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My fondness for houndstooth borders on the ridiculous. I simply can’t resist it. Things really crank up in the fall when all things houndstooth show up in stores. Just this week a mannequin flaunted a houndstooth coat in front of me, and I wondered if I should try one on – even though I wasn’t shopping for a coat.

I also recently admired a stranger’s houndstooth skirt and got all sentimental about one I owned years ago. It was a simple skirt hemmed above the knee, and I wore it again and again with a long black knit turtleneck, black tights and black shoes. Sometimes I would add an orange wool jacket, even though I felt a little bit like a pumpkin.

So, yes, I do love houndstooth. We have a bench upholstered in houndstooth in front of the fireplace with a few matching pillows tossed elsewhere in the room. I picked out the fabric, of course.

I have a houndstooth scarf and houndstooth gloves, but I don’t wear them together. I need to exhibit some self-control.

It was a sad day when my houndstooth umbrella finally gave out last spring. I still remember the houndstooth-covered chair I saw in a room at a former Junior League Decorators’ Show House – even though it was more than eight years ago.

And when I once spotted rolls of houndstooth wrapping paper in the giftwrap aisle, I grabbed one roll in my arms, then another, then another – for the future. I try to limit my use of wrapping paper – opting for reusable gift bags or just a bow instead – but I could not resist this houndstooth giftwrap.

And, no, any combination besides black and white (or maybe off-white) simply will not do. Maybe I should branch out a little but, frankly, pink and gray houndstooth does nothing for me.

It may be in the genes, but several of my relatives like houndstooth, too. A cousin and I once made quite the scene when we came across a houndstooth pattern in a wallpaper book. How exciting! For a time she considered using it in a bathroom, but she recently told me she settled for a stripe instead. A stripe? We need to talk.

This fall, I’m seeing lots of variations of houndstooth patterns in fashion. I’ve come across sweeping houndstooth capes. Cute houndstooth shoes. Houndstooth blazers, tops, skirts, sweaters and dresses. And I’ve even seen houndstooth mixed with other patterns on the same garment.

I know that this fall’s houndstooth patterns reflect the black and white trend so popular in fashion right now, but what I love most about it is its timelessness. Your classic houndstooth patterns never seem to go out of style.

By late winter or early spring, I figure I will be tired of all this houndstooth and be ready to move on to something else. Did I mention I also like polka dots?

email: smartin@buffnews.com