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Desert Companion

Falling into place: Remixing this season's look for a Vegas touch

This season, convert hot fall runway trends into a truly Vegas style

Ladylike

Ladylike Silhouettes

Luck may be a lady in this town, but the chignon-and-gloves aesthetic can be hard to pull off in a sea of hard-bodied models-slash-cocktail waitresses. The key to this fall's iteration of a ladylike silhouette is keeping it quirky with details, such as Prada's off-the-wall glasses or the full leather skirts that showed up at Louis Vuitton. Take a cue from Louis Vuitton's Autumn/Winter runway show by embracing your curves with a form-fitting dress that's more modern bombshell than '60s housewife.

The Louis Vuitton outpost at Crystals (262-6262) generally has the greatest number of runway pieces, whether for a new outfit or to draw inspiration. A trawl through The Attic (388-4088) might rustle up a promising vintage piece or two. Or simply check your closet. If you have a clingy top or light sweater, pair it with a swingy skirt and heels.

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Where to wear: The days of Sands Hotel billboards announcing "Dean Martin - Maybe Frank - Maybe Sammy" may be behind us, but why waste an Angie Dickinson-esque outfit on another night at the movies? Swing by UNLV's Ham Concert Hall and check out the Las Vegas Philharmonic's "A Tribute to Frank Sinatra" Oct. 2. Tickets $35-75, www.lvphil.com.

Upscale Workwear

Upscale Workwear

The Italian word for what most men are going for is sprezzatura: nonchalance, effortlessness. It's less about any single item and more about contrast and juxtaposition. Can you pull it off at a Pixies concert? Yes. Can you avoid the sincere cardigans, the ironic eyeglasses, the hipster confluence of Day-Glo and skinnier-than-thou jeans? No, but you can rise above them.

But you can't avoid the hipster paradise that is Urban Outfitters (in Planet Hollywood, 733-0058 and Mandalay Place, 650-2199). You'll find the perfect pair of selvedge jeans - unbranded, slim, straight - for a reasonable $78. You'll want boots, but resist the urge to revisit the early '90s; Pavement's "Cut Your Hair" has held up, but Doc Martens haven't. My favorites are from Red Wing: the Beckman in black cherry leather (Red Wing Shoes, 4616 W. Charleston Blvd., 870-4244 or www.zappos.com). Throw on a black poplin dress shirt. Layer it with dark-grey blazer, preferably in flannel (Topman has a good variety; check www.us.topman.com) or - if you want to make a nod to the mechanic's-jacket craze of Matador's heyday - the Baracuta G9 Slim Fit Harrington Jacket in dark navy (www.baracuta-g9.com). James Dean wore his in red, in Rebel Without a Cause, but trust us on the navy. Throw on some stripy Paul Smith socks and a clunky plastic digital watch in a bright shiny happy plastic color (the Nixon Time Teller, in green or orange or red, is a solid choice, $59.99, www.bunkeronline.com) and you're good to go.

Where to wear: The Pixies play the Joint Sept. 25, and they deserve the sharp, classic rock-and-roll attire we're recommending. If you've seen the documentary Loud Quiet Loud, you might be surprised by how gloriously frumpy Kim Deal and Frank Black look in their cardigans, but you have not spent the past six months on a tour bus. You have a closet. And you have access to one of the world's most insanely varied, needlessly rich shopping paradises: Las Vegas. Tickets $35.50-$41, www.hardrockhotel.com

These spectacles will temper even the most severe skirted silhouette with a dash of whimsy. (Prada at the Bellagio, 866-6886)

Get in the proper spirit with this 1966 live album of Ol' Blue Eyes at the Sands Hotel, singing 16 classic songs backed by Count Basie Orchestra. It was a very good year, indeed. (Frank Sinatra At The Sands, www.amazon.com)

This is the season to embrace your curves! But why just embrace when you can enhance? (Victoria's Secret Miraculous Push-Up Bra, $49.50 www.victoriassecret.com)

Everyday Ethereal

Everyday ethereal

Fashion world favorite label Rodarte (www.rodarte.com) offered an eerie take on getting dressed in the dark, with dresses using sheer florals, delicate plaids and swaths of lace - often all in the same dress. While the pieces can be hard to pull off for an everyday occasion, the focus on delicate fabrics and dreamy looks can easily be translated to street fashion. American Apparel (www.americanapparelstore.com) has a broad selection of lace tops and dresses that can easily be layered together, and you can find floral scarves at nearly any secondhand store. Achieve an evening variation on this look by layering pieces such as Alberta Feretti's lace top and jacket (Neiman Marcus, 731-3636) for an intriguing translucent effect.

