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Chicago fashion public service announcement: Fall edition

Between the leaves changing color and the sudden appearance of black tights, it’s clear cooler temperatures are here for the long haul.

The sad fact of the matter is we’re packing up the summer togs and trading up for cashmere, parkas and infinity scarves. Here are a few sartorial issues Chicagoans need to remedy to quell the inner turmoil I face each day.

Best of British wool checked cocoon coat available at Marks and Spencer. It will not have any extraneous stitches when I own it.

• Inspect that topper

Ready to pull out the wool coat? Before leaving the house, there are two snips that are required. For the love of all things holy, grab the scissors and remove the loose X stitch that holds the vents together. That stitch is not a design element — it’s functional for the garment while it’s in the shop. And as long as you’re wielding a pair of scissors, snip the “100% Wool” tags on the sleeve. Are you humblebragging fabric content now? SNIP IT.

Sorel makes fashionable alternatives for those who deny winter hits Chicago. These Joan of Arctic Wedge mid boots are $240.

• Uggs won the battle, but not the war

People love those UGG Boots. When the Aussie house slipper stormed our beaches, Yanks donned them in droves and stepped up their usefulness by wearing them outdoors. (Gasp!) While the modern-day Moon Boot leaves a bit to be desired on the fashion front, its utility battling Chicago winters can’t be beaten. But if Uggs aren’t the boot, there are countless others to try. Admit our streets are paved in salt and slurry and resist the urge to wear proper shoes during the messy months.

Leggings. jeggings and tights all require a delicate balance of proportions.

• Leggings, jeggings and tights: Leave something to the imagination

How it hurts to return to the fashion crimes of our youth. After spending much of high school (circa 1992) hitting Multiples and Units for leggings (remember the countless variations and redonk colors?) Nirvana and Pearl Jam swept in a less form-fitting era. Until now.

Black leggings/jeggings have been a staple as long as the skinny jean, but this is the first full fashion season cycle of prints on those skinny suckers. While everyone needs a bit of leopard in their lives, not everyone needs to yowl at the full moon. Wear the animal/stripes/polka dot/patterns with pride, but not as the focal point of the ensemble. Otherwise, be certain I have that Mystikal earworm on repeat.

On the flipside, tights are not leggings. The thickest tight has a denier higher than 100, which keeps legs protected from the elements. Leggings have twice that density. Do the math.

Puffer coats keep the wind to a minimum. Ditch the basic black and add this Mackage down coat into the rotation. It’s pricey at $850, but cost per wear can be as little as $4.

• Winter is long, break it up with some color

It’s easy, hides road “schlar” and most shops only sell black coats. But who wants to blend in with the North Face black puffer coat army? Add some color to winter (burgundy is on trend this season) and see if your mood just doesn’t pick up. At least until you hit the headwind on the commute to work.

What fall fashion faux pas have you in knots?