and ivory tassels can be used to punctuate a simple ensemble or just keep you warm and chic in a chilly office! Em’s, 246 Metairie Road, 834-2795. Ankle boots are fabulous for fall, especially in a warm climate like ours where knee-high boots can be too toasty. These super-cute faux-croc ankle boots from Feet First are a versatile choice for fall. Feet First Inc., 4119 Magazine St., 899-6800. Invest in a signature item to set the tone for the season. A glamorous bag, like this stunning example by Stella McCartney, can carry you through any season. Also, following positive philanthropic trends, all of Stella’s bags are animal cruelty-free and eco-friendly. Weinstein’s, 4011 Magazine St., 895-6278.

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