Where to were: Ethereal looks work well at night, when layered fabrics offer extra warmth and longer skirts can flutter in the breeze. Take in some local color while pretending you're a ghost at First Friday (www.firstfriday-lasvegas.org) in downtown Las Vegas.

Keep a floaty look from getting too grandmotherly with a pair of all-purpose Frye boots. Frye's Jane 14L stitch boots, $298, Macy's, 731-5111

Ropes of freshwater pearls can add an unexpected water-goddess touch to a girly ensemble. Venus rising from the ocean, anyone? Sterling silver necklace and earrings set, $33.15, Macy's, 731-5111

You may not be able to carry flattering candlelight with you everywhere, but it sure does set the mood for a balmy autumn evening out. Muse Noir candle by Jonathan Adler, $68, Barneys, 629-4200

Luxe Bohemian

Luxe bohemian

The best thing about the boho look is the patchwork aspect of it - accessories piled on with a generous hand, and velvets, denims, laces and silks can be worn together for maximum contrast and coziness. The next best thing? You've probably got the pieces in your closet. Slip on a pair of tights or knee-high socks with your strappy wedge sandals and shorts, and you'll be ready to handle fall temperatures when they dare to slip below 70. Top it off with a fuzzy cardigan over a lacy top (or a lacy cardigan over a fuzzy top). Check out Alexa Chung for Madewell (Fashion Show Mall, 650-0205), which finds the hip style icon and former MTV VJ disseminating her enviable style through this line of bohemian basics. You can easily build an ensemble around the brown velvet shorts and cream-colored button-downs.

Where to wear: Pavement. Sonic Youth. Belle & Sebastian. Guided By Voices. If those bands strike a chord, you probably already have tickets to Matador at 21, the 21st anniversary festival for Matador Records Oct. 1-3 at The Palms. This three-day indie extravaganza will likely expose you to more sincere cardigans and ironic eyeglasses than you've ever seen. Tickets $199-$225, www.matadorrecords.com/21.

Leaving a lasting impression with Balenciaga's signature fragrance, featuring violet base notes and a lingering peppery finish - ladylike with a twist. (Balenciaga Paris Eau de Parfum, $95-$130, Neiman Marcus, 731-3636)

A flash of animal print adds a bit of spice to an otherwise benign ensemble. An unexpected kick, if you will. (Lanvin leopard print pump, $1,085, Barneys, 629-4200)

Bohemian doesn't have to mean downmarket. Indulge yourself with a classic wine-red handbag that will never go out of style. (Lanvin Happy MM Shoulder Bag, $1,760, Barneys, 629-4200)

Tailored Americana

Tailored Americana

Odds are you've spent way too much time looking like you haven't spent much time at all thinking about your clothes. It makes sense: You want your clothes to say you're busy thinking about more important things than clothes.

Good news: This fall's fashion somewhat agrees with you. Witness the continuing dips back into Americana territory, which owe much to the no-nonsense Ivy-League of the mid-'50s. But the latest trend is livelier, partly coming back at us from Japan and other places infatuated with a particular vision of the States. The result is graceful and rugged; elegant outfits that look almost accidental in their execution.

Offset this J.Crew double-breasted heather-charcoal suit with a pale-blue gingham shirt and a solid skinny burgundy knit-tie. A pink or coral silk pocket square will do wonders, as would one in navy - just avoid the ubiquitous tightly folded white handkerchief. You're not Don Draper.

Your dress shoes should be black and carefully constructed. They should have leather soles. They should be so conservative that you'll be wearing them 20 years from now. Go for Alden's calfskin straight-tip Blucher Oxford ($420, www.aldenshop.com). And pair them with red socks. (Vanucci for Men bright colored dress socks, $6.50, www.tonsofsocks.com)

Where to wear: Suit up for at least one of the three nights of the Contemporary Arts Center's "Off the Strip" event series Oct. 14-17, particularly if you're feeling up for cocktails and performance art - that's Oct. 17 at the Downtown Cocktail Room, where you should wear your tie for no reason other than as a sympathetic fillip to all the aesthetic bliss on stage and screen. Info: www.lasvegascac.org

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